The Herald Magazine - - CONTENTS -

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.

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