Posts Tagged ‘tokyo motor show’

Nissan Note NISMO Coming to Japan This Fall w/ Photos

Posted by Stephen On Monday, July 28th, 2014

Today Nissan has revealed the next vehicle in their lineup to get the NISMO treatment. It’s the 2015 Nissan Note NISMO. We can safely say that after seeing this, you’ll never look at Nissan’s popular-but-bland little hatchback the same way again.

2015 Nissan Note NISMO

If you’re anything like us, you never thought that a Nissan Note could turn heads. With a new, premium mesh grille, vibrant NISMO red trim and side skirts, custom twin-spoke alloys, a resculpted front- and rear-end and a customary rear spoiler, this upscale performance hatch gives even the best European brands a run for their money.

The NISMO-badged version of the Nissan Note is set to go on sale in Japan this fall. The folks over at asked Nissan NA’s Product Communications Director, Dan Bedore, if they had any plans for a Versa NISMO in the US. His answer, “There are no plans currently for a NISMO Versa Note in the US.”

If you’re reading this in the US, you have our permission to go grab a tissue. We cried too; it’s okay. We’ll be here waiting when you get back.

2015 Nissan Note NISMO Rearview

Even if you’re one of the lucky few in a market with access to the future Nissan Note NISMO, we don’t yet know exactly what you can expect from the sporty hatchback. Nissan revealed very few details about their new low-riding hot hatch, specific powertrain specs being one of the many things left out.

However, the press release does tell us to expect “high-level performance with total balance” thanks to a combination of new powertrain, chassis, tire, suspension and aerodynamic technologies. The Note NISMO S trim in particular will be equipped with a blissfully tuned engine. Mated to a five-speed gearbox, Nissan describes how the driver will be able to “tap into the powerplant’s fruitful supply of low-end torque, resulting in a thoroughly pleasurable driving experience.”

2015 Nissan Note NISMO Interior

Inside, you’ll find that both trims of the Nissan Note NISMO exhibit the perfect blend of performance and premium. The interior has been redecorated to match the NISMO color-scheme of the exterior, while the NISMO S trim also gives you the option of beautiful NISMO Recaro bucket seats (below).

2015 Nissan Note NISMO S Seats

Even though there’s a lot we still don’t know about the new Nissan Note NISMO, there’s no doubt that it will be an impressive vehicle to both see and drive. The aesthetics are perfect – both aggressive and refined – while the sports tuning and custom powertrain will surely yield a smooth, exhilarating ride. We can probably expect to get full details about the new hot hatch when the car goes on sale this fall, perhaps at the 2014 Tokyo Motor Show.

2016 Demio / Mazda2 Hatchback Officially Revealed w/ Pics

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

We’ve been waiting to see the next-generation Mazda2 since the great-looking Hazumi Concept made its premiere at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. After an unexpected photo leak of the new production subcompact earlier this week, Mazda made the decision to release their full multi-media suite today as production officially began in Japan.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the 2016 Mazda2, known in Japan as the Mazda Demio:

2016 Mazda2 Demio

Wow. That’s one slick lookin’ supermini, very reminiscent of the Mazda3 sedan and Mazda’s Kodo design language as a whole. There’s no doubt that this little car, complete with its characteristic shield-style grille and swooping linear body, will be winning some design awards when it finally makes its global launch this fall. Ultimately, though, Mazda’s greatest reward will be driver satisfaction, and they’ve devoted a lot of time and detail into making this car both fun to drive and easy-to-use.

2015 Mazda2 Demio pink

Let’s start with the powertrain. The new Mazda2 will likely be available with two or three different engine options, depending on the market you’re in. The baseline trim will run on a 1.3L SKYACTIV-G petrol engine outputting a conservative 77hp. This engine makes up for its low power with incredible fuel economy; Japan’s highway test cycle rated it at around 70mpg, which is probably ~45mpg by EPA standards. There’ll also be a bigger 1.5L SKYACTIV-G with 99hp which probably will be available in the US, and a 1.5L SKYACTIV-D diesel engine with 104hp which probably won’t.

