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2011 Tokyo Motor Show. Image by Toyota.


2011 Tokyo Motor Show

The 2011 Tokyo Motor Show could be the most exciting event in years in Japan with several significant new cars. Here's what's happening.





  Alpina B6 Biturbo Coupé (2)
Alpina B9 GT3 Limited (2)
Audi A1 Samurai Blue (15)
Audi A1 Sportback (2)
BMW ActiveHybrid 5 (2)
BMW and Toyota announce co-operation (3)
Daihatsu D-X concept (2)
Daihatsu Pico concept (1)
Daihatsu ShoCase concept (2)
Honda AC-X concept (5)
Honda at the Tokyo Motor Show (12)
Honda E-Canopy (1)
Honda E-Canopy concept (2)
Honda EV-STER concept (7)
Honda Micro Commuter concept (4)
Honda Motor Combo (2)
Honda N Box (9)
Honda RC-E (3)
Honda Small Sports EV concept (3)
Honda Townwalker (3)
Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 (3)
Mazda Takeri concept (13)
Mitsubishi Mirage (2)
Mitsubishi PX MiEV II concept (3)
Nissan ESFLOW concept (2)
Nissan Juke Nismo concept (4)
Nissan Juke-R prototype (5)
Nissan Pivo 3 concept (16)
Nissan Townpod concept (3)
Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept (14)
Subaru at the Tokyo Motor Show (7)
Subaru BRZ (14)
Subaru BRZ GT300 (1)
Subaru Impreza (55)
Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206 (30)
Suzuki Q-Concept (6)
Suzuki Regina concept (5)
Suzuki Swift EV Hybrid concept (4)
Tokyo Motor Show (8)
Toyota at the Tokyo Show (6)
Toyota FCV-R concept (4)
Toyota FT-EV III concept (3)
Toyota Fun-Vii concept (7)
Toyota GT 86 (18)
Toyota Prius C (2)
Volkswagen Cross Coupé design study (28)
Volkswagen Passat Alltrack (15)


Motorshows homepage -> 2011 Tokyo Motor Show

2011 Tokyo Motor Show -
Paul Healy, Shane O' Donoghue, Alistair Suttie

The Tokyo Motor Show may be small in comparison to Frankfurt, but this year's event was a corker. Here's the lowdown.
Alpina B6 Bi-Turbo Coupé.   Alpina B6 Bi-Turbo Coupé

Alpina unveiled its version of the BMW 6 Series Convertible at the Frankfurt Motor Show and for Tokyo the German tuner wheeled out the tin-top B6 Bi-Turbo Coupé.

Audi A1 Sportback.   Audi A1 Sportback

We already know that the five-door A1 is entering production but Tokyo was the first chance we got to see the car in the flesh. The Sportback is scheduled to arrive in the UK in March carrying a £560 premium over the three-door model.

BMW ActiveHybrid 5.   BMW ActiveHybrid 5

The big news on BMW's stand was the debut of the production ready ActiveHybrid 5 - an F10 5 Series powered by a 300bhp 3.0-litre TwinPower inline six and a 55bhp electric motor. Sales for the car are expected to start in spring.

Daihatsu D-X concept.   Daihatsu D-X concept

The D-X (or D-Cross as Daihatsu would rather you call it) is technically a design study but if it does not preview a new Copen then we will eat our hats. It's powered by a turbocharged two-cylinder engine and there are rumours of micro-SUV and shooting brake variants.

Daihatsu Pico concept.   Daihatsu Pico concept

Daihatsu joins the growing fad of debuting urban 'quadricycles' with the Pico concept. Following in the footsteps of the Renault Twizy, the Pico is a 1+1 electric commuter vehicle that Daihatsu says is targeted at elderly people and delivery businesses. It does have scissors doors though and they are cool.

Honda AC-X concept.   Honda AC-X concept

The AC-X is Honda's answer to the Toyota Prius plug-in and would appear to show the next generation Civic Hybrid. Said to offer a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience the AC-X will allow drivers to choose between 'engine drive mode' for more spirited driving and 'automatic drive mode' that sees the steering column retract allowing the driver to put their feet up on the built in footstool.

