Words By: John Carlos
Photos: John Carlos
Japan recently held the 44th Tokyo Motor Show from October 29 until November 8, 2015 located at Tokyo Big Sight (Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo). The Tokyo Motor Show is a biennial auto show that is usually held every October-November for cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, trucks, and basically everything automotive. I got lucky enough to head over to Tokyo just in time for the show and to tell you honestly, this is by far, the biggest motor show we’ve ever been to! It was so big that it made our motor shows back home look like a triple A battery!
Now, the moment you step inside Tokyo Big Sight, you’ll see a huge banner above telling you that there are two sides (East side and West side) of the motor show. The East side holds the majority of Japan brands like Honda, Toyota, Daihatsu, Lexus, Subaru, Hino etc., but also have other brands such as Mercedes Benz, Mini, and more. On the other hand, the West has most of the European brands like Porsche, Fiat, Peugeot, Citroen, Volkswagen, Audi, etc.
As a car enthusiast, this motor show is definitely paradise for you because it has everything you’re looking for. Start if off from two wheels, four wheels, six, eight, even ten, and you really have to devote one day just to see all the cars that’s in store.
Since I don’t have enough words to explain every car we’ve seen, I’ll just point out the ones that stands out in the entire show (because if I do, this is going to be one long article, let me tell you that). And with that, I’ll give you my top twenty-five picks from the Tokyo Motor Show.
- Toyota Kikai
This particular car is designed like a modern hot rod since all the machineries are out of the open (like the engine, for example). In order to get inside the car, it has a minivan-like sliding door on each side and it can accommodate three passengers in a triangular formation that puts the driver up front and center. Although, Toyota still hasn’t released the specs of the KIKAI, after seeing the engine of the car, it looks like a rear wheel drive car along with an inline 4 cylinder hybrid engine.
- Toyota FCV Plus
Now, we are all familiar with the first Toyota Mirai FCV concept car, right? Consider this car his younger and more “techy” brother. The FCV Plus is definitely the car of the future since it glows and it has no steering wheel. That got us thinking that this particular “car” may be steered by some artificial intelligence somewhere. That’s crazy, right? This is their latest entry into the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle game. It can accommodate more than one person with a hydrogen tank on its behind.
- Daihatsu Noriori
Believe it or not, this car is the cutest car we’ve seen in the entire motor show. This tiny box shaped car is definitely one of our favorites because of its accessibility. The car may be really low but it can deploy ramps to allow the loading of wheelchairs through its dual sliding door. The box shape makes it look like a futuristic miniature subway car that looks like it will really bring you to a fun place like Disney land. Did I mention that the car is really cute?
- Daihatsu Tempo
If you have a food truck business back at your place, you may want to take this car into consideration if you’re thinking of re-modeling your food truck. Daihatsu calls this car the “moving store” because you can literally use it as a store or as a food capsule (because calling it a food truck doesn’t even match its size). Classified under commercial vehicle, it is equipped with a built in counter table and a digital sign on the side of the van which can definitely be used as a signboard.
- Suzuki Mighty Deck
Despite having a futuristic urban crossover appearance with measurements of about 133 inches from bumper to bumper, 57 inches side to side, and 60 inches tall, the Suzuki Mighty Deck actually has dimensions of a small pick-up. This concept car of Suzuki is looking to maximize utility while keeping the overall dimensions as small as possible. Let’s not forget the name of the car sounds like a really cool superhero as well.
- Mitsubishi EX Concept
This Mitsubishi EX Concept is an all-electric compact SUV that positions below the ASX. With an electric powertrain, Mitsubishi says that the EX has an all-wheel-drive system, active safety feature, and an automated driving system. The car is capable of travelling up to 248 miles on a single charge and also features a next-generation kind of battery pack.
- Lexus LF-FC
The LF-FC is the first Fuel Cell Vehicle concept made by Lexus. Although, it doesn’t offer that much power compared to its competitors, but this car will win your heart when it comes to luxury and elegance. Lexus said that the concept’s drive system allows equal distribution of torque to all its four wheels that will give the driver great handling and road stability. They’ve also placed the fuel cell tank at the rear of the car along with the power control unit at the front and hydrogen storage tanks in a “T” configuration that will allow optimal weight distribution.
- Lexus RCF GT3
The Lexus RCF GT3 is another beast that we want to see in action. This car will actually go on sale to race teams next year along with its 5.0L V8 that is tuned for at least 540hp and weighs around 2756 pounds. The RCF GT3 will compete with the likes of the Porsche 911 GT3, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, and more depending on the series. Also, the launch of this concept is the start of the long-term commitment to GT3 racing by Lexus.
