2017 Tokyo Motor Show – Visitor’s Guide
Only the freshest automotive bites, wrapped and rawby Jonathan Lopez, on
Since 1954, the Tokyo Motor Show has been the venue of choice for countless automotive debuts and product showcases, bringing together manufacturers from around the world to exhibit the latest cars, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles. This year is the 45th running of the biennial event, presenting the theme “Beyond The Motor” with a cornucopia of cutting-edge production models and wild new concepts. In fact, the concepts are often the staple highlight of the event. Manufacturers are known for pulling all the stops in Tokyo, wowing crowds with some of the most innovative and eccentric creations to date. Additionally, a vast multitude of visitors are expected to pass through the gates to witness the spectacle, with over 900,000 attendees showing in 2013, and a record two million plus in 1991.
No doubt, then, the Tokyo Motor Show is one of the biggest and most important automotive events of 2017. Read on for tips on how to attend, as well as some of the hottest cars making their presence known.
Updated 10/30/2017: The 2017 Tokyo Motor Show is now coming to a close, but you can still check out all the big debuts below!
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.
While American audiences are likely drawing a blank, Japanese buyers should know all about the Century. This four-door is Toyota’s large and in charge luxury car, with the latest third-gen model making its appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show this year. The updated model gets bigger exterior dimensions, but similar boxy exterior styling as before. LEDs provide the lighting. Inside, you’ll find high-end materials and a 20-speaker stereo, while making the power is a new hybrid V-8 engine, which replaces the outgoing model’s traditional 5.0-liter V-12 powerplant.
Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Century.
Sports Cars, Hypercars, And Race Cars
It seems like with every other major auto show, the Subaru BRZ gets another special edition model, and the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show is no different. Unfortunately, this latest SE continues the tradition of ignoring enthusiasts’ cry for more power, arriving with an unchanged 205 ponies from a stock naturally aspirated flat-four 2.0-liter engine. Instead, the STI Sport Edition justifies its release by making the most of the nameplate’s talents in the corners, which Subaru promises will deliver “pure handling delight.” That ain’t too bad, no? It looks good, too, with a new rear wing on the trunk. Granted, the wing is a bit smaller than what we’ve come to expect from a car with an STI badge, but we aren’t complaining. What’s more, just 100 examples of the limited production run (450 units total) will get the exclusive Cool Grey Khaki paint. There’s new gear in the interior as well, including buckets seats covered in red upholstery, plus there’s an STI logo embroidered into the headrests.
Read our full review on the Subaru BRZ STI Sport Edition.
Speaking of special edition Subarus, the Six Star brand is also bringing a new WRX STI to Tokyo. Dubbed the S208, the new SE follows in the footsteps of the preceding WRX STI S207, and gets cool lightweight stuff like a carbon fiber roof, plus new aero elements for the front fascia and an upgraded rear wing. Inside is a black and white upholstery scheme, while under the requisite Subaru power bulge is more power and more torque, possibly boosting the flat-four rumble-maker to 350 ponies and 350 pound-feet of torque total. The suspension bits will also see a retune. Production is once again limited to 450 units total.
Read our full review on the Subaru WRX STI S208.
Oh, how time flies. Lexus launched its first “F” model about ten years ago, and to celebrate, it’s giving the RC coupe a fresh special edition. Carbon fiber aerodynamics are added to the exterior, looking chunky and aggressive thanks to a new splitter and diffuser, while the interior is decked out in Heat Blue upholstery. Power comes from the same 5.0-liter V-8 as before, with 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque on tap.
Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus RC F Limited Edition.