Honda EV-STER concept.   Honda EV-STER concept

We had originally guessed that the Small Sports EV Concept car (as it was called then) might preview a new S2000 but with Kei-car dimensions and a power output of 58kW (79bhp) from its lithium-ion battery the EV-STER is closer to the Honda Beat. A range of 99 miles and a 0-62mph time of five seconds makes us want one - just replace the silly levers with a proper steering wheel first.

Honda Micro Commuter concept.   Honda Micro Commuter concept

Said to represent Honda's vision of city cars of the future the Micro Commuter Concept is a single-seat electric car that does away with the trusty steering wheel in favour of a joystick. No thanks.

Mazda Takeri concept.   Mazda Takeri concept

Say hello to the new Mazda6. As expected the Takeri concept was confirmed as the next generation Ford Mondeo rival. Power is set to come from either 164bhp 2.0-litre petrol or 173bhp 2.2-litre diesel versions of Mazda's SkyActiv engine there is also talk of the possibility of a range-extending EV much like the Vauxhall Ampera.

Mitsubishi Mirage.   Mitsubishi Mirage

Mitsubishi is planning on turning back time with the new Mirage by reverting to the compactness, affordability and high fuel efficiency that made the first iteration so successful in 1978. Designed primarily for emerging markets the Mirage will be powered by a 1.0-litre MIVEC engine that promises to return 85mpg.

Mitsubishi PX-MiEV II concept.   Mitsubishi PX-MiEV II concept

The PX-MiEV II is a plug-in hybrid SUV that combines a 2.0-litre petrol engine with the EV technology used in the current i-MiEV. Capable of driving over 30 miles on electric power alone Mitsubishi claims the PX-MiEV is capable of an astonishing 141mpg.

Nissan ESFLOW concept.   Nissan ESFLOW concept

The ESFLOW was first unveiled earlier this year in Geneva but the mid-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car deserves a second outing especially when you consider that the 'engine' is actually the same unit used in the LEAF. An EV that might actually be good to drive? We will just have to wait and see.

Nissan Juke Nismo concept.   Nissan Juke Nismo concept

Not quite the Juke-R we had hoped for, but, if the Juke Nismo enters production (which we fully expect it to) it will become the highest powered Juke model with a Nismo-tuned engine putting out about 200bhp. The car also marks an important turning point for Nismo as it emerges from the shadows with eyes on BMW's M Sport division and RenaultSport.

Nissan Pivo 3 concept.   Nissan Pivo 3 concept

Think of the Pivo3 as a LEAF that has been put on a hot cycle in the washing machine. The little electric city car features a McLaren F1-style 1+2 seating arrangement and all-wheel drive thanks to electric motors in each wheel. Despite the quirky looks the Pivo is slated for production with 2016 being mooted.

Nissan Townpod concept.   Nissan Townpod concept

Is it a car? Is it a van? Is it an SUV? Despite being around since the Paris Motor Show in 2010 we are still not 100 per cent sure what the Townpod is. Described as 'An unprecedented tool for today's entrepreneurs' the Townpod combines the usability of a van in the body of a LEAF/Cube hybrid.

Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept.   Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept

The ATC previews the next generation Legacy wagon. Powered by a downsized 1.6-litre turbocharged engine the ATC is a stylish looking estate that features a full-length glass roof and a steering wheel mounted infotainment system.

Subaru BRZ.   Subaru BRZ

Built in collaboration with Toyota the BRZ is Subaru's version of the GT 86. Powered by a 200bhp naturally aspirated boxer engine that sends all its power to the rear wheels the BRZ is lightweight and features a low centre of gravity so should be a hoot to drive. Scheduled to go on sale in the UK in July 2012 there is still no word on prices. Subaru also unveiled a 300bhp BRZ-based racecar that will race in the Japanese Super GT Series.

