Picnic-promoting concept car features bioplastics and bubble top


In Japan, chemical company Asahi Kasei has released a concept car complete with a bubble top, a seating layout meant to encourage picnics, and sustainable materials. 

Dubbed AKXY2, the car showcases the conglomerate’s materials expertise and vision for the future of mobility. The bubble-shaped cover rises to allow entry and creates an open space for gathering, as the company envisions vehicles one day doing double duty as a means of conveyance and a place to socialize. 

Biobased and recycled polyethylene terephthalate, natural blends, recycled polyester, and ocean waste comprise the exterior materials. Biobased polytrimethylene terephthalate is used to produce the seat cushions, while renewable butadiene is used in the tires. The tires also feature additives that reduce rolling resistance for better fuel mileage and reduced release of microplastics into the environment.  

“AKXY2 showcases our expertise as a trusted partner to OEMs and Tier-1s for both interior and exterior components and technology,” Mike Franchy, Director of North American Mobility at Asahi Kasei America, tells Design Boom. “It is hard to believe that this all started 100 years ago with basic textiles from synthetic cellulose, like Rayon. We have come a long way since then, and I am looking forward to seeing these contributions continue to shape the automotive industry.”