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Tokyo Motor Show 2017 preview: A taste of the wacky and wonderful future

There is no doubt, the importance of the Tokyo Motor Show on the world stage has been in decline for more than two decades. Blame a domestic market where outside automakers struggle to crack the code or the rise of other international expositions like AutoChina. Either way, you could forgive us for not being thrilled to cover this week’s festivities.

But you would be wrong – we are incredibly excited, as all signs point to one of Tokyo’s most dynamic shows in years.

Whether you’re a techie, a high-performance gearhead, an SUV enthusiast, or just someone with a soft spot for quirky Japanese design, the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show promises tons of fun for the eyes and mind. Here’s just a taste of what we’re looking forward to hearing more about next Wednesday and Thursday during the show’s media preview days.

Honda Sport EV Concept

Honda’s Urban Electric Vehicle Concept was the surprise star of september Frankfurt Motor Show thanks to its combination of user-friendly, retro-futuristic aesthetics and the promise of emission-free electric operation. For the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda is looking to build on this momentum with the launch of its Sporty electric vehicle concept.

Based on the teaser image above, we’re expecting the show car to be a small sports car with a sloping roofline, long hood and likely just two seats. The fact that Honda is making a concept electric sports car suggests that the company thinks not all cars will be self-driving transport modules.

Honda’s Sports EV appears to have clean lines and simple functionality.

Honda

Honda Riding Assist

You didn’t think everything at the Tokyo Motor Show would have four wheels, did you? The Honda Riding Assist-e is an evolution of the self-balancing motorcycle technology the company has previously introduced, now with an electric powertrain.

Based on Honda’s NC 700, the Riding Assist-e doesn’t appear to be a fully self-driving bike. Instead, its self-balancing is designed to relieve rider stress in low-speed situations like traffic jams and when approaching or away from a stop. .

Honda’s Riding Assist-E is a self-balancing electric motorcycle.

Honda

Mazda “design vision model”

Mazda’s legendary rotary engine is celebrating its 50th anniversary, but sadly there’s still no reliable word of a new Wankel-powered sports car introduction for this auto show, for production purposes or other. That said, the brand’s sports car fans won’t leave the Tokyo Big Sight showroom empty-handed.

An unnamed concept known simply as the “design vision model” has been teased, and this sleek-looking sports car appears to have four doors. Said to preview the next evolution of Mazda’s Kodo design language, it’s possible the design could be a precursor to a new RX model.

Mazda’s “design vision model” appears to be a sleek four-door sports car.

Mazda

Mazda “product concept model”

Tokyo’s debut with the most boring excuse for a name might just be the show’s most important car for American consumers. This is because it is expected to provide a good indicator of the next generation Mazda3, which is expected to bow next year as a 2019 model.

The five-door showcar will be powered by a Skyactiv-X Engine, which uses high-revving compression ignition, like a diesel. Mazda is committed to bringing this unique technology to its production cars soon, delivering superior diesel-like low-end torque and dramatically improved fuel economy.

Mazda’s “product concept model” is said to hint heavily at the upcoming Mazda3.

Mazda

Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept

This Mitsubishi concept looks a bit like a flying saucer thanks to its rounded bubble-like greenhouse and unconventional nose. What’s under the skin looks no less futuristic.

Three electric motors power the savage crossover SUV, but the vehicle’s most interesting tech is its claimed AI hardware, which includes a sensory network that collects road and traffic data and compares it to driver inputs to gauge intent. . This hardware also enables a personalized digital driving coach, and the vehicle has the ability to learn occupants’ voices and preferences to better suit their needs.

Naturally, the e-Evolution also includes a deployable drone,”Blade Runner 2049“, to check the upcoming traffic conditions. Because… why not?

Mitsubishi’s e-Evolution concept probably isn’t bound to production as is.

Mitsubishi

Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility SUV Concept

Like Toyota’s Supra and Mazda’s RX-7, a concept successor to Nissan’s legendary Z sports car has been persistently rumored for the Tokyo Motor Show, but unfortunately there’s still little hard evidence to suggest one will surface. But even if a neo-Z doesn’t appear, Nissan still has plenty of interest.

Nissan’s presence at the show will likely revolve around two launches – a sleek, long nose crossover SUV concept which builds on the automaker’s smart mobility vision for the future. That means we can expect it to be electrically powered and also capable of heavily or fully automated driving.

In the single shadowy teaser image the Yokohama-based automaker released, we also can’t help but notice some resemblance to FF 91 by Faraday Future, but we suspect it will be very different in person.

Nissan’s mysterious SUV concept is likely an electric vehicle with a high degree of automated driving.

Nissan

Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept

If that all sounds too godly for your taste, Nissan’s Leaf Nismo concept seems to have a much better chance of landing in your driveway. This visually amplified version of the recently introduced automaker Second-generation Leaf EV features significantly sleeker bodywork and reworked suspension for improved handling.

Nissan has hinted it might produce a sportier version of its electric sedan in the past, and that seems like a good place to start.

Subaru Viziv Performance Concept

The centerpiece of Subaru’s exhibit will be its Viziv Performance Concept, a demo sports sedan that will likely foreshadow the automaker’s next. WRX, although a few outlets have suggested it may instead be referring to a hotter Heritage. Although Subaru hasn’t confirmed much about the car, dark teasers suggest it has a muscular body, large air intakes (likely needed to power a bloated engine) and a sizable rear spoiler. .

Although it’s a driver’s car, the VPC is expected to come with a host of advanced driver assistance systems, centered around an evolution of the company’s suite of EyeSight active safety features.

Subaru’s Viziv Performance Concept likely heralds the next WRX.

Subaru

Toyota GR HV concept

Even if a long-talked-about Supra successor doesn’t show up, Toyota will have an extremely interesting presence at this year’s show. Highlights include the GR HV, a targa-top sports car concept based on today’s production 86 coupe.

Why are we excited about this? We can’t wait to find out how its new automatic transmission works – it has a manual mode that lets you slip through an H-gate like a shifter, but without the pedals. We’re also excited to see if its funky, aggressive new bodywork looks good in person.

Toyota TJ Cruiser Concept

If your idea of ​​automotive fun is more sport-utility than sports car-oriented, Toyota has you covered, too. Its funky TJ Cruiser concept is a straight-line SUV that blends the sliding doors and cargo capacity of a pickup truck with the squared-off fenders and attitude of an SUV.

Despite its brutal appearance, it’s powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with hybrid assist, so it could be quite fuel efficient.

Yamaha Motoroid

To be fair, we don’t know much about Yamaha’s Motoroid concept bike, but we do know it looks amazing. Based on the “Unleashed Prototype” development concept, Yamaha claims the motorcycle is “capable of recognizing its owner and interacting in other ways like a living creature.” This sounds halfway through the sensitivity.

It’s not yet known what powers the Motoroid, but it appears to be electric judging by what look like large external cylindrical cells.

This thing is less like a motorcycle for humans and more like a two-wheeler for a Gundam robot to launch into battle. That’s great for us, because it’s exactly the kind of thing you can only expect to find at the Tokyo Motor Show.

The Motoroid can recognize its owner and is described as “like a living creature”. Scary cool.

Yamaha

Yamaha MWC-4

Looking a bit like a steampunk golf cart or some sort of insectoid transformer, Yamaha’s MWC-4 is a single-seat personal mobility device that leans into corners like a motorcycle.

Powered by an electric motor and supported by a small range-extender motor, the spindly runabout seems well-suited to densely populated cities with low-speed traffic where maneuverability and ease of parking are key assets.

The Yamaha MWC-4 is equipped with an electric motor with a range extender.

Yamaha

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