With so much hype coming from the world's automakers about this week's Tokyo Motor Show, we thought it was high time to put together a preview of the oftentimes unusual biannual show. Members of the media get their first look October 24.
With so much hype coming from the world's automakers about this week's Tokyo Motor Show, we thought it was high time to put together a preview of the oftentimes unusual biannual show.
3.8-liter, twin-turbo, V6 engine. 473 horsepower, 434 ft-lb of torque. 0-60 in 3.5. 11.7 second quarter-mile. The Nissan GT-R will be a blockbuster at the Tokyo Motor Show. Expected to have a price below $80,000, the Nissan GT-R will have a rear-mounted transaxle, GR6 dual-clutch six-speed automatic transmission, and styling cues from the G35. Expect this car to be a show stopper.
Audi A1 Metroproject Quattro Concept
While the GT-R is a show stopper, this Audi A1 concept is a potential scene-stealer. Audi's MINI competitor will bow in Tokyo as the hybrid Metroproject Quattro concept. A cute-yet-menacing looking car on the outside, this supermini is clean and comfortable inside. With a choice between 1.2 litre or 2.0 liter turbocharged engines (gas or diesel), and a base price expected below $25,500, Audi will be trying to capture their share of young, hipsters with disposable income.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
This Mitsubishi icon may have gotten its motor show debut in Australia earlier this month, but many gearheads in Tokyo have been waiting for this with a tremendous amount of anticipation. The 10th generation of the Evo gets 286 horsepower and 300 ft-lb of torque from its 2.0 litre all-alloy four-banger engine. Add 18-inch rims to the mix and a Sportronic twin-clutch sequential manual transmission, and you get one of the hottest cars of 2008. With an estimated price around $32,000, this car will be hard to beat. The rally version of this car will race in the WRC Rally Japan this weekend.
Subaru Impreza WRX STi
Looking mildly better than the previous version, the Subaru Impreza WRX STI has a brand new, turbo-charged, four-cylinder, horizontally-opposed 2.0 litre engine. Subaru thinks this car will be most appreciated for its high performance, and strong handling in any situation. Currently planned as a five-door only, the car will have a six-speed manual transmission with Subaru Intelligent drive, multi-mode Driver's Control Center Differential, and Vehicle Dynamics Control, to give drivers more traction and stability.
BMW 1-Series Concept
We've already seen the BMW 1-Series in its four configurations (3-Door, 5-Door, Coupé, and Cabrio). So what could BMW possibly have in store for us at Tokyo? We know BMW is planning to unveil a concept based on the 1-Series, but no details have emerged about this concept. Could it be a special rally-inspired hot hatch? Or perhaps something crazier, like the second version of the MINI Clubman concept which was shown at 2005's Tokyo Motor Show. No matter what it is, we can't wait to see what is under the cloth at the BMW stand. Please be the M1... Please be the M1... Please be the M1.
Honda CR-Z Concept
Compact Renaissance Zero (CR-Z, for short) will be Honda's foray into a new generation of lightweight sports cars. As a possible successor to the CR-X, this new compact concept car should be roomy and overall more spacious-feeling. Expect Honda to really try and hammer home this hybrid concept's green features and its low impact on the environment.
A V6 hybrid mated with all-wheel-drive, in an aggressive body makes us really excited about the Lexus LF-Xh. Exuding sophistication, Lexus brags about this vehicle's "superior environmental and power performance." This specialty SUV should turn some heads in Tokyo, but maybe not as much as Lexus' other concept...
We've already seen the super-cool LF-A, unveiled in Detroit earlier this year. This time around, Lexus will show off its 5.0 litre V10 sports car wrapped in super-light carbon fiber reinforced plastic as a more road-ready vehicle. We know the LF-A will get over 500 horsepower, and top out around 200 mph. But we want concrete numbers, as do all other Japanese car fans. Hopefully, Lexus will let us know what's what with this almost-production ready sports car.
Nissan's Intima concept, focusing on "Modern Living", is meant to provide an overall sense of relaxation in and out of the car. Outside, you will notice the vehicle's suicide doors, unusual "crystal like" headlights, and a streamlined design meant to resemble jewelry. Inside, the car's tranquil blue lights, clean dash, and smooth interior may make you so relaxed you fall asleep at the wheel. The concept could potentially see production, especially if it gets an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the Tokyo audience.
The Mitsubishi Concept-ZT is quite possibly the concept car with the most mass-market potential. Environmentally sound, incredibly safe, and a strong & rigid frame gives this a very realistic shot at production. The sedan gets 188 horsepower from its 2.2 litre clean diesel engine. Mitsubishi tried to make the Concept-ZT simple-but-elegant on the outside, presumably to appeal to a broader audience.
Suzuki Concept Kizashi 2
The Suzuki Kizashi 2 concept attempts to fix automaker's mistake at Frankfurt, where Suzuki unveiled a Kizashi concept that looked little more than a Citroën C-Metisse wannabe. The Kizashi 2, a sportswagon crossover, looks like it will be a more original car than previously seen, and will have a 3.6L V6 with 6-speed automatic transmission.
We have seen details on a bevy of new concepts from Honda, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota, set for debut at the Tokyo show. Nissan's Pivo2 has a revolving cabin and wheels that rotate 90 degrees, so you can get in and out of small spots like Frogger jumping between trucks. Honda has their PUYO concept, which looks like a giant container for cotton swabs. The Honda PUYO does have a pretty cool luminescent gel body as a safety feature. Subaru G43 will be shown off at the show. This electric concept can be charged to 80% capacity in 15-minutes, and travel for 200km on a full charge. The Toyota RiN, which looks like a glass enclosed golf cart, is meant to bring driver and passengers into harmony with nature. Toyota i-Real is a new kind of mobility concept, which is almost like a re-imagined motorized wheelchair. Keeping its passengers at eye-level, the i-Real has a three-wheel design with a variable-length wheelbase to improve stability at different speeds.
The big word with many of these concepts and new cars is "green". As the Kyoto Protocol, a framework set forth by the UN to help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, enters its final phase in 2008, many companies will be expected to help countries reduce their emissions levels. The protocol, signed in Kyoto, Japan, back in 1997, calls for many industrialized nations to substantially reduce emissions between 2008 and 2012. Further hype around green energy has been the silver-lining around the oil and gas price cloud. Expect many of the world's carmakers to talk about their new concepts and future product lines using green plastics, and other Earth-friendly materials. Automakers will be expected to try and generate positive public relations with regards to the environment at the Tokyo Motor Show. After all, Tokyo is only two hours away from Kyoto...
Press preview of the 40th Tokyo Motor Show begins October 24th. WorldCarFans will provide up-to-the-minute coverage, including photos and stories from the floor of the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba City, Japan. The bi-annual show will be open to the public from October 26th thru November 11th.