Highlights from Interbike 2014

Tokyo Motor Show 2011

The Yamaha Y125 concept

Yamaha's press conference at the Tokyo Motor Show today was a genuine sign of the times. Four brand new world premiers were shown. The largest internal combustion engine amongst them was a 250cc model with fat tires designed to go anywhere – the SUV of motorcycles was the claim. There was also a three-wheeled electric commuter, a fold-up electric pedal-assist bicycle and, wait for it, an 80 km/l (226 mpg Imperial or 188 U.S. miles/gallon) retro 125cc commuter that's somewhere between a bicycle and motorcycle – it weighs just 80 kg and it is beautiful.  Read More

The Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II PHEV.

With its Concept PX-MiEV II making its world premier at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, Mitsubishi is breaking away from electric mini-cars and applying its MiEV electric vehicle technology to the oft-derided SUV. But Mitsubishi hopes to convince the SUV-naysayers with its concept plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV), which it describes as having "high environmental performance and fuel efficiency." To the technology borrowed from the i-MiEV, the PX-MiEV II adds a conventional engine, with the result that the hybrid matches the range of a conventional car, but with significantly improved fuel efficiency. Thus, claims Mitsubishi, its hybrid SUV will happily cruise at 60 km to the liter (141 mpg), to a range of more than 800 km (or 500 miles).  Read More

Honda EV-STER concept

More from the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, where Honda today unveiled the two-seater EV-STER, which it describes as the "next-generation electric small sports concept". Honda says that its lightweight frame made of "carbon materials" grants a range of approximately 160 km (99 miles) while simultaneously improving performance. Honda very much emphasizes the EV-STER's driving experience, citing the ability to customize motor output and suspension settings, as well as its twin-lever control instead of a steering wheel.  Read More

The Volkswagen Cross Coupe concept making its debut at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show (Image: G...

The opening day of the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show has seen Volkswagen unveil its Cross Coupé crossover concept. Featuring a long wheelbase and short overhangs, the all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid is visually a cross between a four-door coupé and a compact SUV. The vehicle also represents the first public outing of Volkswagen's new modular transverse matrix (Modularer Querbaukasten or MQB) platform, which is intended to form the basis of a variety of different models (including the upcoming Golf and Audi A3), allowing the use of the same set of components while providing the flexibility for individual models to have a variety of wheelbase, track and external dimensions.  Read More

Toyota's GT 86

Toyota will be officially showing its GT 86 sports car in Tokyo, after several years of concept cars and redesigns and extensive collaboration with Subaru, which will sell an almost identical car. The compact 2+2 sports car is an incredibly important release from the world's largest auto manufacturer, which is hoping to bolster its reputation by creating a superb handling, driver-focused, low center of gravity, beautifully balanced with excellent power-to-weight ratio. The front-mounted 197bhp Subaru 2.0-litre flat-four has rear wheel drive, goes on sale mid-2012 and is expected to sell below GBP30,000 in the UK to "those for whom driving is a passion, not a necessity."  Read More

Toyota finally appears ready to play its hand in the autonomous vehicle revolution

Toyota is to show an autonomous (self-driving) Prius at Tokyo Motor Show. Dubbed the Toyota AVOS (Automatic Vehicle Operation System), the car will be available for members of the public to take "back seat" rides at the show, demonstrating first hand how the Prius can avoid obstacles, be summoned from a parking garage and park itself. There will also be a demonstration of communications-linked electric cars, scooters and electric-assisted bicycles including what is expected to be Yamaha's first production electric scooter.  Read More

From top left, the Aqua, FT-EV III, FCV-R and Fun-Vii

The world's largest automaker has been slow off the mark in the race to bring electric vehicles to market, but it is now playing catch up at a fearsome rate, and we'll see the first of its new range of electric vehicles two weeks from now at the Tokyo Motor Show. The first Toyota EV (top right) will be a four-seater based on the iQ with a range of 65 miles (100 km) and it will hit showrooms next year. It is one of several new cars set to be shown, including a smaller, cheaper plug-in hybrid named the Aqua (top left - on sale in Japan THIS year), a plug-in version of the Prius hybrid and a hydrogen fuel cell midsize sedan (bottom left) to go on sale in 2015. The most intriguing of its Tokyo exhibits is the (bottom right) Fun-Vii concept “where people, cars and society are linked”. All we know is that the two “i”s stand for interactive and internet. As many details as are known inside.  Read More

The three new concepts - the D-X (top left), PICO (bottom left) and FC ShoCase (top right)

Daihatsu is Japan's oldest car maker, celebrating its sixtieth year of production this year, having honed its skills in micro-vehicle design in an environment where space is at a premium, and the roads are as congested as any country on earth. Toyota's controlling interest looks set to pay off as the world is belatedly realising that small cars are the future. The three new concept cars it will exhibit at the Tokyo Motor Show two weeks from now point the way to the future in several ways.  Read More

Suzuki's Q-Concept

Suzuki's Q-Concept is a narrow-track, lightweight tandem two-seater, "positioned between conventional motorcycles and cars" according to the Japanese manufacturer. Two years ago at the last Tokyo Motor Show, we did a major article and video on narrow-track vehicles, forecasting that cars would get smaller and lighter, and the Q-Concept fits the bill perfectly.  Read More

Few road-going cars have seen variable aerodynamics beyond the raising of rear  spoilers i...

Honda's AC-X is a plug-in hybrid concept that at first glance appears to be relatively conservative. It is not conservative in the least, and when the vehicle's full capabilities are unveiled in Tokyo a few weeks from now, we expect it to have front and rear bumpers which raise and lower to offer better aerodynamics depending on the speed, an autonomous or semi-autonomous driving mode which does not require the driver to steer, a radical smart key device and some very interesting 3D GPS displays which stretch right across the dashboard to give the passenger an unprecedented view of the surroundings.  Read More

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