The Japanese auto shows comes every two years and has a tradition of bringing some of the craziest, most innovative or pretty damn weird concept vehicles – and since this year marks the show’s return to prime time, we’re going to see a flurry of them on display.
For example, Honda is going to bring next to the already well known Asimo robot the Wander Walker, a concept vehicle that bears a striking resemblance to a phone booth fitted with wheels. Naturally there are also those prototypes that are wild and very serious – because they preview a series model to come in the near future. We also have a huge assortment of models – including alternate fuels – that will potentially change the face of the automotive history in the years to come. Naturally, global producers will be very subtle at the event, a move compensated by Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda. Here are some of the most important debuts to look for at the Japanese fair.
Toyota is bringing numerous products, rekindling its world dominance of the auto market it just recaptured from Volkswagen. Among them we can find the S-FR concept – a show car that might reach production series almost unchanged, showcasing a retro sports car that could yield a three sports car line-up for the automaker. It’s also coming with the FCV Plus, a concept designed to signal the carmaker is not done innovating in the field and is constantly refining and bringing down the costs of the alternative-power technology. Its luxury division Lexus is bringing a concept that will transform later on in the all-new generation LS flagship sedan.
Mazda is finally letting us know the famed rotary-engine equipped RX-8 will receive a successor – the RX-Vision, complete with rotary engine to complement the off the beat sports car. “The RX-Vision represents a vision of the future that harbors the soul of the Mazda brand,” comments the company, which renders hopes for a production future of the concept. Motorcycle experts Yamaha have turned their attention on the bigger brethrens with four wheels, preparing a concept car rumored to have been designed with input from Gordon Murray, better known for his Formula One race cars.
Honda is also out looking for a successor to the limited production Clarity FCV and will bring to Tokyo the model – a 5-seat sedan hydrogen car that would go on sale next year and come as a larger alternative to the Toyota Mirai. Nissan meanwhile is pushing ahead with its drive to harness the power of batteries, but this time in autonomous mode – the Autonomous EV Concept should also act as a preview for the next generation Leaf electric. A fully fledged world debut comes from British automaker Mini, which has decided to use Tokyo as the venue for its latest generation Convertible.
We’re also being treated to an assortment of crazy stuff – such as the Nissan Teatro for Dayz, or the real world version of its Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo videogame car. Toyota is also playing this trump card with the minimalist Kikai and Mitsubishi might join the autonomous pack with the edgy Emirai concept.