Tokyo Motor Show

Toyota FT-EV II Concept Continues Traditional Penchant For The Peculiar

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Apparently there’s an unwritten rule in the automotive industry that in order for your EV to even be considered for widespread commercial success, it must be extremely weird and your presentation of it even weirder. Adhering perfectly to that design rule is the Toyota FT-EV II Concept, Toyota’s companion piece to the original Future Toyota Electric Vehicle unveiled at the NAIAS in January. As you may have already correctly assumed, the FT-EV II is powered by a lithium ion battery pack capable of traveling up to 90km (55 miles) on a single charge and features a top speed of over 62 mph (providing the course is downhill).

The really noteworthy features are not found beneath its hood, however, but inside the cabin. According to the ominously Kool Aid-stained press release, “The vehicle has no steering wheel or foot pedals-symbols of vehicle performance. In addition, it has not been designed simply as a means of transport, but instead based on the premise of collaboration with communications functions, a concept that differs from earlier vehicles.” If you weren’t vaguely creeped out enough to stop reading there, a few paragraphs down Toyota goes on to say, “The FT-EV II is not simply an electric vehicle designed for a post-fossil fuel era, but is a sustainable concept car that focuses on the relationship between cars, people and society of the future.” Read More…

Toyota FT-86 Concept Revives A Throwback Favorite

Posted in auto industry, Cars, Concept Cars, Fast Cars, Favorite Cars, Foreign Cars, New Cars, Newsworthy, Pictures, Sports Cars, Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota by Suzanne Denbow | October 6th, 2009 | 3 Responses |

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Look familiar, fanboys? It should, the Toyota FT-86 (pronounced hachi roku, for all you amateurs) concept pictured above is based on the famed AE86 coupe of the 80’s. Set to break at the Tokyo Motor Show in a few weeks, little is known about the FT-86 save for the 2.0L Subaru boxer engine under the hood that strongly suggests we may be looking at the infamous Subieyota. Of course, after years of waiting with no official confirmation from either camp, every vague piece of news released from either Toyota or Subaru sends us into a frenzy of speculation regarding a secret partnership, so feel free to disregard our suspicions. Read More…

Nissan Releases Sketches Of New Global Micro Compact

Posted in Cars, Compact Cars, Foreign Cars, Micro Cars, New Cars, Newsworthy, Nissan, Pictures, Tokyo Motor Show by Suzanne Denbow | October 1st, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

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Contrary to what the illustration may suggest this is not your 16-year-old cousin’s rendering of a Versa, it’s Thailand’s new “Eco-Car.” Circulated this morning accompanied by an extremely brief press release, the Nissan depicted above (and below the jump) is our first glimpse of Nissan’s new global compact car that will make its inaugural debut in Thailand in March 2010. Eventually, Nissan will introduce the new micro compact to 150 different countries, presumably including the U.S.

For the time being, we know little else about Nissan’s new go kart save for the fact that we DO NOT WANT, but we expect more information to drop when the Tokyo Motor Show kicks off later this month. If our sense aren’t too offended, we just might share it with you. Read More…

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Cargo Concept Makes Attention-Grabbing Headline Difficult

Posted in Auto Show, Concept Cars, Electric Vehicles, Foreign Cars, Mitsubishi, Newsworthy, Pictures, Tokyo Motor Show, Vans by Suzanne Denbow | October 1st, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

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According to the very enthusiastic press release, Mitsubishi will be appearing at the Tokyo Motor Show in a few weeks with 16 new products in tow, one of which will be the i-MiEV Cargo Concept. If you’ve read, seen, our otherwise know anything about the Ford Transit Connect, then you can appropriately gauge how excited you should be over the i-MiEV Cargo Concept – which is to say, not very. Designed for the rough and raucous small business owner crowd, the i-MiEV Cargo is slightly bigger than a minivan yet smaller then the beat up panel van your plumber uses.

