While other motor shows shine the spotlight on million dollar exotics and turbocharged hypercars Tokyo is still your trusted purveyor of zany concepts and crazy ideas. wheels has picked out the top 10 cars from this week’s Tokyo motor show:
Honda Sports EV
After stealing everybody’s heart at the Frankfurt motor show earlier in September with the Urban EV concept, this time in Tokyo Honda did it again with the Sports EV concept based on the same platform as the Urban EV. With a minimalistic, clean design the Sports EV could potentially go into production as a zero-emissions coupé in 2020 and prove to the world that you can have fun, lightweight electric cars.
One of the few genuine surprises at the show that didn’t first go through a series of spy shots, then leaked shots, then ‘leaked’ shots, then official teaser images, was the Lexus LS+ concept that showed up in Tokyo with a pretty bold mission - to eradicate traffic fatalities. As such the LS+ is a car heavy on AI technology and low on production probability, although it does point the way ahead to a facelifted LS in two or three years’ time.
Mazda’s design revolution continues to blossom with the Mazda Kai concept car which, if it is indeed the upcoming Mazda 3 compact hatchback, will immediately be by far the best looking thing in the C-segment. Not to undermine the talented Mazda design team at all, but the Kai looks like it should come with Pininfarina badges on the flanks, and packs clever tech like the world’s first combustion-ignition petrol engine, and the most driver-orientated interior in Tokyo.
Mazda Vision Coupe
Although Mazda claims this is just a styling study, it strongly hints at styling cues that will appear on future Mazdas like the next-generation 6 saloon. unfortunately for all those enthusiasts waiting with bated breath for the Tokyo show this year, there was no rotary-powered sportscar on Mazda’s stand anywhere to be found, so we’ll just have to wait for a new bout of RX7 rumours to surface…
After 10 generations of the iconic Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and a history of rallying success, the nameplate died a sad death in 2016 when the final Evolution X rolled off the line. Well, in Tokyo Mitsubishi treated fans to a new Evolution, although the company was careful not to actually call it the Evolution Xi, Because it isn’t. What it is, is an electric crossover… An all-wheel drive crossover however, with pretty beefy wheel arches and torque vectoring and a motor on each axle, plus a bunch of autonomous assistance systems, such as driver coaching.
There was no GT-R or anything outrageous on Nissan’s stand at the Tokyo show, and instead the Japanese giant (the Renault-Nissan Alliance is targeting sales of 14 million cars a year by 2022) showed off an all-electric crossover with the next-generation version of the new Leaf’s ProPilot driver assistance systems, and a zero-emissions range of 600km. With two motors driving both axels, this crossover puts darn close to 430 horsepower to the ground.
Subaru Viziv Performance
It’s a fact that Subaru’s Impreza WRX STI has been losing a bit of its raw edge in recent iterations of the nameplate, but if this concept is anything to go by, and Subaru says it’s likely, you’re basically looking at the 2020 WRX. More or less. Probably less… But still, the Viziv Performance concept looks pretty fantastic on big wheels and lots of flares and a sizable rear diffuser, plus it’s powered by a boxer engine and all-wheel drive…
Yamaha Cross hub
It’s a pity Yamaha has never actually made a mainstream production car, even though it’s come close in the Nineties to making a F1-engined supercar, and provided a number of manufacturers with engine technology. At the Tokyo show however, Yamaha displayed its intentions to finally make a car, with a pick-up truck concept that’s as zany as you’d expect from a motorcycle maker - the Cross hub has a diamond seating arrangement.
Toyota Fine-Comfort Rie
And the winner of the award for the most ridiculous name at the Tokyo motor show this year got to Toyota with the Fine-Comfort Ride. It’s basically a minivan, although Toyota says this hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle could really represent the saloon of the future with zero-emissions power and in-wheel motors the Fine-Comfort Ride can do a thousand kilometers on one top-up.
You’d normally expect Suzuki to provide some entertainment whenever the Tokyo motor show rolls around in the form of pretty bonkers concepts, and the e-Survivor doesn’t disappoint. Sadly Tokyo wasn’t the place for the launch of the much-anticipated next-generation Jimny, so scale off-roading fans were treated to the e-Survivor, with see-through doors, ultra-lightweight construction and an electric 4x4 drivetrain.