Tokyo dream­ing: teasers from Ja­pan’s premier mo­tor show

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - AL­WYN VILJOEN

FANS of the word’s most pop­u­lar two-seater, the Mazda MX-5, are agog for news of Mazda’s next sports car, but will have to wait for its un­veil­ing at the 44th Tokyo Mo­tor Show, which opens to the media on Oc­to­ber 29.

Mazda will show 14 mod­els at the show and has, mean­while, lifted the lid on the cross­over con­cept, the Koeru, which em­bod­ies Mazda’s proac­tive safety phi­los­o­phy in very sleek lines.

Small and rear-wheel driven

One sports car that al­ready has driv­ers smil­ing is Toy­ota’s S-FR.

The letters stand for small, front-en­gine, rear-drive, with the key word be­ing “small”.

The en­try-level sportscar rides on a 2,78 me­tre wheel­base, but the de­sign­ers still man­aged to squeeze four seats into the cabin.

Toy­ota said pro­duc­tion starts next year and it will sell the S-FR in se­lect mar­kets from 2017.

Hav­ing catered for real driv­ers, Toy­ota will also show a lot of weird and won­der­ful wheels for Fomo suf­fer­ers at Tokyo.

For Fomo suf­fer­ers

The most colour­ful car at the Tokyo show prom­ises to be Nissan’s Teatro for Dayz.

Billed as a car for “share na­tives” who want cars not for the joy of driv­ing or their own pri­vate space, but a bet­ter way to con­nect with friends and share ex­pe­ri­ences, the Teatro for Dayz is ba­si­cally a big blank can­vas on which to dis­play vi­su­als.

Nissan ex­ec­u­tive de­sign di­rec­tor Satoshi Tai said that in drive mode, me­ters, con­trols and maps ap­pear on the pure-white in­stru­ment panel, but when parked, the in­te­rior be­comes a live dis­play for a gen­er­a­tion wired for con­nec­tiv­ity, start­ing with the dash­board.

The plain ex­te­rior can be fit­ted with LED screens for fur­ther self­ex­pres­sion and shar­ing.

Any ex­pe­ri­ence in or around the car can be shared in­stantly via an on­board cam­era.

Another screen on wheels

Suzuki will be show­ing four small mod­els that look to be pro­duc­tion ready, but the crowds will flock to the Air Triser, a con­cept three-row mini­van.

De­spite its Kei-car di­men­sions, the tiny van has a roomy cabin with seat backs that fold flat to be­come benches — ei­ther in face-to­face or curved “sofa” for­ma­tions to cre­ate what Suzuki calls a “pri­vate lounge”.

And as in the Teatro, users in the Triser never have to miss a mo­ment of au­dio-vis­ual en­ter­tain­ment, as they are pro­vided with a large-for­mat dis­play that ex­tends from one of the B-pil­lars to the ceil­ing, al­low­ing them to pro­ject movies.

Mazda’s Koeru is a sleek cross­over con­cept that in­cor­po­rates Mazda’s Proac­tive Safety phi­los­o­phy.

Toy­ota’s S-FR — which means small, front-en­gine, rear-drive slots in be­low the 86 and could pro­vide com­pe­ti­tion for Mazda’s next sports car.

Nissan’s Teatro for Dayz is not a car, but a blank screen which trans­forms as the driver and pas­sen­ger likes.

PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Suzuki’s Air Triser, a new con­cept com­pact mini­van that turns into a ‘pri­vate lounge’ with seats that fold into benches.

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