Of course, the Mazda2’s fuel savings can be attributed to more than just the powertrain… The Skyactiv suite covers the chassis, transmission, aerodynamics and Mazda’s overall engineering principles for a simple but efficient approach to fuel economy.

2015 Demio Mazda2 interior

Looking inside, Mazda has overhauled the interior with a beautiful black and red color-scheme which more than holds up to the aesthetic standard set by the exterior. And it looks just as good in any of the other color-schemes available too; the interior is always tailored to match the exterior color of your specific vehicle. You’ll also find a redesigned driver-focused gauge cluster with a tablet touchscreen positioned on top of the dash, as seen below:

2015 Mazda2 Demio interior

This cool little gadget can be controlled by the dial at the driver’s side, which makes it easy to use on the road. Mazda says, “The [Mazda2] also features a wide range of cutting-edge technologies such as the Mazda Connect next-generation car connectivity system, and a wide range of i-ActivSense advanced safety features that aid the driver in recognizing and responding to hazards.”

As you can see, there’s a lot to look forward to in the 2016 Mazda2 subcompact hatchback. Mazda has stated that the new model will go on sale in Japan by the end of this year, and come to the US sometime during 2015. We’ll get more details about the car prior to its global launch, probably along with some big debut at the Tokyo, LA or Paris Motor Show this fall.

Official Toyota FCV Design, Pricing & Launch Date Revealed

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

After years of hearing nothing but rumors about Toyota’s fuel-cell technology, and then a couple years more of only concepts and prototypes, Toyota has FINALLY unveiled the body of their production-ready FCV sedan. As you continue reading, we’ll learn all about this car’s design, pricing and launch date – everything Toyota’s told us so far.

Let’s start with the best part – pictures! First up is the global Toyota FCV model displayed last week in Japan, followed by the US-spec model displayed this week in Aspen.

Japanese-spec Toyota FCV Production Model
US-spec Toyota FCV Production Version

Aside from color, the only noticeable difference between the US-spec and the Japan-spec vehicles is the yellow reflector in the black stripe along the US-spec’s front clip. Both vehicles are nearly identical to the original Toyota FCV Concept, with the only major differences being the addition of LEDs along the front air intakes, more realistic side mirrors, and a toned down rear-end.

Unfortunately, Toyota hasn’t revealed anything about the production FCV’s interior. Our guess is we’ll see the whole thing sometime towards the end of this year (2014 Tokyo Motor Show, maybe?) or the beginning of next (possibly at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show). Either way, we can’t wait to see more.

The production Toyota FCV is officially slated to launch in Japan in April of next year, with a US launch around the beginning of summer 2015. However, the US-launch especially will be rather limited… The FCV will start out with California-only availability, given that’s the only state with a hydrogen refueling infrastructure.

As for pricing, Toyota says that the Japanese market will get the first Toyota FCV for around 7M yen, which is around $68,700. However, Toyota specifically stated that this price may not carry over into the US/EU markets, depending on the price of exporting and the different legal requirements for each locale. In other words, even though we’ve seen the exterior of the FCV, there’s still a lot left undecided inside the car and in the background.

The good news is that Toyota has already surpassed their early estimates for fuel efficiency and driving range. The car was originally estimated to achieve a driving range around 300 miles, but the estimate has risen substantially now that production is in sight. The production FCV is expected to offer a driving range around 435 miles, or 700 km, which Toyota rightly notes is in line with the range of today’s gasoline engines. And that’s with the same refueling time of ~3 minutes, and the same 0-60 time of around 10 seconds.

You’ll have to stay tuned later this year for more detailed information, but in the meantime you can watch the promotional video Toyota released below:

Production of Toyota FCV Confirmed for December 2014

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

It’s just been officially confirmed that Toyota will begin production of their first commercial hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle in December of this year. We’d heard that Toyota was aiming for a 2015 launch date, so it seems that things are moving faster than expected.

The news comes from The Japan Times, who offered a few more details about the hydrogen fuel-cell car’s release. Apparently, Toyota will actually begin production about halfway through December so that they can have their first FCVs on showroom floors just in time for Christmas.

