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The Suzuki Misano is a thesis project we’d like to see in production

Combining the best of the company’s cars and motorcycles

It's probably time for Suzuki to make a production car with a bike engine. PHOTO FROM SUZUKI

Let’s be honest. There’s nothing wrong with Suzuki’s current products, but they aren’t objects that elicit an emotional or verbal response usually reserved for something exotic like an Italian supercar (or the universally loved Jimny). However, there’s an absolutely gorgeous concept car that was born from a collaboration between the Japanese automaker and Istituto Europeo di Design in Turin, Italy.

You wouldn't really see the Misano's motorcycle connection unless you take a close look. PHOTOS FROM SUZUKI

This stunning concept is actually the thesis project of 24 students taking their master’s degree in transport design at IED. Christened the Misano, the car is named after a racetrack in Italy that’s the scene of MotoGP events. True to Suzuki’s nature, this vehicle combines the best of the manufacturer’s two- and four-wheel divisions almost literally.

Putting 'IED' in large font on any car is probably not a really good idea. PHOTOS FROM SUZUKI

The Misano’s styling evokes both Japanese and Italian design touches with smooth, flowing body lines, and sharp, strong elements highlighted in copper. The Suzuki logo is referenced in the S-shaped headlights, giving the car a very distinct look up front. It’s quite a compact machine—coming in at 4m long, 1.75m wide and 1m high.

The asymmetrical cockpit is heavily inspired by motorcycles. Two occupants sit in tandem on the left, and the car ditches the steering wheel for handlebars.

Do you sit in the Misano like a car, or do you mount it like a motorcycle? PHOTO FROM SUZUKI

However, this isn’t Suzuki’s first concept car that draws inspiration from its motorcycles. Back in 2001, the automaker unveiled the GSX-R/4, another compact speedster that borrowed the engine of the GSX-1300R Hayabusa. While there are no details on the Misano’s powertrain, it wouldn’t be surprising to find a superbike motor powering it.

We wonder if one of the panelists for this thesis was Valentino Rossi. PHOTO FROM IED

Suzuki hasn’t produced a sports car in over a decade after it killed the Cappuccino. But we can dream about a future revival with elements from the Misano. If you’re lucky enough to be in Turin, you can catch this concept car in the metal from May 15 to June 6 at the National Automobile Museum.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.