Tokyo Motor Show – a little late

Its been a busy few months and I haven’t had a chance to update this blog recently. So here’s a bit on the Tokyo Motor Show that took place a few weeks ago.

 

This show was much more interesting than Frankfurt, with many more concept vehicles and a number of ideas for making cars more fuel efficient and better for the environment. Cars shown at the Tokyo show just seem a bit more exciting and more fun than at many other shows.

 

As I mentioned, green cars were a big deal in Tokyo. A variety of fuel-cell vehicles were shown, ranging from the sleek Honda FCX to the boxy-looking Toyota Fine-X. Mazda showed a version of the Premacy van (not sold in the U.S.) that was a hybrid, combining an electric motor with a rotary engine, and the rotary engine could run on gasoline or hydrogen.

 

Subaru showed its first hybrid. Built in house, this system mated an electric motor with a turbocharged boxer engine. Geared more towards performance, the electric motor provided power while the turbocharger spooled up, removing all instances of turbo lag. This was shown on a stylish 2-door hatchback built on the Legacy platform, called the B5-TPH.

 

Volkswagen also showed that high-performance and high-efficiency were not mutually exclusive. The EcoRacer is a sporty little car that uses VW’s new TDI diesel technology. The company claims this concept can hit 155 mph, but still gets around 70 mpg. Impressive.

 

Other cool stuff included the Nissan GT-R Proto. Styling is about 80% production, this is the next-generation of the legendary Skyline GTR. And this one should be coming to the U.S.

 

Mitsubishi debuted the Concept-X, which will likely become the next Lancer Evolution. This is one mean looking sports car, and one of my personal favorites.

 

Other debuts included the Audi Shooting Brake – possibly the next TT; a variety of Suzuki concept cars; a Giugiaro-designed Ferrari; the Lexus LF-Sh concept – likely the next LS replacement; and a slew of wild concept cars from Nissan.

 

To see all the pictures and details, check out our coverage of the show at http://autos.msn.com/as/minishow/default.aspx?s=Tokyo2005.

Perry Stern