- Volkswagen Golf R
The Volkswagen Golf R is, by far, the most powerful production Golf in history. The Gold R is an all-wheel drive hot hatch, with the rear axle only getting up to 50 percent of the available power through a Haldex differential. Under the hood lies a turbocharged 2.0L engine from the Audi S3, producing 292 hp and 280lb ft. of torque with a six-speed, dual clutch transmission only.
- Subaru Impreza 5-Door Concept
Despite showing the head turning Subaru S207, the new concept of the 5-door Impreza also got our attention because the design features shows what the next-generation Impreza would look like. Yes, indeed, Subaru has never let us down when it comes to their sporty reputation since it has a solid, wide and low compact stance on the road with its flared front fenders. Let us not forget about its hawkeyed headlights and combination lights on the rear that never fails to capture our hearts.
- Honda Civic Type R
Honda just got more interesting for introducing two great legends which is the new NSX and the new Civic Type R. It’s also the first time that Honda has let the company’s new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder out in the open. The engine is good for 306hp, 295lb-ft., on a front wheel drive 6 speed manual and Honda claims that the hot hatch can do 0-62mph in less than 6 seconds.
- Honda NSX
To be honest, Honda really did a good job with the new ASX. It looks like crossover between an Audi R8 and a McLaren 650S with the curves of its aluminum composite and steel body. The new NSX has a striking profile with a low roofline and gaping side vents, thus giving the car a mean aggressive look. It also uses a space-frame design constructed of aluminum, ultra-high-strength steel, and other advanced materials that makes the car very rigid and even better to drive. Now if we check under the hood, it has a nine-speed dual-clutch gearbox with a longitudinally mounted V6 direct-injection petrol engine with a single electric motor driving the rear axle.
13. Subaru Impreza S207
Now this, on the other hand, is one legitimate Japanese bad boy. This certain 2.0L turbocharged boxer Subaru is only limited to 400 units in Japan and compared to the usual 305hp 2.5L engine, the S207 has 323hp and 318lb ft. torque all under a 2.0 liter engine. Huge boost, yeah? Not only that but they also improved its chassis stiffness, added a “DampMatic II” adjustable front suspension from Bilstein, changed its grille with red-outlined mesh, chin spoiler, a redesigned rear bumper, and 19-inch BBS wheels.
- Mercedes-AMG GT3
The AMG GT3 has different performance improvements for racing that includes a wider body, larger air inlets, fender louvers, rear diffuser, and a large rear wing for downforce. The main structure is aluminum space frame and the body is mostly carbon fiber. When it comes to power, it comes with a 6.3L AMG V8 engine with a sequential 6-speed racing transmission that is mounted at the rear axle.
- Mercedes Benz G350 BlueTec
A lot of people believes in the statement, “size and power matters.” And we’re pretty sure that Mercedes Benz is aware of that statement with the G350 BlueTec. Thanks to emissions regulations, what is beneath the hood of G350 is the latest example in clean-burning diesel technology, which is a 3.0L V6 BlueTec engine. The latest innovation here is the usage of AdBlue urea solution that is coming from a separate holding tank that is sprayed into the second catalytic converter to convert nitrous oxide gasses into nitrogen and water. The power this G350 has is practically enough at 155 kW with about 540 N.m of torque along with a 7G-Tronic automatic transmission.
- Mercedes Benz “Vision Tokyo: The Connected Lounge”
“A chill-out zone in the midst of the megacity traffic mayhem,” Mercedes Benz has created a very ‘future is now’ concept car called “Vision Tokyo” with a very good idea of making a self-driving, smooth silver bean car wherein five passengers can fit and chill in the middle of the megacity traffic. They named the concept car “Vision Tokyo” because it’s being introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show. If we have one thing to say about this car is that, “Dang! Can we get one of those and ship it to Manila?”
Fiat 500 Abarth 6g5 Biposto
If the Fiat 500 Abarth isn’t beast enough for you, then say hello to its mean brother, the Abarth 500 6g5 Biposto! Now what Fiat basically did was they stripped everything out and made this little car a track ready with two carbon fiber shell leather seats, titanium and nettings in the back, adjustable shocks, and four-point safety belts. As for the performance portion, it has an entirely new exhaust system, digital data logger, self-locking differential, and a 1.4L turbo engine that brings about 187BHP that reaches a target of a 6.0 second 0-60mph sprint!