Subaru is offering a trio of concepts for three of its existing models, including the Impreza, XV, and Outback. Each gets its own set of unique treatments to the exterior and interior, offering a glimpse at the direction Subaru hopes to head with these three models. Each could also be a feeler for future special editions Subaru has planned. Either way, the new XV gets unique gear for off-roading fun, including bright yellow paint, tough matte-black cladding on the fenders, fascia, and rear bumper, plus a roof rack as well. The Impreza concept is also covered in yellow paint, and gains sleek new bumpers front and back, plus LED lighting. Finally, the new Outback gains new styling, once again draped in yellow, plus new wheels in the corners and upgraded upholstery in the cabin.
Read the full story here.
EV competition has been steadily heating up since Nissan released the first-gen leaf, and now is the time to bring something new to the nameplate. And this is certainly new – Nismo is the Japanese automaker’s performance division, better known for tuned-up iterations of sports cars like the 370Z and GT-R. Applying the same go-faster know-to to the Leaf, we find new styling outside, with the traditional white and black coloring, plus red striping. A new fascia is upfront, while a new diffuser and roof spoiler can be found in the rear. Inside, there’s black upholstery with further red striping, as well as a flat-bottom steering wheel. In terms of tangible performance, the Leaf Nismo gets a retuned ECU, with more go over the stock 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, plus upgraded suspension as well.
Read our full review on the Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept.
Stateside consumers probably don’t know much about the Crown nameplate, but elsewhere, this luxurious four-door is well established with no less than 14 generations in its resume. Now, there’s a new fifteenth generation on the horizon, previewed by a nearly production-ready concept car. Outside, we find larger dimensions, with a longer wheelbase, plus a large, four-sided grille that stretches from the hood down to the ground. Inside, we’re expecting superlative comfort features, while a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder will likely provide the power, although more potent options should make the list as well. Look for this thing to run against the big European entries.
Read our full review on the Toyota Crown Concept.
Mitsubishi killed the Lancer Evolution in 2016, but now it looks like it’ll make its return with a brand-new all-electric SUV. Putting gripes about replacing a darling of the performance world with a battery-powered SUV to one side, this new concept provides us with a little insight into what Mitsu might have planned for the future. Outside, we find futuristic, sci-fi inspired styling with the “Robust & Ingenious” design language, which gets lots of hard angles and deep cuts throughout. Inside, there’s a broad horizontal design layout and about half of a square steering wheel. Autonomous tech is also a big focus of the concept, and includes an AI “coach” that’ll help you become a better driver.
Read our full review on the Mitsubishi E-Evolution Concept.
In case you were wondering, TJ stands for “Toolbox Joy,” which basically means this concept seeks to combine functionality with an enjoyable experience as a passenger. Combining the body styles of a minivan with a crossover, the TJ Cruiser looks pretty weird, with big, boxy design elements that appear to be a back-to-basics approach that eschews details in favor of big, flat, blank spaces. That said, the Toolbox looks like it also gets lots of space inside, making it quite functional with tons of space and a rugged rear-loading floor. The layout on the dash is also kind of interesting, and gets a minimalistic kind of approach. FWD is standard, while AWD is optional for when the road gets rough. There’s also a decent amount of ground clearance, plus 20-inch wheels in the corners. Finally, there’s a hybrid powerplant under the hood, with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine to make the go.
Read our full review on the Toyota TJ Cruiser.
While the non-appearance of the new Supra is a definite let down, Toyota is at least giving us a taste of sporty things to come with this, the GR HV Sports Concept. Based on the Toyota GT86, this concept gets funky new styling outside that gives a nod to Toyota’s WEC racer, down to the design of the wheels. Up top is a handsome targa top, while an innovative automatic/manual gearbox resides under the skin. Providing the power is a hybrid powertrain, presumably with something around 250 ponies for motivation.
Read our full review on the Toyota GR HV Sports Concept.
Nissan offers this follow-up to the IDx concept we saw in 2013, naming the latest study as the IMx. This new one is a nod to the Datsun 510, reimagining the iconic sport compact as a crossover with unique exterior styling. Meanwhile, the interior gets a wild-looking design that looks like it comes straight from an artist’s imagination, and includes new technology like fully autonomous driving capability and gesture control. There’s also lots of ambient light thanks to the copious amounts of outward-facing glass. A pair of electric motors provides more around 370 miles of range, not to mentions plenty of power as well.
Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan IMx.
We love Mazda’s concepts, and although we didn’t get a new production RX this year, at least we can drool over this latest concept hatchback. As a possible preview of the next-generation Mazda3, the Kai is simply dripping in gorgeous styling features, looking somewhat similar to such superstar design studies as the RX Vision. Big wheels, rounded body panels, smooth lines… we can’t take our eyes off it! Same goes for the lovely interior as well. Mazda is even giving us a look at a possible new SkyActiv engine with the Kai. Without a doubt, this is one of the best concepts on tap from a show filled to the brim with competition.
Read our full review on the 2017 Mazda Kai.
Here’s another one from the Zoom-Zoom brand, and once again, we are completely smitten. Compared to the Kai, the Mazda Coupe Concept adds size to the gorgeous styling, looking a bit like a four-door iteration of the previous RX Vision concept that grabbed our attention a few years back. Inside is a classy, simple layout, complete with aluminum trim and wood veneer, while we’re thinking hybrid for the powerplant.
Read our full review on the 2017 Mazda Vision Coupe.
The LS is Lexus’ flagship sedan, and to keep it running strong against the competition, the nameplate has to stay at the cutting edge of technology and luxury. As such, concepts like this are a good way to set the stage for upcoming production models from the brand, including some wild exterior styling that’s both functional and attractive. Of course, autonomous tech plays a significant role in the design study, and while we’re not totally sure about the powertrain spec, all-electric motivation is pretty good guess.
Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus LS+.
Finding a mix between on-road manners and off-road capability, the Cross Hub concept takes the experience Yamaha has accumulated as a producer of motorcycles, ATV’s, and the like to create an utterly unique pickup. It’s small and bubbly, and gets a distinctive rear bed for enhanced utility. The three-seater interior is equally weird, and gets a central seating position for the driver and an array of displays.
Read our full review on the 2017 Yamaha Cross Hub.
Honda is certainly no stranger to the world of sporty compacts, and this new EV concept looks to take that know-how into the future. The exterior gets an interesting cab-back profile and long hood line, plus a black-and-white color scheme that lends it a lightweight, smoothed-out appearance. The rest of the concept is a bit of a mystery, but we’d be eager to see where the H Badge is planning on taking this idea.
Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Sports EV.
We love a good Subaru concept, even though most of those good-looking pieces of design end up on the cutting room floor prior to getting the production green light. Regardless, the new Viziv Performance Concept is a look at what the next-generation Subaru WRX could look like, given the bean counters are kept quiet. Flares, cuts, and carbon abound, while a large touchscreen takes up residence in the dash. Make it happen Subaru!
Read our full review on the 2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept..
Where And When
The Venue And Transportation
This year, the Tokyo Motor Show once again returns to the Tokyo Big Sight, Japan’s largest convention center. The Big Sight is located at 3 Chrome-11-1 Ariake, directly adjacent to Tokyo Bay, approximately 25 minutes from Tokyo International Airport, and an hour from Narita International Airport.
A variety of transportation options to the venue are available, including trains, buses, taxis, and even water buses. You can find more information on transportation here.
Show Schedule And Tickets
General public access runs between Saturday, October 28th, and Sunday, November 5th. Hours are between 10 AM and 8 PM, Monday through Saturday. Sunday hours are between 10 AM and 6 PM.
Same day tickets are 1,800 yen ($15.97) for adults and 600 yen ($5.32) for senior high school students. There are also tickets for access after 4 PM, which cost 900 yen ($7.99) for adults and 300 yen ($2.66) for high school students (After 4 PM tickets not available for Sunday dates). Junior high school students and younger receive free admission.
You can find more information on ticketing and a list of ticket retailers by clicking here.