Tokyo teasers

Ex­pect some some bold con­cept ve­hi­cles on the stands at this year’s ex­hi­bi­tion

Herald Sun - Motoring - - NEWS - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@news.com.au

CAR­MAK­ERS will celebrate the fast and the cu­ri­ous at the Tokyo Mo­tor Show later this month.

Toy­ota has al­ready con­firmed the S-FR con­cept, a near pro­duc­tion-ready light­weight sports car aimed at the Mazda MX-5’s cult fol­low­ing. The two-door sports car uses a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 1.5-litre en­gine and six-speed man­ual gear­box to drive the rear wheels. Power is a claimed 97kW (the MX-5 makes 96kW) and with a sub-1000kg mass, per­for­mance should be on a par.

Pitched as an en­try model to sit be­low the Toy­ota 86, the con­cept “em­pha­sises re­spon­sive­ness and aims to make a whole new gen­er­a­tion fall in love with driv­ing”.

For those in that gen­er­a­tion who aren’t moved by fast me­tal, Toy­ota has re­vealed the Kikai, a quirky stripped-down rod where the me­chan­i­cal el­e­ments are in­ten­tion­ally ex­posed.

Toy­ota says it “takes the ma­chin­ery, nor­mally hid­den be­neath the ve­hi­cle body, and makes an open dis­play of its beauty”. A new hy­dro­gen con­cept dubbed the FCV Plus and the latest Prius hy­brid will also be on dis­play.

Over on the Mazda stand will be another sports car con­cept ru­moured to be a pointer to the re­turn of the ro­tary-en­gined RX-8.

Mazda hasn’t damped spec­u­la­tion by not­ing the con­cept ad­heres to the brand’s “unique ap­proach to driv­ing plea­sure”. The sleek-look­ing sports car will be joined by the Koeru cross­over con­cept and a pair of race-spec MX-5s.

Ex­tended Eye­sight will be a Subaru stand fea­ture where the Viziv com­pact SUV con­cept is show­cas­ing the com­pany’s au­ton­o­mous driv­ing ef­forts.

The stereo cam­era Eye­sight pro­gram has been linked with radars and telem­at­ics to give a com­plete pic­ture of the en­vi­ron­ment around the car and the con­di­tions the ve­hi­cle is ap­proach­ing.

The Viziv uses a hy­brid all­wheel drive driv­e­train com­bin­ing the 1.6-litre turbo en­gine found in the Levorg wagon with an elec­tric mo­tor to drive the rear wheels and elim­i­nate the need for a shaft run­ning from the en­gine to the rear axle.

Subaru will also preview the look of its next-gen Im­preza small car, show­ing a more ag­gres­sive front end and a ta­per­ing coupe-style roof. Lexus is tak­ing a sim­i­lar ap­proach with a new style-driven con­cept that will preview the evo­lu­tion of its de­sign lan­guage … hope­fully away from some of the wilder in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the sig­na­ture spin­dle grille.

The ob­ses­sion with SUVs con­tin­ues at Mit­subishi in the form of a fully elec­tric com­pact SUV con­cept dubbed the eX.

A pair of 70kW mo­tors drives the front and rear axles and Mit­subishi claims im­prove­ments to the 45 kWh bat­tery pack and the con­cept’s light weight re­sult in a 400km cruis­ing range. The eX is also fit­ted with Mit­subishi’s latest car safety soft­ware, from blind spot and lane de­par­ture warn­ings to rear cross-traf­fic alerts and semi-au­to­mated driv­ing.

A sense of theatre will ap­ply at the Nissan dis­play with a con­cept de­signed specif­i­cally to in­ter­est the “dig­i­tal na­tive gen­er­a­tion” the maker has dubbed “share na­tives”.

The com­pany says: “this gen­er­a­tion will reach driv­ing age in a few years, but has shown lit­tle in­ter­est in cars so far”. The elec­tric Teatro For Days con­cept is de­signed to over­come that in­dif­fer­ence by be­ing a mo­bile can­vas, mo­bile bat­tery and ur­ban mo­bil­ity in the one pack­age.

Nissan notes that “to a share na­tive, this is the point: cars can be mo­bile de­vices for oc­cu­pants in­ter­ested in cre­at­ing, con­nect­ing and shar­ing”.

Honda’s hy­dro­gen cre­den­tials will be there with the FCV sedan. It is a con­cept at this stage but its near pro­duc­tion ready look hints it may not be far from deal­er­ships. The Ja­panese gi­ant will also launch a three­wheeled “Ne­ow­ing” trike to com­pete with the likes of the Can-Am Spy­der.

Suzuki will hark back to its 1980s Mighty Boy roots with the Mighty Deck con­cept.

The mini pick-up con­cept has a re­tractable can­vas roof and height-ad­justable rear deck for stow­ing out­door gear.

It will be joined on the stand by the Air Triser con­cept, a mod­ern day “in­ter­pre­ta­tion” of the VW Kombi van with seats that can slide, swivel and face each other. There’s also a dis­play screen for dis­play­ing con­tent from your mo­bile or tablet.

SUBARU VIZIV

NISSAN TEATRO FOR DAYS

SUZUKI MIGHTY DECK

TOY­OTA KIKAI

SUZUKI AIR TRISER MINI­VAN

MIT­SUBISHI EX

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