2015 Tokyo Motor Show - Visitor’s Guide
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 44th running of the biennial event, presenting the theme “Your heart will race” with a cornucopia of cutting-edge production models and wild new concepts.
In fact, the concepts are 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 2015. Read on for tips on how to attend, as well as some of the hottest cars making an appearance.
Updated 10/30/2015: We’ve added more debuts, more concepts, and the latest info, plus we made our selection for best and worst in show. Enjoy!
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.
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 Friday, October 30th, and Sunday, November 8th. Hours are between 10 AM and 8 PM, Monday through Saturday (hours for Friday, October 30th are reduced to 12:30 PM to 8 PM). Sunday hours are between 10 AM and 6 PM.
Same day tickets are 1,600 yen ($13.17) for adults and 500 yen ($4.12) for high school students. There are also tickets for access after 4 PM, which cost 700 yen ($5.76) for adults and 200 yen ($1.65) for high school students (After 4 PM tickets not available for Sunday dates). Group rates are also available. 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.
When Mazda announced it was unveiling a new sports car concept in Tokyo, you could almost hear the drips of salivating enthusiasts worldwide. This Pavlovian effect was heightened by an accompanying teaser image of a shadowy coupe and rumors of a rotary engine. Well, the covers are off, so grab a bucket and place it directly under your chin. This stunning piece of design marks the return of the fabled RX nameplate, and it’s bringing the ultra-high redline spinning-triangle powerplant with it. Well done, Mazda.
Read more about the Mazda RX-Vision Concept here.
In a bid to attract the next generation of car buyers, a lot of makes are integrating the latest smartphone technology into their vehicles. The Teatro For Dayz concept takes this idea to a bold new level. Not only is it geared for social media updates and connectivity, but practically every surface in the cabin is a screen, making it a “canvas” for customization.
It’s an interesting idea, but the result just doesn’t work. Beyond the obvious problems of extreme distraction and the discomfort of sitting on a chair-sized display, this thing is just trying way too hard. Teatro is Italian for theater, but like an overly dramatic status update about how your lunch came out overcooked, I don’t really care.
I got another Italian word – sprezzatura. It basically means showing off with an air of effortlessness. Sprezzatura is cool. Unfortunately, the Teatro For Dayz has no sprezzatura.
Read more about the Nissan Teatro For Dayz here.
Crossovers And SUVs
The fourth-generation Forester is only a few years old, first entering production in 2014, but that isn’t stopping Subaru from giving the compact crossover an early facelift. Updates include a wider-looking fascia with a new grille and headlights, plus new paint options, new wheel designs, new interior materials, and a whole slew of safety-enhancing electronic driver’s aides (automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, etc.). Also, fuel efficiency receives a slight bump. While the revisions might seem a bit preemptive in the fourth-gen’s lifecycle, odds are the U.S. won’t see the changes until the 2017 model year.
Read more about the Subaru Forester here.
Suzuki has plans to expand its lineup with six new models in the next five years, and recently brought a few concepts to the 2015 Geneva Motor Show to demonstrate what was in store. One of those concepts was a compact crossover called the IM-4, and now, that vehicle will receive a production version. It’s called the Ignis, and while it’s a bit tamer than it’s show-only predecessor, it retains the same tight and boxy dimensions. Drivetrain options include a 1.2-liter four-cylinder and 1.0-liter three-cylinder, as well as a CVT. When it reaches dealerships, the new Ignis is expected to be one of the most affordable crossovers sold in Europe.
Read more about the Suzuki Ignis here.
Sedans And Sportscars
Hydrogen-powered passenger vehicles are just starting to break through to the everyday consumer, and Honda is ready to join the fray with the FCV. Sporting a funky, futuristic exterior design, the FCV looks like an alternative-fuel vehicle should, with heavy creases, a fastback roof, and rear fender wheel skirts. Inside, the cabin keeps some of the original concept’s flamboyance. But it’s what’s under the hood that matters most on the FCV, as Honda will offer up its own hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain to compete against similar products from Hyundai and Toyota. Output is rated at 174 horsepower, with nearly 440 miles of range from each tank of hydrogen.
Read more about the Honda FCV here.
Subaru loves to boast about the WRX STI’s motorsport-inspired performance capabilities, and every so often, it offers up a top-tune variant packing even more AWD punch. Such is the case with the S207, which modifies the current STI for more output, sharper handling, and exclusive styling. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, there are a few downsides – pricing starts at $46,000, only 400 will be made, and every one will be sold in Japan. What a shame.
