Concept cars are a chance for designers to express their wildest fantasies, as well as giving carmakers the opportunity to showcase the next-generation technology. Join us as we take a tour of some of the best concepts at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show
Honda Sports EV Concept
Honda won the hearts and minds of most people at the Frankfurt Motor Show with the Urban EV Concept and is promising to do the same again in Tokyo. According to Honda, the Sports EV is a “concept model which combines EV performance and artificial intelligence inside a compact body with the aim to realise the joy of driving the user can feel with a sense of unity with the car.” In other words, it’s a fun-to-drive electric car. Honda, we have two words for you: ‘build’ and ‘it’. Oh, and ‘please’.
Honda Urban EV Concept
If only for old times’ sake, here’s the Honda Urban EV Concept. Built on a newly-developed EV platform, the concept previews the future design direction for Honda’s electric models. We’re likely to see a production version based on the concept, first in Europe, followed by Japan in 2020. Thanks to Honda, the future of electric mobility is looking bright.
Toyota Fine-Comfort Ride
The Toyota Fine-Comfort Ride features an electric motor at each wheel and batteries fuelled by hydrogen. Toyota is calling it a “new form of premium saloon”, thanks mainly to the position of the motors, which frees up space to create an incredibly roomy cabin. The FC Ride produces the equivalent of 400hp and promises to offer a range of up to 600 miles.
Daihatsu DN Compagno
Daihatsu has unveiled five concepts at the Tokyo Motor Show, but this is by far and away the most appealing. It’s called the DN Compagno, and it’s inspired by the original car of the 1960s, which, incidentally, was the first Japanese car to be officially imported into the UK. Sadly, there’s little chance of this one making it to the UK, as Daihatsu stopped selling cars here in 2011.
In the future, your home deliveries will turn up in a van that looks something like. That’s if Isuzu is to be believed. It’s called the FD-SI and Isuzu says it wants to “support the drivers, the front-line people of ‘transport’, with unconventional ideas.” When it’s parked up, you can play Blockbusters on the side. Can we have a ‘P’ please, Bob?
The new Suzuki Jimny is conspicuous by its absence, but this wild e-Survivor concept should help soften the blow. It has been built to celebrate the company’s 100th birthday in 2020, and it features permanent electric four-wheel drive and a T-section removable roof. This two-seat, open-top concept is like an X-90 for a new generation.
Subaru Viziv Performance Concept
If the next generation Subaru WRX looks this good, we’re in for a treat. Sadly, the chances are it will be toned down for the production version, but the Viziv Performance Concept is turning heads in Tokyo. No performance details have been released, but it does feature Subaru’s famous ‘boxer’ engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive.
Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept
The Leaf Nismo Concept is further evidence of an exciting future for the electric car, with Nissan promising to blend “efficient electric technology” with “exciting driving dynamics.” By Nismo standards, the styling is relatively tame, but it’s the most striking Leaf ever built. The upgrades are said to enhance aerodynamics, reduce lift and maintain the Leaf’s drag coefficient.
Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept
The Mitsubishi Evo is back, but don’t get too excited. The iconic name is being used to adorn an electric crossover, news that will result in some performance car fans removing their baseball caps in a solemn act of respect, before crying into their cans of energy drink. According to Mitsubishi, the concept “expresses a readiness to grip the ground with all four wheels as well as the agility of a high-performance, cross-country machine.”
Toyota Tj Cruiser
According to Toyota, if enough people react positively to the Tj Cruiser, it could make production. The concept is part-SUV and part-van and designed for people with active lifestyles. With folding seats and a 3-metre load bed, the Tj Cruiser could act as a working van during the week, before doing more lifestyle-led things at the weekend.
Lexus LS+ concept
The Lexus LS+ previews autonomous technology likely to appear on the flagship car in 2020. The so-called Highway Teammate tech will allow the car to enter and exit a motorway without any input from the driver, along with automated merging and lane changing abilities. Lexus claims the LS+ is able to learn things as it goes along, creating safer tech as a result.
Mazda Kai Concept
Few carmakers offer a range of vehicles as good looking as Mazda, and if the Tokyo Motor Show is anything to go by, the future looks even more promising. The Kai Concept hints at the next generation Mazda 3 but is actually shorter than the family hatchback. But it sits much lower and wider than the 3, with a look that doesn’t look too far off production.
Mazda Vision Coupe Concept
We’ll gloss over the fact that Mazda is calling this four-door concept a coupe, because it’s arguably the best looking car at the Tokyo show. In a world growing increasingly obsessed with crossovers and SUV, this is a glimpse into a future that looks more attractive and alluring.
Toyota GR HV
The GR HV is based on the Toyota GT86 and features a petrol-electric engine which sends power to the rear wheels. Other highlights include a removable roof, LED cluster headlights and an automatic transmission featuring a fake H-pattern gate manual mode. Keep clicking for more concepts at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.