Tokyo Motor Show

Tokyo Motor Show

The 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon will begin right after the Detroit Auto Show in January and many automakers are releasing all kinds of information on their lineup for the show floor in Japan. For example, Mazda will be bringing plenty of specially customized MX-5 models, including the MX-5 NR-A Jinba Ittai and the MX-5 Black Tuned edition.

The Black Tuned Edition is based on the special edition MX-5 Sport Black model announced earlier this year, but going on sale in the spring of 2012. The model adopts black-based special features for both the interior and exterior, and offers a full range of exclusive specifications including BBS lightweight alloy wheels, Bilstein height adjustable dampers, a Brembo brake system (painted in gold for the front), and Recaro seats.

The list of standard equipment for the Mazda MX-5 Black Tuned Edition includes climate control air-conditioning, a premium Bose audio system, an integrated hands-free Bluetooth system, cruise control, and front fog lights.

Mazda is going full force at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon , presenting a grand total of 10 vehicles at their home auto show. We’re not surprised that one of the vehicles they’re bringing to Tokyo is yet another special edition model of their iconic MX-5 Miata line.

Called the MX-5 NR-A ’Jinbai-Ittai’ - translate, Jinbai-Ittai means "horse and rider becoming one" - this special race-spec Miata is a lightweight, two-seater, open-top sports car that has been finished with unique exterior graphics to go with a grocery list of new equipment, including TAKAT four-point seat belts, new Bilstein dampers, Endless brake pads, and a new set of 16" alloy wheels from ENKEI that have been wrapped in Bridgestone tires.

Mazda has been tight-lipped on all the other modifications and enhancements given to the MX-5 NR-A ’Jimba Ittai’. Nevertheless, you can expect more details about this special edition, race-spec Miata to be released leading up to the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon before the event opens its doors this coming January.

Ever since the Honda S2000 was dropped in 2009, rumors surrounding a a hybrid successor for the roadster have been buzzing. Turns out, those rumors may be true now that Honda has announced the EV-STER Concept at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show. Could this be the beginning of the next small roadster? So far, signs point to yes. The Concept is being described as "a next-generation compact EV sports model, fun to drive while achieving excellent environmental performance." It is an all-electric vehicle that combines the pleasure of driving with zero CO2 emissions.

The new EV-STER Concept is made of carbon materials that help reduce the vehicle’s total weight. It is powered by an electric engine combined with a RWD system and a 10kWh lithium-ion battery that ensure a driving range of approximately 100 miles. The concept will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds and will be capable of a top speed of 100 mph.

The concept uses an easy-to-operate twin-lever steering that was adopted for the thorough pursuit of the joy of driving. Moreover, the new concept model enables the driver to make his/her own adjustments to some vehicle characteristics such as motor output and suspension settings, to embody the joy of maneuvering to the fullest extent.

UPDATE 12/15/11: Honda has officially announced that the EV-STER Concept has been green-lighted for production. The news comes courtesy of Auto Motor und Sport, who stated that Honda CEO Takanobu Ito has said that the roadster is headed to production and could be offered as early as next year in both standard gasoline and electric powertrains.

UPDATE 02/08/12: Honda has released a new promo video of the EV-STER Concept, which you can check out by clicking on the photo above. Enjoy!

At the beginning of 2011, Nissan unveiled the Leaf Nismo RC concept, offering up an "extreme" version for their electric car. Now, the company has taken it back a notch by presenting a new Nismo Concept at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show - right next to the Juke Nismo - that strips the racing qualities, but moves forward with the Nismo package.

The new Nissan Leaf Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept features an extreme body kit, including a front aero bumper, a rear under protector, rear diffuser, extended side sills, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The front bumper incorporates LED lighting which is arranged transversely to accentuate a sense of motion. Unfortunately, that’s where the modifications end, which isn’t unusual for an electric vehicle. The Nissan Leaf Nismo is still powered by front mounted electric drive motor that only outputs 80 of those kilowatts for a maximum output of 107 HP.

"Nissan LEAF has shown that zero emission mobility is no longer a dream but a reality. The Nismo Concept not only proves the hidden potential of Nissan LEAF but also adds even more excitement and energy to LEAF, delivering a guilt-free yet exhilarating driving experience that can be enjoyed by every car enthusiast," said Hideaki Watanabe, Corporate Vice President, Nissan Motor Company and head of the company’s electric vehicle business unit.

UPDATE 01/29/13: The Nissan Leaf NISMO has been green lighted for production, which should be good news for the struggling model. The only caveat is that the model will be available only in Japan with no performance enhancements.

If anyone can tear their eyes away from the new BRZ sports car for just a second, they could see that Subaru has also presented the fourth generation Impreza at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show. The new Impreza will be offered in two versions: the five-door known as the Impreza Sport and the four-door known as the Impreza G4. In Japan, the new car will go on sale on December 20, 2011.

This fourth generation all-new Impreza was developed under the concept of "Redefining Value, Redefining Class." This means that next to a new look, the Impreza will also offer superior reliability, handling, and safety features of the Subaru Symmetrical "All-Wheel Drive"system with the Horizontally-Opposed Boxer engine.

