Joysticks steer new sports cars

by Hiroko Nakata

Staff Writer

Outfitted with twin joystick controls instead of a steering wheel, Honda Motor Co. on Thursday unveiled two new concept cars — a hybrid sports car and a compact electric vehicle — ahead of the Dec. 2-11 Tokyo Motor Show.

The concept cars’ steering controls give drivers more space up front than if they had steering wheels, Honda said.

Designed to look and drive like a sports car, the 4.7-meter-long hybrid AC-X (Advanced Cruiser-X) has an unusually spacious interior, said Yoshinori Asahi, one of the designers.

“We pursued two contradictory elements,” Asahi said, referring to its sleek looks versus its expansive interior.

The joysticks can be folded up and stowed inside the instrument panel, and ottomans pulled from under the front seats when the car is in automatic driving mode.