The fu­ture’s less tense

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - News - RICHARD BLACK­BURN CARS­GUIDE EDITOR

THERE were no DeLore­ans or fly­ing cars but this year’s Tokyo mo­tor show had a dis­tinct “Back to the Fu­ture” feel about it.

Toy­ota ex­ec­u­tive vi­cepres­i­dent Nobuy­ori Ko­daira even paid homage to the sci-fi flick in an open­ing night speech: “Just as the Back to the Fu­ture movies dreamt of a fu­ture 30 years down the track, we hope not only to pass on to you new ideas about fu­ture mo­bil­ity ... but also to dream up to­gether a new vi­sion of the 30 years to come.”

Mazda looked back with a mod­ern take on the ro­taryengined RX-8, Toy­ota un­veiled a spir­i­tual suc­ces­sor to its first sports car, the Toy­ota 800, and Lexus re­vealed a hy­dro­gen­pow­ered coupe.

Mit­subishi looked for­ward to a time where cars do their own valet park­ing and Nis­san tried to counter young peo­ple’s grow­ing in­dif­fer­ence by try­ing to turn the car into a gi­ant iPad.

Hy­dro­gen-pow­ered Toy­ota and Honda cars are inch­ing closer to full-scale pro­duc­tion. The driver took a back seat at the show — most con­cept cars in­volved au­to­mated driv­ing.

Here are the high­lights: Lexus vied with Mazda for star of the show with its all-wheeldrive hy­dro­gen-pow­ered four- door coupe, the LF-FC. Its high­out­put fuel cell pow­ers the rear wheels and sends cur­rent to two in-wheel mo­tors in the front.

The LF-FC brings a fresh take on Lexus’s de­sign phi­los­o­phy, with an up­dated ver­sion of the sig­na­ture grille and L-shaped day­time run­ning lights.

In­side, the front seats ap­pear to float, while the driver can op­er­ate con­trols with­out touch­ing them — an ad­vanced hu­man-ma­chine in­ter­face re­sponds to by mak­ing hand ges­tures over a holo­gram on the cen­tre con­sole. Mazda’s famed ro­tary en­gine is back — at least in con­cept form.

Fifty years af­ter Mazda took the wraps off its first ro­tary­pow­ered Cosmo pro­to­type, Mazda stole the show with the RX-vi­sion con­cept, a sleek sports car with a Wankel en­gine.

Mazda boss Masamichi Ko­gai says the ro­tary en­gine is still some way off but the brand is “ad­dress­ing the three key

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