Toyota FCV Concept

For those of you who’re new to Toyota’s hydrogen fuel-cell hype train, the car that they’ll bring to market will be based on the Toyota FCV Concept (pictured above). If you’re willing to go back a ways, we saw the first iteration of the FCV Concept all the way back in 2011 as the FCV-R. The most recent, and most relevant, iteration of the FCV Concept was first seen at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Show last November.

What kind of amazing fuel economy can you expect from Toyota’s first hydrogen car? Its total driving range is estimated to be about 435 miles with a top speed of 106 mph. The hydrogen-powered electric motor will likely output something around 135 hp – the perfect amount for responsive city driving.

The production Toyota FCV will go on sale for roughly ¥8,000,000, which is around $78,000 for our US readers. However, Toyota doesn’t plan to keep its FCV-based vehicle priced that high for long: Prices will likely drop bit by bit over the next five or six years until the next FCV debuts for less than half the price of the original “in the 2020s”. Toyota specifically said they’d like to hit the ¥3,000,000 mark ($29,250), but ¥5,000,000 ($48,775) is a more realistic goal. At this price point Toyota feels it would be easy to boost sales and expand production capacity.

Speaking of production, Toyota hasn’t made any mention of where their FCV-based vehicle will, or won’t, first go on sale. Since the car will be manufactured at the Motomachi plant in the Toyota, Aichi Prefecture in Japan, we know it’ll be available there. However, Toyota hasn’t given us any recent updates about when and where the hydrogen car will make it onto international shores. We’re hoping it’ll be by the end of 2014, but nothing’s set in stone.

Really, the problem isn’t whether or not Toyota can manufacture enough hydrogen cars to meet a high international demand. The thing that would keep Toyota from offering a US or EU FCV is the lack of refueling infrastructure. Even in California, hydrogen refueling stations are few and far between. However, Toyota has shown that a comprehensive, nationwide hydrogen-refueling infrastructure would be 4x cheaper to build than the electric charging infrastructure that’d be necessary for the widespread use of EVs.

Either way, we’ll keep you updated as soon as we know more about where Toyota’s first hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle will be available. In the meantime, we’re just glad that Toyota is moving ahead of schedule… We’d originally expected to see the first production FCV at Christmas of 2015, so Toyota is moving a full year faster than anticipated if they can manage to meet their December goal.

Honda S2000 Rumored to Follow Upcoming S660

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

May has been an awesome month so far for our Honda fans. Last week we learned that they intend to revive the Honda Beat with a new car called the Honda S660. This week we’ve learned that the S660 isn’t the only ‘S’ car slated to make a comeback – the Japanese automaker has confirmed the return of the Honda S2000 roadster. It seems that Honda is determined to return to their motorsports-oriented youth, and these two cars together with the upcoming Acura NSX are their plan to do it.

Honda S2000

For those of you without an intimate knowledge of Honda’s past production line, the Honda S2000 was a slick lightweight roadster manufactured from 1999 to 2009. In fact, its roots reach back to the Honda Beat with a conceptual debut at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show. The S2000 enjoyed steady sales for the first seven years of its ten-year lifespan. Unfortunately, sports cars were one of the segments most dramatically impacted by the auto industry’s 2008 recession, so the S2000 was nixed from the lineup. Still, the car was well-loved by critics and continued to garner awards during its last three years of production.

Now, the auto industry is on track and Honda is ready to bring the S2000 back along with it. Except, according to Automotive Express, it won’t technically be the S2000, just the name will remain the same. For example, where the old S2000 featured a front-engine layout, the new model will follow in the S660’s and NSX’s footsteps with a mid-engine layout. Also, the old S2000 was a softtop convertible, but early sources indicate the new one will be a hardtop coupe.

All of these changes pale in comparison to the last one. The old Honda S2000 used an F22C1 four-cylinder 2.0L petrol engine with 239hp, which together with a ‘X-bone’ chassis helped it to achieve its lightweight design. The new S2000 eschews “lightweight” in favor of power. It’s rumored to use the same turbocharged 2.0L 350bhp engine as in the Honda Civic Type R. But, that blazing engine will be part of an NSX-like hybrid powertrain to keep the car fuel efficient and eco-friendly while still boasting a 0 to 60 time of around 5 seconds.

