1989 Mitsubishi HSR Concept Car

©2007 Publications International, Ltd. The bubble-top shape of the 1989 Mitsubishi HSR concept car was meant to predict a look when highway speed limits are 200 mph. See more concept car pictures.

The 1989 Mitsubishi HSR concept car seemed to emerge from the vision of science-fiction writers who concocted a future of bubble-topped vehicles traveling 200 mph on super-safe superhighways.

Families, these writers predicted, would pop into a car that looked like a spaceship, and head for destinations hundreds of miles away at velocities approaching those of 20th century airplanes.

Maybe drivers would still be guiding their cars themselves; or maybe they would follow a guideline embedded in the road, aided by radar, with little human intervention. Either way, they'd expect to journey long distances without fretting much about such mundane irritants as flat tires, boiled-over engines, or semitrailers suddenly roaring out from the car's blind spot.

As the 1990s dawned, Mitsubishi's High Speed Research concept vehicle tried to suggest that a future of 200-mph speed limits supported by suitable cars and highways, might not lie so far ahead.

It was no secret that Japan had led the race into electronic-assisted technology for automobiles. Mitsubishi billed its concept car as an "unprecedented union of advanced technology, efficient power and fluid, aerodynamic design." The ultimate goal, they said, was to enable average drivers to "travel long distances quickly and confidently."

Mitsubishi HSR concept car development proceeded from the basic assumption that the "needs of ordinary motorists will soon outstrip the capabilities of current automobiles."

Mitsubishi chose to respond by creating a vehicle that could provide "safe and predictable high-speed driving," incorporating a helpful blend of communications and navigation equipment and computer monitoring.

The body design of the Mitsubishi HSR concept car added to the futuristic feel of the vehicle. Keep reading to learn more.

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