- Audi R8 V10 Plus
Most of the people aren’t really happy when the new Audi R8 came out. They say that car didn’t arrive with a huge bang unlike the first one. But seriously, are we the only ones digging the new Audi R8 look? The new Audi R8 V10 plus is actually one great creation by Audi, if you think about it. From what we think, the Plus is basically like the top of the line variant of the new R8. It has a fixed carbon fiber wing, mirrors, side blades, diffusers, and 19 inch alloy wheels. The regular V10 holds about 533BHP alone. Not satisfied? The Plus has added about 15BHP more along with the standard carbon-ceramic brakes. Not just that, but it also has an aluminum spaceframe that is enhanced with a carbon fiber center tunnel, firewall, and B-pillars that makes the car 40% stiffer but 15% lighter.
- BMW M4 GTS
Now the GTS, like the standard M4, is powered by a 3.0L twin-turbo inline six engine and the only difference is that the GTS is fitted with the water injection system which is trialled on the MotoGP Safety Car. This certain system lowers the final compression temperature in the combustion chamber that allows the GTS to have a higher boost pressure and early spark timing without the risk of “engine knock.” To make things easier to understand, this basically increases power and torque with greater efficiency. This BMW has a power of 425hp and a torque of 406lb ft. tor que which makes it the fastest BMW road car ever. Lastly, the BMW M4 GTS debuts BMW’s new OLED lighting technology, which are implemented in the rear light cluster.
- Porsche Macan GTS
Porsche never fails to impress as they’ve created a 355BHP Crossover that feels like a sports car. With a 3.0L V6 twin-turbo that produces 355BHP and 369lb. ft. to all its four wheels, it’s definitely one powerful crossover, indeed. It also has PASM active suspensions, 20-inch wheels with sports seats as a standard along with LED headlights. The gearbox option is only limited to a seven-speed PDK paddle shifter.
- Porsche 911 Carrera Series
So the new Porsche Carrera was released and we can’t seem to identify if there was any difference with the older models it replaces. Although, there isn’t much changes when it comes to the outside appearance, but the major change was under the hood. This is the first Porsche 911 Carrera to use Porsche’s new twin-turbocharged engine that makes a total power of about 420HP and you can choose either shifting and changing gears by yourself or with the assist of the PDK gearbox.
- Nissan Teatro for Dayz
This particular concept car designed by Nissan is really amusing. The Teatro for Dayz is an all-electric minivan with bumpers that displays the status updates of the vehicle, seats and steering wheel made of LED screens, suicide doors, and our personal favorite, you can connect your smart phone with the entire vehicle! Nissan calls this “the innovative concept that signals a new direction in mobile technology.” Now that’s one thing to look forward to in the future!
- Nissan GTR R35 Nismo
And of course, the Tokyo Motor Show wouldn’t be complete if they didn’t show any signs of Godzilla in the premises! As usual, Japan has never failed to put a smile on our faces as they show us the Nissan GTR R35 Nismo! This particular version of the GTR R35 is aiming to set a Nürburgring Nordschleife lap record for as Nissan would say, “volume production cars.” The record of 6 minutes and 57 seconds was recently grabbed by Porsche’s limited-run 918 Spyder, while the GTR ran for 7 minutes and 8 seconds. The NISMO has a power that reaches almost 600 horsepower (595, to be exact) and 481lb-ft. coming from a 545 and 463, which is all made possible by larger turbos lifted from the GTR GT3 race car. They’ve also added Bilstein DampTronic shocks with new track, race, and race plus modes are used all around, as are stiffer springs.
- Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo
This concept was developed entirely for the virtual world of Gran Turismo 6 and at the same time also gives us hints on how the R36 GTR would look like in the near future. “This is a look at what a high-performance supercar from Nissan may look like in the future,” Nissan said during the first reveal of this Concept 2020 vision. Rumor has it that this will once again have a twin-turbocharged V6 engine with the new design that is said to have been derived from the Nissan’s GT-R LM Nismo LMP1 endurance racer engine. Will there be a hybrid version of this as well? That we have to find out soon enough!
- Mazda RX-Vision
Mazda has signaled that they will indeed revive the rotary engine technology with this very sexy sport car concept called RX-Vision. The RX-Vision has a very sleek and smooth design that may lead to the possibility of wearing the famous RX-7 badge. It’s a front-engined, rear-wheel drive, two-seater, wide body car with short overhangs and compact cabin that is complemented by low height and a long, low bonnet. So, does that mean we’ll be hearing a SkyActiv-R Rotary engine any time soon?
Cover Photo from Automotive Content Experience