To put each of Honda’s upcoming performance models into a timeline, you can expect the Acura NSX to come in less than a year’s time near the beginning of 2015. Then, the new Honda S660 subcompact will likely arrive at the end of 2015 for the 2016MY. Finally, this new Honda S2000 likely won’t arrive until the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017, but unlike the S660 it’s almost guaranteed to make its way into European and American markets.

Original Red 1991 Honda Beat At Auction in Japan

Posted by Stephen On Friday, May 9th, 2014

Yesterday we learned that the Honda S660 Concept from last year’s Tokyo Motor Show is officially slated for production. As you may remember, the S660 is based on the Honda Beat, a subcompact two-door roadster that enjoyed a five-year production run from 1991 to 1996. It’s held with special regard among Honda enthusiasts because it was the final car approved by Honda’s original founder, Soichiro Honda, before his death in 1991.

As it turns out, there are 13 different Honda Beats up for auction in Japan at the time of this writing. One in particular stood out as a share worthy find – it’s an original 1991 model with a classic red paint job in good condition. You can find the auction sheet at the bottom of this post, but first let’s take a look at the retro roadster’s front and back:

1991 Honda Beat Front
1991 Honda Beat Rear

If you do a bit of research, you’ll find that the original Honda Beat is often referred to as the Pininfarina-Honda Beat. This is because its design was sourced from an Italian design firm called, you guessed it, Pininfarina. To put the name in context, Pininfarina was founded in 1930 and has served prestigious automakers like Ferrari, Fiat, Peugeot and Alfa Romeo for generations. This is probably one of the big reasons why the Honda Beat saw such success in its first year sales.

To give you an idea of what lies beneath that shiny red hood, the Honda beat runs on a three-cylinder 656 cc engine modified with a Multi-Throttle Responsive Engine Control system, distinguished by its use of individual throttle bodies for each cylinder. The MTREC system served as a substitute for the turbochargers and superchargers which were popular at the time, allowing the Beat to achieve 63bhp and a top speed of 84mph. The car was only ever available with a five-speed manual transmission, so this isn’t the car for you if you’re an automatic-only driver.

Now, you’re probably wondering what you can expect from this kei sports car’s interior. Take a look at the interior image included with the auction below:

1991 Honda Beat Interior

As you can see, the interior definitely reveals the era from which this car comes. You can’t expect anything less than zebra print from the 90s, but it’s not over the top in any way. Since it’s a two-seat roadster there’s plenty of legroom for the passenger, along with all the tech goodies of yesteryear, including Air Conditioning, a coin holder and a cigarette dispenser.

As you’ll see if you continue reading through our translation of the auction sheet, this particular Honda Beat has been registered as a Grade 4. This means that it’s in good condition for its make and model year. We’ll go into more detail below the official auction sheet:

1991 Honda Beat Auction Sheet

Translation of the Auction Sheet

Interior C, first registered in 1991, 5-speed manual, power windows, one owner, first time in auction, 9622KM, AC doees not work, drivers seat has minor, rear screen is cloudy, door mirrs and rear spoiler paint is faded, scratches and dents, front windscreen stone scratches, exterior paintwork faded under front bumper at left front corner, exterior paintwork faded under rear bumper, marks as per map

The Suzuki X-Lander, Crosshiker & Hustler Concepts from Tokyo

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, November 30th, 2013

As we said in our preview article for the three concepts listed in the title, the theme of Suzuki’s booth at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show is, “Let’s Create a Brand New Story”. The concepts discussed below are Suzuki’s attempt at meeting the demands of today’s – and tomorrow’s – drivers. Whether they actually accomplish this goal is up to you to decide.

Before we get any further, though, it important to note that unlike the other Japanese carmakers we’ve discussed this week, Suzuki’s Tokyo Motor Show premieres consist of more than just the cars below… There are at least three new motorcycle concepts which we won’t discuss at this time. Keep that in mind as you’re evaluating their automotive spread.

