Saturday, November 28, 2009

Missed: Highlights of 2009 Tokyo Motor Show

We're back! However, we've missed out quite a lot. So we're starting off quick! Here goes:

Although the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show reveals have ended for some time now, we can still cover it up. Well the Japanese doors have closed, and we could happily say that this was one of the best shows to come out of Tokyo in the last several years. Previously, the show was mainly about futuristic concepts that actually have no future as retail cars. This year, there's still a handful of concepts, but with big promises to come to productions, as well as some really cool sportscars.

* 2010 Alpina BMW B7 BiTurbo: Alpina is best known for spicing-up BMWs. Well now, they got they're hands on a 2010 BMW 750iL, and look what they've done to it! Extended body-kit, 21-inch bespoke Alpina wheels, a sporty lip-spoiler, and oh; a tuned-up twin-turbocharged 4.4L V8, that now makes 507 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Alpina say that this big Bimmer can hit 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds!

* 2010 Caterham CSR 175: Although Caterham lightweight sportscars may seem very basic and traditional, they're actually somewhat expensive. To put it bluntly, a top-range CSR 260 costs well over $50,000; and that is just way too expensive for a roadster that only offers very little in terms of daily-drivability. Well, the folks at Caterham have decided to add a buttom rug, that to make owning a Caterham more affordable. So, here it is; the CSR 175. As the name suggests, this little superlight roadster develops 175 hp from a Ford-sourced 2.3L Duratec 4-cylinder engine. For a car that weighs less than 1,000 kilograms, this thing can still accelerate like a proper supercar! With that little weight and a stiff chassis like all Chaterhams, it also handles like a LeMans' racecar as well.

* 2009 Honda Skydeck Concept: Honda say that this concept could be the next-generation Honda Odyssey. Of course though, the scissor doors, the futuristic thin seats, and the screens all around the dashboard won't come in the next Odyssey. Nonetheless, Honda claims that the Odyssey will share inspiration with the Skydeck Concept in terms of styling, and the hybrid drivetrain.

* 2009 Honda CR-Z Concept: Although it shares its name with the 2007 CR-Z Concept, this CR-Z is actually a pre-production vehicle that will hit showrooms next year, and the successor to the old ricer-legend CR-X. The new CR-Z mimics some styling cues of the CR-X, but in a up-scale look. As for power, Honda said that the CR-Z will be more powerful than the CR-X, and therefore, faster. However, the new CR-Z will be more -wait for it- economical! How? The new CR-Z will be powered by a 1.5L 4-cylinder engine, mated to a battery-powered electric hybrid powertrain. What's very clever here, that it features a world first. The new CR-Z will be the world's first hybrid to have a shift-yourself 6-speed manual transmission! Unfortunately, we probably won't hear any official numbers on the drivetrain's output or its mileage until closer to lunch in 2010.

* 2010 Lexus LFA: It's been 3 years of non-stop teasing and fully-camouflaged spy shots, but nothing prepare us for this - the 2010 Lexus LFA. It's finally here, and here very strong. So why create a $375,000 supercar in this time of year? Well, Toyota say that this is to upscale the image of Lexus even more. It's also one really fast supercar! Weighing in at 3,263 pounds, the front-mounted 4.8L V10, which produces 560 hp at a screaming 9000 rpms and 354 lb-ft of torque, can sprint to 60 mph in a 'wow' 3.7 seconds, and will continue up to 202 mph. Controlling that power, is a 6-speed sequential transmission, which sends power to the rear-wheels only. Moreover, driving the LFA will excite even more with a one-off bespoke Lexus interior with screen gauges, and a two-tone leather interior with shades of carbon-fiber. So then, if you got $375,000 in your wallet, better behave fast, since Lexus will only produce 500 units. And that, makes the Lexus LFA, the only real supercar to come from Japan!

* 2009 Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV: In its main-steam products, the Outlander is probably Mitsubishi's most successful crossover. So, it makes sense in Tokyo show, that Mitsubishi hints on the next-generation Outlander, with this Concept PX-MiEV. Mitsubishi say that the PX-MiEV scores a new design direction for them, which is 'refinement'. So all shapes inside and out look somewhat edgy, and elegant at the same time. Nonetheless, Mitsubishi's real score is in the drive-train, as this PX-MiEV has a 1.6L petrol engine connected to a battery-powered electric engine, making this Mitsubishi's first hybrid crossover. If you really like what you see here, then you should get excited for the next-gen Outlander.

