TOKYO MOTOR SHOW
ALL manner of headscratching concepts have been on display at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Its reputation as the maddest show on earth was underlined by the usual cavalcade of the spectacular, the wildly imaginative and the just plain nuts. Amid all the weirdness, however, was a stark message – the automotive world is changing, and changing at breakneck speed.
While the UK dusts off its old Hillman Imp construction manuals for domestic car production post-Brexit, the Japanese are streaking ahead with their vision of an electric and hydrogen-powered future, all monitored by artificial intelligence.
Here is a selection of the most startling launches from the show...
SCOOBY PHEW Subaru’s Viziv Performance Concept might seem defiantly old school, being powered by fossils and everything. However this replacement for the classic WRX series warrants a mention on looks alone. It’s a stunner and demonstrates that Subaru has rediscovered its design mojo.
THE SUPER CHARGER Honda’s Sports EV concept is a firm rebuttal to the notion that electric vehicles have to look all nice and soft and cuddly . . . grrrr!
i-SPY Combining advanced artificial intelligence, machine learning and urban mobility, Toyota’s Concept-i is a four seater, battery powered runabout. Aimed at Japan’s huge ageing population, the Concept-i will read facial expressions, voice tone and body language to gauge your driving emotions and alertness. If it reckons you’re a bit off-colour or tired, it will take steps to correct matters. The first examples are to be rolled out in 2020.
LEAN MACHINE This is Yamaha’s Niken reverse trike. Powered by a threecylinder, liquid-cooled engine, it promises greater stability when cornering and a smoother ride on its 15-inch front wheels.
SHED HEAVEN Honda’s Ie-Mobi Concept is an electrical mobility product connecting a home and the car, making it possible to supply electricity to and from car and home. It can also be used as a small and comfy room.
OFF ROAD WARRIOR Suzuki brought a concept in the shape of the e-Survivor – a battery-powered, all wheel-drive SUV. It does share some odds and sods with the ageing Jimny, but not many.