Best cars of the Tokyo Motor Show
The Tokyo motor show is one of the motoring world's favourite times of year. It's not always the most relevant, especially for motorists in Europe, but the sheer array of wild concepts, wacky Japanese-market cars and crazy technology is enough to keep anyone occupied for weeks.
This year's show didn't disappoint, with hall after hall filled with exactly the kind of lunacy we've come to expect from Tokyo. However there were some more realistic propositions mixed in – including visions of the future from brands like Mitsubishi, Mazda, and Nissan.
We've rounded up our pick of the best cars on display below...
Mazda Vision Coupe Concept
Could this eventually be the next Mazda 6? The Vision Coupe is a sleek and sexy saloon, and along with Mazda's other concept, the Kai, is said to preview the firm's next-generation design language. From what we see here, we like it very much.
Underneath the sleek body Mazda could put one of two sophisticated and futuristic engine options. The first could be a revolutionary (literally) range-extending hybrid, using a rotary Wankel engine as its power source. The second, Mazda's ingenious Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition engine, which mixes characteristics from petrol and diesel cars in one block.
Honda Sports EV
We loved Honda's Urban EV when it debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show – it stole our heads and our hearts with its combination of bang up-to-date electric drivetrain and fantastic retro styling.
The Sports EV is the sister car, and is another homage to Honda's past – this time the S600 and S800 coupes. That doesn't mean it's a rip-snorting supercar – expect a modestly powered electric drivetrain and seriously compact dimensions. Unfortunately, the company has not confirmed the Sports EV for production as it has the Urban EV.
Nissan IMx concept
With electric power being all the rage, it's only a matter of time before totally electrified SUVs are commonplace. Nissan's vision of this is reflected in the IMx concept – a sharp-looking take on the sector.
It sits on the same platform as the new Nissan Leaf, but uses two electric motors to provide four-wheel drive and a total of 429bhp and 700Nm of torque. Nissan also claims a range of 373 miles from a new, high-capacity battery, along with the usual display of autonomous driving technology.
Subaru Viziv Performance concept
Japanese manufacturer Subaru has created some all-time greats when it comes to performance saloons, and if the Viziv concept is anything to go on, its mojo may be back.
Few details have been released, but Subaru says the Viziv features its iconic staples of a flat boxer engine and all-wheel drive.
It also has aggressive styling which we were sadly missing from the current Impreza. We're looking forward to seeing if the Viziv makes it to production – hopefully more or less unchanged.
Toyota TJ Cruiser
We had to include the TJ Cruiser in this list, because its rugged charm is just so incredibly cool. It's a boxy SUV with shades of van about it, but has been modelled on a toolbox – hence the name, which stands for Toolbox Joy.
Engineers say the TJ will either be fully electric or fitted with a petrol four-wheel drive powertrain, and should head for production around 2022 if public reactions are favourable. We can't wait.