* 2010 Nissan GT-R: It just looks exactly identical to the 2008 GT-R; so what's the change? For 2010, Nissan has fettled the suspension setup (front shocks and springs have been tweaked for increased "accuracy", and the rear-suspension has been stiffened), fitted higher-flow cats to the exhaust system for improved low- and mid-range response, and they've also added a next-generation hard-drive based navigation system that includes iPod connectivity. What's move, the twin-turbocharged 3.8L V6 gets a 5 hp increase, making the total of 485 hp. However, the most significant difference in the revised GT-R, is the price tag; now starting at around $80,000. So it isn't the cheap supercar anymore!

* 2009 Nissan Land Glider Concept: Nissan CEO - Carlos Ghosn - surprised all Tokyo Motor Show audience with this - 2009 Land Glider Concept. Why this big fuss? Well first off, it looks kind of weird - the motorcycle-like horizontal two-seater setup in a car is still unfamiliar. Also like a motorcycle, the Land Glider leans up to 17 degrees to handle a corner. Powering the Land Glider is a clever electric engine, which features a non-contact charging system, meaning that drivers won't have to fiddle with any plugs, they can just pull into designated charging spaces. Moreover, because the Land Glider is lightweight, and the electric engine is torquey, Nissan say that this concept will be pretty quick for an electric vehicle. However, the biggest surprise of all, that Ghosn said this is not some 20-year lifetime concept, and that the Land Glider will come into production some time next year!

* 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STi Carbon: When this new-gen Impreza WRX STi came in the new hatchback styling, many criticized it that it just became a softy. So, Subaru went back to the drawing board, and came up with this new special version - the WRX STi Carbon edition. Carbon edition brings down the center of gravity, with a carbon fiber-made roof. What's more, to make it compete with its Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, the WRX STi Carbon has a 5-speed automatic with paddle-shifters. Subaru say that the 305 hp 2.5L turbocharged flat-4 will still crack 60 mph in a mere 4.8 seconds.

* 2009 Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept: Subaru isn't really known for producing any kind of minivans. So what are they saying about this Hybrid Tourer Concept? It's Subaru's first attempt to design a sporty-look-like minivan. The Hybrid Tourer Concept also spots gullwing doors, and a hybrid drivetrain with Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive system and a Lineatronic CVT transmission.

* 2009 Suzusho Supasse-V: Never heard of Suzusho? Well we didn't hear of them either! However, Japan is full of local automakers that don't seem to oversea their vehicles. Well this Supasse-V is a Japanese race-car for the road! Looking like a race-car, it also has some race-car potentials. Powered by a Mazda-sourced 2.3L turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder, and a 6-speed manual, the Supasse-V weighs only 850 kilograms. That hints the reason why it can sprint to 60 mph in an astonishing 4 seconds.

* 2009 Toyota FT-86 Concept: The good-old days of drifting an '86 Corolla are back! With this - FT-86 Concept. They say it's a concept, but this is a pre-production mule, which will come to showrooms sometime in 2011. It's a combination of a sexy Toyota 2-door body that channels back some '80s throwbacks, and a 2.0L flat-4 engine from Subaru. Get this though; the FT-86 sends power to the rear-wheels only, through a 6-speed manual! Toyota also say that the chassis is equipped with a limited-slip differential, and designed with drifting in-mind. So Toyota, welcome back to the glory days of fun!

* 2010 Toyota Mark X: There are some Japanese cars that we really want to see them overseas, because we think they could be successful. Here's an example - the Toyota Mark X. What makes the Mark X so special that it's about the best Toyota sedan we encountered with. While it looks like a Camry or an Avalon outside and inside, it's actually a Lexus GS underneath! Yes, this Mark X is rear-wheel-drive Toyota sports-sedan! Powered by either a 203 hp 2.5L V6, or a 315 hp 3.5L V6, the 6-speed automatic transmission in both engines comes with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. So please Toyota, throw-out the cheesy Avalon, and bring us the 'real' sporty Mark X with the healthy 315hp V6.

Here's our cover of the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show.


Carmen A. said...

Great report, keep them coming!

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air ride kits said...

Very good post. These cars are so interesting I would dedicate my whole time for it.

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