Suzuki previews e-Survivor concept, the cutest ute yet

It's classic wacky Suzuki in electric form.

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If you've ever thought of Suzuki as a whimsical manufacturer of small or smallish vehicles, you're going to like what the manufacturer plans to show at the upcoming 45 th Tokyo Motor Show.

The e-Survivor Concept reimagines the classic Suzuki jeep as an all-electric vehicle, and it's filled with interesting styling cues both retro and futuristic. The e-Survivor is not only lightweight in construction, it also looks like it, with vestigial wheelarches and see-through doors. The electric motors are housed in the wheels, leaving the ladder-frame construction able to be as skinny as possible. The dashboard houses large screens showing infotainment controls, navigation settings and the vehicle itself, and there are rear-view cameras in place of mirrors.

According to the manufacturer, the e-Survivor is a compact SUV of "the next age," which could even hint of an electric 4x4 being the way for Suzuki to survive in this century — or in its second century: the company is 100 years old in 2020, and its concepts show what Suzuki sees beyond that. Perhaps something from the e-Survivor will make production after 2020; independent wheel-mounted electric motors would certainly suit a small, light SUV.

Other exhibits are the "tall miniwagon" Spacia Concept, the XBEE crossover available in several different guises, the friendly-looking Carry Open-Air Market Concept and a "neo-retro styled" SV650X bike.

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