Read more about the Subaru WRX STI S207 Limited Edition here.
Mini recently updated its lineup with a new Convertible model, and it’s pretty much what you’d expect from the BMW-owned British icon. The exterior is more or less the same as before, albeit a bit longer and wider. However, there are still a variety of interesting options for customization, including 11 different paint colors and an available Union Jack embroidery for the foldable roof. The roof also gets a range of settings, such as a “sunroof” mode for a just a little extra atmosphere. Inside is an optional 8.8-inch touchscreen and available Malt Brown leather upholstery. There are two engine packages slated for U.S.-spec vehicles – a 1.5-liter three-cylinder for the base Cooper and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder for the Cooper S.
Read more about the Mini Cooper Convertible here.
Toyota unveiled a new entry-level compact sports car concept in Tokyo called the S-FR, and it’s a model that promises to highlight driving fun and liveliness in the same vein as the Mazda MX-5 or upcoming Fiat 124. To that end, the S-FR is small, lightweight, and uses a front-engine RWD layout – the right combination for corner enjoyment. The styling is unique, especially in the front, where a large grille dominates the fascia, but elsewhere, there’s the usual gamut of styling cues, such as a long hood and short overhangs. Inside is black upholstery offset by bright yellow accents, and there’s even space in the back for two passengers (although we wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re training to be a contortionist). The drivetrain is expected to use a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine tuned for response and a six-speed manual transmission to send output to the rear.
Read more about the Toyota SF-R here.
Status updates and cloud software are all well and good, but sometimes, it’s nice to get into something that offers mechanical beauty instead of digitized wizardry. Such is the case with the Toyota Kikai concept, which shows off its nuts and bolts in pure, chromed-out, uncovered glory. You can see the steering components up front and the working suspension in the corners, while in the rear are the long headers of an inline four-cylinder engine. The three seats inside are encapsulated by sliding doors, but there’s plenty of glass to look out on the exposed metal. All in all, it’s basic, functional attraction.
Read more about the Toyota Kikai here.
While Honda shows off its hydrogen-powered FCV sedan, Toyota is upping the ante with this wild-looking fuel-cell vehicle concept. While similarly titled as the H-badge four-door, the Toyota FCV Plus is strikingly different aesthetically, most noticeably with the huge, blue-tinted glass cockpit. Inside is a minimalistic cabin layout with seating for four. Powering the Toyota FCV Plus is a novel hydrogen fuel cell, which can even be used to provide electricity to external sources if desired. It’s a bizarre concept that looks perfectly at home at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Read more about the Toyota FCV plus here.
Concepts come in all sizes and flavors at the Tokyo Moto Show, and next to creations like the FCV Plus, this possible next-gen Legacy from Subaru is slightly milder. That said, the Viziv Future is anything but boring. The body comes with a tall, SUV-esque stance, but only two doors for ingress and egress. There are hard angles and crisp lines front to back, including pointy side-view mirrors, C-shaped headlights and taillights, and a honeycomb, hexagonal pattern for the fog lights. Inside, you’ll find more geometric shapes, plus a large touchscreen. The drivetrain is hybrid-powered, including an electric AWD system, and there are several semi-autonomous driving technologies as well.
Read more about the Subaru Viziv Future here.
The Mitsubishi brand needs some help in the U.S., and this concept might point the way, bringing a slew of interesting features that could see a transition into future production vehicles. On the outside is new design language, with heavy angles and x-shaped styling in the front and rear, similar to the XR-PHEV II concept already seen in Geneva. Inside, there’s an asymmetric dash, a large touchscreen for infotainment control, and a windshield with augmented reality technology. Under the hood is an all-electric drivetrain with a 45-kWh battery, two electric motors, and a 249-mile range. But the question is – will Mitsubishi bring any of these features to production?
Read more about the Mitsubishi eX here.
Subaru’s iconic lineup of compacts currently sits in its fourth generation, with a fifth-gen model expected to emerge sometime in the next few years. But before the new reveal, we get an early preview with this five-door concept in Tokyo. In a nutshell, it’s a slick hatchback with a healthy wallop of sporty styling cues. There are aggressive aero pieces, as well as C-shaped headlights and taillights. Under the hood will be an upgraded flat-four engine, and the latest iteration of Subaru’s AWD system.
Read more about the Subaru Impreza 5-Door here.