Subaru Impreza.   Subaru Impreza

Normally a new generation Impreza would grab all the attention on the Subaru stand, but not this year. Two new models were on display - the five-door Impreza Sport and four-door G4. Both will be use the latest boxer engines and Lineartronic transmissions. Lighter and more aerodynamic than before, the new Imprezas should be the most fuel efficient ever.

Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206.   Subaru Impreza WRX STI S206

Also unveiled was a pair of hot run-out models for the current Impreza range. The S206 and NBR Challenge Edition are powered by uprated boxer engines that produce 315bhp and 318lb.ft. of torque. Destined for the Japanese market only, all 100 NBR Challenge cars are already sold with limited amounts of the S206 remaining. 

Suzuki Q-concept.   Suzuki Q-concept

A tiny city car that can also be used as a delivery vehicle - that will be the Q-Concept then. The 2.5-metre long electrically powered micro mobility car is said to be ideal for everyday journeys within a radius of about six miles.

Suzuki Regina concept.   Suzuki Regina concept

This is the car that has caused most arguments in the Car Enthusiast office with some saying Suzuki's vision of a next generation global compact car is inspired by the Renault 8 Gordini while others see touches of the Nissan Figaro. Whatever the inspiration the lightweight, 90mpg car is brill looking and we only hope it moves on quickly from concept to production.

Suzuki Swift EV.   Suzuki Swift EV

Suzuki has been a bit tight-lipped with the exact details of the Swift EV's powertrain but what we do know is that it will feature a Vauxhall Ampera-like range extending petrol engine to recharge the boot-mounted battery.

Toyota FCV-R concept.   Toyota FCV-R concept

The FCV-R (Fuel Cell Vehicle - Reality & Revolution) concept is said to point towards the launch of a fuel cell vehicle by 2015. The mid-sized saloon can accommodate four passengers and their luggage and has a cruising distance of roughly 430 miles thanks to a fuel cell stack with a 70MPa high-pressure hydrogen tank.

Toyota FT-EV III concept.   Toyota FT-EV III concept

The FT-EV III is an all electric city car based on the Toyota iQ. Expected to go into production during 2012 the lithium-ion powered car has an estimated range of 65 miles.

Toyota Fun-Vii concept.   Toyota Fun-Vii concept

Toyota says the Fun-Vii (Fun Vehicle interactive internet) heralds a 'vision of a future where people, cars and society are linked.' Moving on...

Toyota GT 86.   Toyota GT 86

The only real surprise about Toyota's end of the 'Toyobaru' collaboration (other than how much we want one) was that it retained the 'hachi roku' element of its name. The car formerly known as FT (Future Technologies)-86 is now simply GT 86. Due to enter the UK market in June 2012 the new rear-wheel drive coupé is powered by the same 200bhp boxer engine as the Subaru BRZ and promises the same kind of driving thrills. No official word on prices yet but speculation points to it coming in between below £30,000.

Toyota Prius C.   Toyota Prius C

Smaller than the Prius we already know the Prius C is expected to be called the Aqua when it finally hits the showrooms. Said to offer over 60mpg around town the new car is not expected to arrive in the UK where we will have to make do with the Auris and Yaris HSD models.

Volkswagen Cross Coupé concept.   Volkswagen Cross Coupé concept

VW's possible Range Rover Evoque rival was one of the few surprises at Tokyo. Sitting between the Golf and Tiguan in size, the Cross Coupé gives us an idea of what VW SUVs of the future will look like, but as it is also based on the new 'modular transverse matrix' platform it could actually make it to production. The possibility is strengthened by a sheer lack of concept madness with even the electric motor on the rear axle seeming a distinct possibility.

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack.   Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

VW's answer to the Audi Allroad and Skoda Superb 4x4. The rugged crossover features raised suspension, protective body cladding and a 4Motion four-wheel drive system. Power will be provided by VW's 2.0-litre TDI engine with outputs of 138- or 168bhp. No word yet on pricing but UK order books are expected to open in April.


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