Suzuki Crosshiker Concept

According to Suzuki, the Crosshiker Concept is the sequel to the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show’s Regina Concept. Right in line with what we’d learned in the previews, this is a very compact crossover coming in at just under 1,800 pounds. It will buzz along tight city roads with a little 1.0L three-cylinder. Suzuki describes it as, “a car packed with lightweight and fuel-efficient technologies,” just like its predecessor, the Regina.

From a design standpoint, Suzuki has done a good job of making the mini-crossover look vividly alive. The Suzuki Crosshiker Concept’s curvaceous silhouette feels both familiar and intriguing at the same time; especially the gradient red-black grille and the fluid, roundly slanted headlights. On the whole, the crossover looks just as good in-the-metal as we’d hoped it would from the previews.

Suzuki X-Lander Concept

The rugged X-Lander Concept is a study in functional design, the seamless fusing of utility and economy. Another compact crossover, this Suzuki Jimny-based concept uses a hybrid powertrain with a 1.3L engine and manual transmission to offer a perfect balance of power and fuel efficiency. Suzuki describes it as a vehicle “loaded full with playful touches so that the vehicle looks like a fusion of off-road power and mechanical precision.”

As you can see, the Suzuki X-Lander’s design is certainly unique – it’s an open top crossover, looking more like something you might expect on a military base than a city street. That’s not to say it looks bad, though; not at all.

Suzuki Hustler & Hustler Coupe Concept

As yet another crossover (are you beginning to see a theme here?), the Suzuki Hustler Concept is designed to be an outdoors-friendly minicar that’s both fun and convenient to drive. Suzuki also showcased a coupe-version, called the Hustler Coupe concept, as seen below:

As you can see, the only thing that makes the Hustler Coupe Concept a ‘coupe’ is the fact that has two doors. Otherwise, it almost looks more like an SUV than its namesake.

Unfortunately, it seems that Suzuki is still determined to keep powertrain details quiet for these last two concepts. It’s safe to infer, then, that these are the two concepts furthest from production. Although, again, this is mere speculation on our part.

Before we finish, it’s important to remind all of our US readers that these cars are not for you. Suzuki is primarily targeting Europe and its home market, Japan, with these new concepts. The recurring themes you’ve seen throughout their new concepts are compact size, versatile interior space and fuel efficiency. It’s safe to say that these are the tenets of Suzuki’s brand-new story.

All-New 2014 Nissan Qashqai Officially Revealed – Does It Beat the Original?

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

We’ve spent the past several weeks talking about the future of the Japanese car industry, specifically about all the cars and concepts that will be coming to the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.

Well, today we’re going to take a break from Tokyo and talk about a car that won’t debut at the Japanese Motor Show, simply because it isn’t really targeted towards Japanese drivers.

Are you curious? Me too, so let’s jump right in …

Taking the Wraps Off the 2014 Nissan Qashqai (Dualis in Japan)

2014 Nissan Qashqai - Dualis

Ever since its original launch in 2007, the Nissan Qashqai (JDM Dualis) has played an enormous role in the compact crossover craze that’s still alive and well today. And yet, the car remains mysterious because it defies normal categorization.

It’s not quite an off-road vehicle, but it’s more rugged than a city car. It’s smaller than a crossover, but bigger than a stationwagon. It’s rugged, unique, and fun to drive, but not without its flaws.

You see, despite continuing to yield increased sales year after year, the current iteration of the Nissan Qashqai is lacking in several areas. Most importantly, it’s cramped. While the car is smaller by definition than a typical SUV, the fact that it looks so much like one makes it seem like it should offer plenty of space — both for passengers and cargo. But, neither is the case – the current Qashqai actually feels quite confined from the inside.