Suzuki will observe its 100th anniversary in 2020, and to help celebrate, it’s kicking things off early with a “Next 100” theme at the Tokyo Motor Show. Part of the celebration is this zany minivan concept, a welcome alternative to the over-capacity crossover segment. Combining futuristic styling with a good deal of retro flair, the exterior is very compact, but part those dual sliding doors in the flanks, and you’ll gain access to a large, three-row interior, with wood paneling on the floor and a reconfigurable seating arrangement. Motive power is drawn from a hybrid drivetrain, complete with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and an AWD system.
Read more about the Suzuki Air Traiser here.
Like the Air Traiser, the Mighty Deck is also part of Suzuki’s “Next 100” celebration, combining old school and new school for design inspiration. This time around, the concept resurrects the Suzuki Mighty Boy, a cult classic from the ‘80s, offering kei car compactness with a sprinkle of practicality. While dimensionally tiny, the rear sports a small, two-tiered deck to store things – not terribly useful, but big enough for a bag of groceries if arranged properly. The interior sits two, and there’s a good deal of upscale wood trim on the dash and exterior.
Read more about the Suzuki Mighty Deck here.
To complement the production-variant Ignis, Suzuki also brought out the Ignis Trail concept, which presents what can be done to make the subcompact SUV a little more dirt friendly. That means the car is more or less the same as before, but bears larger wheel arches, beefier running gear, a taller stance, and new plastic moldings to protect the exterior bodywork. The interior is mostly a carryover, but there is some fresh upholstery in place to add a bit of gloss. So far, Suzuki has kept the drivetrain details to itself, but we’re guessing more power from the engine packages, plus a standard AWD system.
Read more about the Suzuki Ignis Trail here.
There’s nothing like the exhilaration of riding a high-powered sportbike, but what if you want that same feeling in something with a roof and four wheels? That’s a rather tricky proposition, but Yamaha thinks it has the right stuff with the Sports Ride Coupe Concept. The basics are on point, with small size and low weight. The two-door also follows in the philosophical footsteps of Gordon Murray, the brain behind the inimitable McLaren F1. Inside is a no-frills cabin layout. No word yet on the engine, but given Yamaha’s catalogue of two-wheeled machines, finding the right motivation shouldn’t be a problem.
Read more about Yamaha Sports Ride Coupe Concept here.
The highlight of the Lexus booth has to be LF-LC Concept, which provides a preview of the brand’s next-generation flagship four-door, the full-size LS. The exterior presents large dimensions and a good deal of auto-show gloss, bringing Lexus’ unique design language to a whole new level. Inside the cabin is a mix of high-end luxury, top-shelf materials, and out-there technology. A fuel cell is used for the drivetrain, with hydrogen-derived electricity fed to all four wheels. It’s hard to say which of these features will actually make the leap to the production LS, but hopefully, this concept isn’t too far off the mark.
Read more about the Lexus LF-LC Concept here.
Few auto shows bring the weird quite like Tokyo, which makes this concept from Merc more than appropriate. It’s perfectly in line with many of this year’s themes, coming equipped with a fuel cell-powered drivetrain for mobility, and fully autonomous capabilities for convenience. The smooth, silver exterior offers copious lighting embellishments and a futuristic pod-like shape, while the interior houses a lounge-style bench seat for comfortable cruising as the AI handles pilot duties.
Read more about the Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo here.
Not to be left behind, Nissan brought its own self-driving concept to Tokyo, this time in the form of a five-door hatchback called the IDS. It’s part of the automaker’s vision to offer autonomous drive systems on a variety of vehicles by 2020, working with the human pilot to reduce errors and generally make the road a safer and more interesting place. The IDS can warn of upcoming dangers, weather conditions, traffic, and nearby points of interest, even mimicking the user’s driving style and preferences when full-auto mode is engaged. It’s also quite clean, styled with a swoopy, aerodynamic shape, and motivated by an all-electric drivetrain.
Read more about the Nissan IDS Concept here.
Last year, Nissan unearthed the Datsun brand to help it sell vehicles in emerging markets. Now, it looks like the automaker will offer a new crossover as part of that strategy. It’s called the GO-Cross, and it’s based on the existing GO+ hatchback. Outside, we find traditional segment styling elements, such as rugged plastic lower cladding. Details on the interior and drivetrain are still under wraps, but we’re expecting a simplistic and practical cabin layout, plus an efficient powerplant mated to a manual transmission.
Read more about the Datsun GO-Cross Concept here.