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Tokyo Motor Show: the best of the rest

  1. It’s been a tough couple of years for the Japanese car industry, with the devastation of an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. But the carmakers have dusted themselves down and orchestrated a remarkable recovery. Some are even posting better sales figures than this time 12 months ago.

    This year’s Tokyo motorshow, then, isn’t just a bunch of new cars. It’s a celebration of Japan’s new dawn. Today was the first press day and the atmosphere was buzzy. As you’ve read elsewhere on TG.com we’ve had big debuts for Toyota and Subaru with much-anticipated FT86/BRZ duo, a revived performance sub-brand from Nissan, a roadster concept from Honda.

    Plus, as always, the usual array of weird and wonderful fantasy cars that might or might not be coming to a driveway near you soon. And here are some of the highlights you may not have seen…

  2. The weird little city car takes another step towards production. Like the earlier incarnations, it gets in-wheel electric motors that allow the wheels more freedom, and provide more space in the chassis while still promising a “natural steering feel”. Good.

    The swivelling pod has gone, but four-wheel steering remains - it can twirl around in a radius of just two metres. There’s a valet parking mode, so you can get out and let it insert itself into a space. It’ll even pick you up if you send it a text message telling it where you are.

  3. Yes, it’s Japanese girls saluting in front of a model of NASA’s Lunar Rover.

  4. Has Volkswagen got Evoque fever? This “SUV of the future” is near-enough the size of the Rangey, and sits on the company’s new MQB chassis. It’s powered by two electric motors - one in the front, one in the back - and a TSI engine, generating a total 260bhp and allowing a 0-62mph time of seven seconds.

  5. We’ve told you about this car before: It means ‘male’ in Japanese and it’s the replacement for the Mazda6. It’s got a full compliment of Skyactiv features, including the new Skyactiv-D clean diesel engine and i-ELOOP regenerative braking system. It’s still a concept, but isn’t as wild as some from Mazda’s Greatest Hits of Exciting Show Cars That Ended Up Being Dull. So it should actually look like this when it goes on sale, except for different wing mirrors and some proper door handles. We really, really hope it keeps the 20-inch rims and skimmed roofline.

  6. More from VW, who broke off from their acrimonious battle with Suzuki over shared engine use in Europe to show a rugged, four-wheel-drive, off-roady version of VW’s staple saloon: it’s designed to rival things like the Audi A4 Allroad.

  7. This is the man responsible for keeping the Nismo Juke clean, with something apparently stolen from the rear end of an ostrich.

  8. Quite literally the beigest car at the show. With the longest gearstick (roughly twice the height of an average pen).

  9. The replacement for the Colt, designed for emerging markets around the world. You’ve clicked onto the next picture already, haven’t you?

  10. ACX concept: Could this be the evolution of the Prius? Maybe. It’s a plug-in hybrid, sized somewhere between a big hatchback and a small-ish saloon. You can chose between an “engine drive mode” for more spirited peddling or an “automatic drive mode” for more sedately jaunts.

  11. Possible transport for Mr Soft from the old Softmint adverts. Remember him?

  12. This features purely because it boasts the finest press release headline of the show - A SMARTPHONE ON WHEELS. The entire bodywork can be used as a “display space” so you can change the body colour, post pictures and write messages on your car. Just THINK of the potential…

  13. Not sure what this is or why it’s here. Possible escapee from a failed lab experiment. Or somewhere in Tokyo, there’s a massive bloke with hearing problems.

  14. Because sometimes you need a tanning bed on wheels.

  15. Even though Asimo’s not old enough to drink, he can still mix a mean Mojito.

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