Furthermore, while the design was innovative several years ago, other automakers are starting to catch up and the Qashqai simply doesn’t stand out like it used to. In fact, now that the CUV segment is so much more competitive than it was in 2007, it’s unreasonable to expect that the new Qashqai will have the same boundary-defying design as the original. But, you can be the judge of that… Here is the official 2014 Nissan Qashqai, wraps removed:

2014 Nissan Qashqai - Dualis Revealed

As you can see, this iteration’s design is quite similar to the new Nissan Rogue / X-Trail. It seems that Nissan is trying to bring cohesion to their lineup, which makes sense. All around, the new Qashqai / Dualis is sleeker, more angular, and substantially less “bubbly” than the original.

Technically speaking, the new Qashqai will get four different powertrain options – two gas and two diesel. The entry-level engine will be a turbocharged 1.2L gas with 113bhp, while the upgraded gas option is a 1.6L DIG-T with 148bhp. For diesel drivers, a highly efficient 1.5L dCi with 108bhp will be available with a fuel economy upwards of 60mpg. Alternatively, a more powerful 1.6L dCi with 128bhp will still get an impressive 51mpg.

In addition to the improved powertrain options, the next-generation Nissan Qashqai will also feature a bunch of Nissan’s newest Safety Shield technologies, including Front Collision Avoidance, Traffic Sign Recognition, and Driver Attention Support.

For a more thorough visual tour of all the styles and goodies in the new 2014 Nissan Qashqai, just watch the video below:

Nissan BladeGlider Concept Headed for the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

After taking a break from Tokyo Motor Show previews yesterday, today we’re right back on track and picking up where we left off. While Nissan will be showcasing several new NISMO models in LA at the end of November, today they’ve unveiled their primary show car for this year’s Japanese motor show, and it is a doozy to be sure. It’s called the Nissan BladeGlider Concept, and oddly enough, the name actually fits the car.

Take a look for yourself below:

Nissan Blade Glider concept car

As you may be able to guess, what we have here is the next iteration of the Nissan ZEOD-RC Concept, and the Nissan DeltaWing before it. For reference, you can see both previous concepts below:

Nissan ZEOD RC

Nissan Delta Wing

So, what’s the difference between the Nissan BladeGlider Concept and the previous ZEOD-RC and DeltaWing concepts?

Other than the more polished design, the biggest difference is that Nissan actually wants to bring the BladeGlider to production. As in, they want it to be available for everyday customers and not just Nissan’s Le Mans racing team. It is, “an exploratory prototype of an upcoming production vehicle,” and, “a proposal for the future direction of Nissan electric vehicle development.”

This might all sound like a load of hokey, but let’s put this car into context.

Recently, Nissan VP Andy Palmer went on record claiming that the incredibly successful Toyota GT86 and its Scion and Subaru siblings were “designed for a 50-year-old… for a midlife crisis.” Ouch! He went on to make it clear, “That’s not what we do.” Instead, the BladeGlider is an against-the-grain Japanese car intended to attract male automotive enthusiasts in the latter half of their twenties.

In the same interview, Mr. Palmer was kind enough to share some specific details about the then-code-named Nissan Z35. He informed us that the powertrain will be based on the current Nissan 370Z’s, including the very same 3.7L V-6 engine. However, the engine will be down-tuned to conserve fuel. Meanwhile, a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder with direct-injection will also be available for those seeking more power.  And, if the BladeGlider does make it to production, it seems likely that NISMO will take a whack at it to top out the trim range.

From what we can tell so far, the BladeGlider is one of those “deep” concepts with a lot of little subtleties and nuances to appreciate. For example, the delta design allows for a 30/70 weight distribution between the front and back of the vehicle, which is optimal for fast turns with that narrower front track. Also, you wouldn’t guess from the picture, but the underbody is made from lightweight carbon-fiber for maximum stability and speed. Another example would be the independently-powered in-wheel electric motors, which will be a first for Nissan if the car makes it to production. From the design to the technology, performance is wired into the BladeGlider’s DNA.

But, performance isn’t all that the BladeGlider is about…

Design-wise, the Nissan BladeGlider Concept is meant to evoke the gentle exhilaration that comes from soaring through the sky in a glider. It’s meant to look like it’s moving, even when it’s standing still. From the aircraft-like steering wheel to the cockpit’s styling cues, and even to the way the digital display shows atmospheric conditions, the BladeGlider feels like just as much airplane as electric car.