The new Impreza will be offered with a choice of 1.6 and 2.0 liter engines combined with a standard a paddle shifting 6-speed manual and new Auto Start Stop system. All of these new items have only one purpose: improving performance and reducing fuel consumption.

Hit the jump to read more about the fourth generation Impreza.

In the middle of all the concept debuts and race prototypes being unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show , one car that’s neither of those things is fetching some serious attention.

The car is a special one-off Audi A1 that’s inspired by the Japanese National Soccer Team. Affectionately called the A1 Samurai Blue, the one-off car has been dressed in the official colors - blue and white - of the Samurai Blue, the nickname given to the country’s soccer team. Complimenting the two-color exterior paint finish is a red color - the same hue as that of the Japanese flag - that was used on the rear spoiler and the set of 18" wheels provided. The exterior also sports the logo of the Blue Samurais on both sides of the car, as well as on the roof.

The interior equipment of the A1 Samurai Blue has been dressed in black with contrasting blue stitching. Colorful accents are also found on various parts of the interior, including the air vent nozzle, the inlays, the center console, and the floor mats.

Under its hood, no performance enhancements were done on the car so the A1 Samurai Blue is powered by a standard 1.4-liter TFSI engine that produces 122 horsepower. No surprise there.

The whole purpose of the A1 Samurai Blue is for Audi to sell the one-off model and have part of the profit donated to charity. So if you happen to have a heart of gold and fancy a one-off Audi A1 like this, you might need to get to stepping and be the lucky one to go home with this ultra exclusive piece of A1 eye candy.

German automaker, Volkswagen , is using the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show to unveil a pretty unique concept vehicle called the Cross Coupe.

We say unique because the Cross Coupe was designed with a bevy of new features, both characterized by a new design architecture and a new hybrid power train set-up. The latter of the two is an all-wheel drive hybrid drivetrain that features a turbocharged gas engine and a pair of electric motors that are found on both the front axle and the rear axle of the SUV.

As far as the design of the Cross Coupe is concerned, there are plenty of new languages that you can expect to see in a lot of Volkswagen’s future models, and not necessarily on a production version of this concept.

All told, the Volkswagen Cross Coupe Concept paints a real good pictureof the future of Volkswagen. It may not end up as a stand-alone production model, but as with most concepts go, it gives us a taste of what to expect from the German automaker moving forward.

Find out more about the Volkswagen Cross Coupe Concept after the jump.

It’s not an understatement to say that the Toyota GT 86 is without question one of the most hotly anticipated models to come out of Toyota in quite some time. So when the car was officially revealed, we didn’t have to wait long to see a racing prototype come to life soon thereafter.

Turns out, Toyota Racing Development has developed not just one, but two prototypes based on the GT86: The N0 and the N1.

Official details behind the two models have yet to be revealed, but the Japanese website Response managed to take a few photos of the two cars as they were being prepared for the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show . Compared to the 86 N0, the 86 N1 appears to be the more aggressively tuned of the two, as evidenced by the enormous carbon fiber rear wing the race car is sporting. The N1 also comes with the same logos and decals the N0 has, as well as special TRD badges found throughout the vehicle.

As far as engine enhancements are concerned, we’re pretty sure that TRD did something to both models to improve on their performance capabilities. Nothing has been announced yet, but we expect details to be revealed sooner rather than later.

Set among the many debuts Toyota has planned for the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show is the G’s Prius, a sportier and far more aggressive take on the Japanese automaker’s resident hybrid car.

Toyota has yet to reveal the full specs regarding the car, but it certainly looks like this model is an evolution of the Prius G Sports Concept that the company unveiled at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show.

Of the details we do have of the G’s Prius, we can tell you that the model has a White Pearl Crystal Shine exterior finish with red and black decorated stripes running along both sides of the car. One thing we’re thankful of, as far as the G’s Prius is concerned, is that Toyota opted for a more traditional look as opposed to the oddly-designed, rear-tire covered Prius G Concept. The interior of the G’s Prius also got a few styling tweaks in the form of a revised steering wheel, Recaro sport seats dressed in black leather with matching red stitching, a new information display, and aluminum pedals.

Under its hood, the G’s Prius will come with the same power train as that of a standard Prius so expect a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an Electronic Continuously Variable transmission. This setup produces 99 horsepower and 105 lb/ft of torque matched to an electric motor that produces 82 horsepower.

The Tokyo Motor Show will be featuring an onslaught of concept cars coming from some of Japan’s biggest auto shows. The biggest of them all is Toyota , and they’ve finally revealed exactly what’s in store for us when the show opens at the end of November.

Once of the concepts that will be in attendance is the FCV-R (Fuel Cell Vehicle - Reality & Revolution). The FCV-R is a hydrogen-powered sedan-type concept that is being run on a promising source of CO2 emission-free energy that, according to Toyota, can be produced in a variety of ways using a number of sources and can be easily stored and transported.

The concept is being pegged as a future fuel cell model that the company is looking into bringing into production in a few year’s time. The overall set-up of the FCV-R Concept was designed with the aforementioned fuel-cell unit located just under the a specially designed bodyshell.

This unit carries a 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen tank and has been improved to be able to produce a cruising distance of approximately 700 km, which is just under the Japanese JC08 test cycle.

More details behind the Toyota FCV-R will be made available when the Tokyo Motor Show opens on November 30.

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