As the name would suggest, the i-MiEV Cargo is a plug-in electric vehicle and sources power from a single permanent magnet synchronous motor. Output is limited to 47 kW and 180 Nm of torque and average range is a modest 160 km (about 100 miles) per charge. Despite the seemingly production-ready specs, Mitsubishi has not indicated when the i-MiEV Cargo will hit the market so for now, you’ll just have to sate your lust for 60-feet of storage space with the image gallery after the jump. Read More…

2010 Toyota Sai Offers First Glimpse Of Future Prius Sedan

Posted in Cars, Emissions, Foreign Cars, Fuel-efficient, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Lexus, New Cars, Newsworthy, Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota by Suzanne Denbow | September 30th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

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2010 Lexus HS 250h

On the heels of Toyota’s confirmation of the rumor that the Prius badge will be expanded into a brand, Toyota has announced the debut of its first dedicated hybrid sedan, the Toyota Sai. Created as a sister to the Lexus HS 205h, the Toyota Sai shares both the same platform and the same 2.4L gasoline engine (mated to Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive), making it significantly more powerful then the 1.8L Prius. Despite the overwhelming similarities between the Sai and HS 250h, Toyota claims the Sai will feature a distinctly different styling both inside and out, which we assume means that the fog flights will be a premium-priced option and the seats will be upholstered in the same industrial strength fabric used by Greyhound. Read More…

Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept Is A Nice Try, Nothing We’d Buy

Posted in Auto Show, Cars, Concept Cars, Favorite Cars, Foreign Cars, Fuel-efficient, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, New Cars, Newsworthy, Pictures, Rally, Subaru, Tokyo Motor Show by Suzanne Denbow | September 30th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

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As little as five years ago, the only people that drove hybrids earned most of their income from organic farming subsidies and smelled like weird soap. Today, the green movement has hit the mainstream and hybrid badges are no longer signs of any particular demographic, further definitive proof of which is the Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept. Engineered using refined versions of Subaru’s famed 2.0-liter Horizontally-Opposed direct fuel-injection turbo gasoline Boxer engine and Symmetrical All Wheel Drive, the Hybrid Tourer Concept supposedly carries on Subaru’s rich tradition of white-knuckle on and off road performance while delivering impressive gas mileage. Read More…

Honda CR-Z Concept Hybrid Slated To Fill The CRX Void

Posted in Auto Show, Cars, Emissions, Foreign Cars, Fuel-efficient, Honda, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, New Cars, Newsworthy, Pictures, Tokyo Motor Show by Suzanne Denbow | September 30th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

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The Honda CR-Z Concept is a misnomer, what you’re looking at is a completely production-ready vehicle. Alright, perhaps not completely production-ready, but close enough so that the CR-Z (Compact Reconnaissance Zero) that’s tentatively scheduled to hit U.S. dealer lots in mid-2010 will be virtually indistinguishable from the CR-Z “Concept” set to appear at the Tokyo Motor Show next month.

Regardless of whatever the butch coupe’s design may have lead you to believe, the CR-Z is not a descendant of or replacement for the CR-V but rather a new age interpretation of the 80’s fanboy favorite, the CRX. Power is sourced to a 1.5L 4-cylinder i-VTEC engine mated to the same Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system found in the Insight, which together produce between 110-120 horsepower. Since Honda claims the CR-Z is the perfect marriage between hybrid and hoon, rather than equip the CR-Z with a hybrid-standard sham of a gearshift, the CR-Z comes with a 6-speed manual transmission. Read More…

Honda EV-N Debuts As First Micro EV We Don’t Passionately Hate

Posted in Auto Show, Cars, Compact Cars, Concept Cars, Electric Cars, Environment, Foreign Cars, Honda, Micro Cars, New Cars, Newsworthy, Pictures, Tokyo Motor Show by Suzanne Denbow | September 30th, 2009 | 1 Response |

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Despite the staggering number of automakers that bailed on the Tokyo Motor Show this year, Japan’s domestic industry has remained loyal to the mother country and have promised to appear at the show with a series of new, innovative products in tow. One such product will be the Honda EV-N Concept, which is the first electric-vehicle concept to debut in recent history that we haven’t harbored an instant and ardent dislike for. Drawing heavy design inspiration from the Honda N360 Concept that broke cover in 1971 at the New York Auto Show, the Honda EV-N Concept is a 21st century interpretation of an old favorite. Like all the impossibly compact cars that have come before it, the EV-N is geared towards the urban market where maximizing mobility in a limited space is key, which means the interior will boast more cargo cubbies and versatility than the space shuttle and the engine will be largely an afterthought. Read More…