Among the concept cars on display at the 2007 Tokyo auto show, a substantial number run off of electricity. Some, such as the Suzuki Pixy and the Nissan Pivo2, are a little outlandish. But many represent very serious efforts on the part of automakers to develop a successful and practical zero-emission vehicle. Both the Mitsubishi i MiEV Sport and the Subaru G4e look like they are ready for the road.
At the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, Suzuki showed off the Kizashi concept, and, frankly, we weren't too thrilled. We weren't sure why Suzuki was building something that looked like a Dodge Magnum. But at the 2007 Tokyo auto show, Suzuki revealed the Kizashi 2, indicating that it's serious about building bigger cars. Suzuki has had success building smaller cars and SUVs, but now it wants to stretch its proverbial wings, competing in new segments. The Kizashi concepts show Suzuki's direction in this area--big, gaudy, and brawny wagons.
After examining the Kizashi 2, we give in. Suzuki … Read more
With a lot of sleek Yamaha concepts on display at the 2007 Tokyo auto show, Bobby stood out for its awkward look. This electric scooter is designed for commuters. It's not much smaller when folded up, but Yamaha points out that it can be more easily stowed in the trunk of a car or kept on a balcony. OK, we'll buy that. Bobby incorporates an RFID reader, so you can use a cell phone equipped with a Sony FeliCa chip as a key. The future is sounding weirder and weirder.
One of the pleasures of the Tokyo auto show is seeing technologies from automotive equipment makers that haven't made it into any current models. This is the stuff that might appear on cars of the future. We saw numerous displays from different companies about how different colored LEDs can be used for exterior and signal lighting on a car. One equipment maker, Koito, had an interesting concept with an LED string framing the headlight housing. The LEDs in this string could flash yellow, working as a turn indicator, or they could turn blue and stay on for night driving. … Read more
Lotus brings back a legendary name with the Lotus 2 Eleven on display at the 2007 Tokyo auto show. The original Lotus Eleven was built from 1956 to 1958, and competed successfully in many races of that era. The new generation 2 Eleven is based on the Exige S, getting its suspension and 1.8-liter supercharged and intercooled engine. But Lotus manages to squeeze 16 percent more power out of it, upping horsepower to about 255 at its top engine speed of 8,000RPM. The 2 Eleven is currently Lotus' most powerful car, and it gets from 0 to 62 … Read more
Single-person wheeled vehicles look like the stuff of science fiction, but Toyota and Suzuki showed off a few concepts at the 2007 Tokyo auto show. They tend to have a futuristic look and electric drive, but we're not entirely sure what problem they are supposed to solve. Just as the Segway become more novelty than necessity, we can't imagine future thoroughfares jam-packed with people commuting in the vehicles. Still, they look like they would be fun to drive.
Amid a blitz of flash photography and drooling automotive journalists, this year's Tokyo auto show opened in style. For gearheads, the star of the first day was the feverishly anticipated Nissan GT-R, whose bulging fenders and gleaming turbocharged V-6 engine inspired a respectful silence from awed onlookers. Concept cars abounded on the first day with highlights including a squished SUV and a mean-looking supercar from Lexus; a mini-minivan from Volkswagen; and a new take on gasoline-electric driving from Audi. And of course, this wouldn't be Japan without a generous helping of gadgetry. Both Honda and VW had new navigation systems … Read more
Amid the excitement of the 2007 Tokyo auto show, Honda has confirmed that it will be unveiling a production version of its much-anticipated 2008 FCX hydrogen fuel-cell car next month in Los Angeles. Why the Japanese auto maker chose LA for the unveiling rather than its own back yard may have to do with the fact that a considerable number of the production FCXs will be leased to customers in the United States beginning next year. According to USA Today, Honda has not decided on the final number of models bound for the U.S. market, although it quotes Honda … Read more
Mitsubishi's I Miev Sport incorporates an amazing amount of new technologies to complement the work the company has already been doing on electric cars. With three electric motors making up its drive train, the I Miev Sport gets a range of 200 kilometers. For a little extra juice, it uses regenerative brakes, miniturbines in its grille, and solar panels on its roof. Mitsubishi unveiled this latest example of its research into practical electric cars at the 2007 Tokyo auto show.
This agile mongoose of a car has finally made its debut at the 2007 Tokyo auto show.
As you can see, the Mazda Taiki's aerodynamic design gives the illusion that the back wheels are tucked under wings. This is the fourth car Mazda has released in its Nagare (which means "flow") design series, a vehicle that "visually expresses the flow of air," according to Mazda.
The two-seater sports car concept has a front engine rear-wheel drive layout and Mazda's Renesis rotary engine.
Think you can do better with the next concept design? Mazda welcomes … Read more