Just how German manufacturers try to outdo each other with lavish stands at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Tokyo Motor Show sees the bulk of Japanese car makers attempt to out-weird each other with the most bizarre and kooky concept cars.
Here, we’ve picked out what are expected to be this year’s highlights…
This thing from Daihatsu triggered the biggest exclamations of ‘WTF?!’ amongst the Motor-Vision bunch.
Rather than a rejected idea from 1990’s Total Recall, it is actually Daihatsu’s DN Pro Cargo – a commercial electric vehicle (EV) that has been tailored to cater for those with mobility issues. Its spacious cabin boasts a low, flat floor, creating an interior height of 1.6 metres, while its luggage space is apparently ‘exceptionally convenient’.
Daihatsu will also be showing off a hybrid compact SUV called DN Trec, that looks like a knock-off SsangYong Tivoli, as well as some other daft-looking fare. Considering the brand abandoned the UK some years ago, don’t expect to see any of these models on British roads any time soon.
This wackiness-on-wheels is the e-SURVIVOR – a compact SUV from Suzuki that bears echoes of the brand’s older mud-pluggers such as the Jimny and Vitara.
It’s electric (there’s a shocker!) but also has all-wheel drive, a ladder frame and a lightweight compact body.
There will also be this: the XBEE, pronounced ‘cross-bee’. It’s a compact crossover wagon that fuses a spacious cabin into an SUV.
Suzuki says the XBEE will help its customers “go out further and have fun with more friends” and help them “enjoy life cooler”. That’s not a typo, that’s what the actual press release says.
Will either of these silly Suzukis make it over here? Unlikely, which will come as a shame or a relief depending on your outlook.
Yamaha may be better known more for their two-wheeled vehicles and indeed, out of the 19 models it is bringing to Japan’s flagship motoring event, just two will have four wheels.
The first is simply known as ‘Yamaha concept vehicle’ for now, but it is expected to build on the Sports Ride concept that debuted at 2015’s Tokyo event.
There will also be the MWC-4, a single-seater buggy that is powered by an electric motor primarily with a conventionally-fueled engine to make it a range-extender.
Less crazy stuff
Tokyo isn’t entirely about bonkersmobiles; there are some more straight-faced fixtures spread across the stands.
One of them could be the new Mazda RX-8, which would be making a much-anticipated return after the ill-fated rotary-engined original. Mazda is also rumoured to preview a version of the hard-topped MX-5 RF, designed to cater for wheelchair users.
Lexus will be exhibiting the new LS luxury saloon, while sister brand Toyota will show-off the GR HV Sports Concept – essentially a GT86-based hybrid concept.
There will also be a fully-electric sports car concept from Honda, imaginatively dubbed the Honda Sports EV Concept, and Mitsubishi’s e-Evolution electric SUV concept.
Nissan will be getting in on the act with its next Z-car concept and performance-focused Leaf Nismo, while Subaru is set to show-off a faster version of its ViZIV concept car named ViZIV Performance.
The 45th Tokyo Motor Show will open on October 25th. Which car takes your fancy the most? Let us know down there in the comments.
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