All in all, it’s safe to say that Nissan has definitely achieved their goal with the BladeGlider Concept, at least initially. They wanted something invigorating and fresh… Something that would ‘reinvent the wheel’, so to speak. Whatever you think about the car, it’s safe to say that no other automaker will have anything close to the BladeGlider Concept at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. That much, at least, is for sure.

Finally, if you’d like to see more of the Nissan BladeGlider Concept in action, just watch the video below:

Toyota’s Tokyo Concepts Pt. 2 – JPN Taxi, Voxy & Noah, and Aqua G Sports

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Yesterday we discussed Toyota’s two most important world premieres slated for the upcoming 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. However, those two concepts – the hydrogen-powered Toyota FCV Concept and the innovative Toyota FV2 Concept – were only the tip of the iceberg. Toyota is bringing seven total new(ish) concepts to Tokyo, so we have a lot left to cover today if we’re going to make it through everything. With that being said, let’s jump right in…

Toyota JPN Taxi Concept

Toyota JPN Taxi

While you might have a hard time getting excited about a taxi, the Toyota JPN Taxi Concept is one that may change your mind. As you can see, the design is well above your average taxicab, but it’s what’s going on underneath the hood that really sets the JPN Taxi Concept apart. Under the hood, you’ll find a new liquefied petroleum gas hybrid system that has been designed from the ground up to match the driving patterns of an average city cab… The JPN TAXI will stand up to long hours of operation and lots of city driving; all while quietly sipping on its LPG fuel. Obviously, The JPN taxi concept is going to be most relevant to its Japanese viewer. The car was developed with assistance from the Japanese Ministries of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, all in order to serve as the next-generation of Japanese hospitality. The concept is built with every type of passenger in mind – large, automatic sliding doors make it easy to enter and exit the vehicle, while a spacious and unobstructed floor plan make it comfortable for long trips.

Toyota JPN Taxi Interior

There’s even a digital display to show passengers information about their cab ride, such as taxi fares and the chosen route to their destination. There, are you excited now?

Toyota Noah & Toyota Voxy Concepts

Toyota Voxy Concept

If somehow you’re not excited, then surely you can get fired up about a couple new minivans, right? No? But, what if they “integrate higher levels of fun, utility and fuel economy?” Now that’s something to get excited about! Toyota’s new Voxy and Noah Concepts both herald a new minivan that will be arriving for Japanese drivers in early 2014. Both concepts are essentially the same vehicle with only the slight modifications, primarily on the front and rear of the vehicles. (Of course, if you want to buy the current or earlier generations of these models, you can always get them in the car auctions.) The Noah Concept, below, “presents sophistication as a compact minivan with standard parts”. Meanwhile, the more aggressively styled Voxy, above, “employs exclusive aerodynamic parts to emphasize the low center of gravity, impressive wide-body, and the overwhelming sense of presence.”

Toyota Noah Concept

Frankly, they may both be very practical and comfortable, but I can’t help but yawn at the 5-year out-of-date styling.

Toyota Aqua G Sports Concept

Toyota Aqua G Sports Concept

Here we have the Toyota Aqua G sports Concept, which is a new version of a more ordinary concept we saw at the 2012 Tokyo Motor Show. (Remember that the Toyota Aqua is the JDM version of the Toyota Prius C.) Toyota handed the compact hybrid over to GAZOO Racing for complete conversion to sports car form, and that’s what we’ll see in Tokyo this year. Best of all? Toyota plans to launch this Aqua G Sports Concept in Japan almost immediately following the Tokyo Motor Show.

Toyota FT-86 Open Concept

Toyota FT-86 Open Concept

The last Japanese premiere Toyota will showcase at the 2013 Tokyo motor show is the Toyota FT-86 Open Concept. You’ll recall that we originally saw the concept just earlier this year in Geneva, but they’ve repainted the car “Flash Red” instead of white. As you can see, it really brings out her eyes. All in all, look like it’ll be a great showing from Toyota. Stay tuned later this week for more Japanese car news!