The Lexus RC Coupe we saw at the Tokyo Motor Show just three months ago is to gain a sportier “F Sport” cousin at the Geneva Motor Show next week and will hit showrooms later this year. Even bigger news is that Lexus is going racing, and a GT3 version of the car will be available to race teams within 12 months.
“It has a top speed of 6 km/h, it balances itself, and you couldn’t crash it if you tried. How can you possibly see that as one of the biggest thrills of your life?” That was the response from an automotive journalist colleague at the Tokyo Motor Show after I eulogized riding Honda’s UNI-CUB β personal mobility device. After a lifetime of journalism covering every form of technology, cars, motorcycles and "boys toys,” from driving and riding exotica worth a decade's wages, this was one the greatest thrills I had experienced – being one of the first to ride a landmark personal transportation device as important as Henry Ford’s Model T.
Subaru has given the world a look at where its Legacy car line is going with the world premiere of its new Levorg concept car at the 2013 Tokyo Motor
. The concept, which stands for “Legacy,” "Revolution,” and “Touring,” is designed to combine practicality and sports car handling in a Sport tourer concept which is expected to hit the Japanese market next year.
Japan's oldest automaker, Daihatsu, raised some eyebrows a couple of years ago when it unveiled its FC ShoCase vehicle. Along with being funny-looking, it was powered by a prototype fuel cell (first announced in 2007) that was said to overcome some of the key limitations of traditional hydrogen fuel cells. At this year's Tokyo Motor Show, a new FC concept vehicle has been presented – the FC Deco Deck mini-truck.
The Jaguar F-Type has had a hard time gaining acceptance in the automotive world, but then, the the classic E-Type is a phenomenally tough act to follow ... think coming on after the Beatles. Nevertheless, Jaguar is still in there punching with last week’s world première of the F-Type R Coupé version of its F-Type Convertible
, which is based on the 2011 Jaguar C-X16 concept.
One of the standout oddities at the Tokyo Motor Show this year was a Hiriko fold-up electric two-seater
which received a Gundam-style makeover courtesy of Kunio Okawara, the legendary mechanical designer responsible for a veritable shopping list of mecha designs.
Given how many miles taxis put in per day, the concept of electric taxis
is certainly appealing. That said, one problem is the amount of time that their batteries can take to recharge – most cabbies won't want to shorten their work day or do a split shift, in order to juice up their cars. With the EVA taxi, however, they wouldn't have to. The prototype vehicle can reportedly get enough of a charge in 15 minutes to travel 200 km (124 mi).
While you might not know who Ken Kiyoyuki Okuyama is, you've no doubt seen his creations. The Japanese auto designer has worked with Pininfarina and General Motors, overseeing the design of cars such as the Ferrari Enzo and P4/5
, the Honda NSX
, and the C5 Corvette
. He was also employed at Porsche, where he helped design the 996 and Boxster
. At this year's Tokyo Motor Show, he's showing four vehicles that he created as part of his own Ken Okuyama Design brand. Three of them are intended for the road and/or track, while the other is made for the field.
While Lexus may be best-known for its luxury automobiles, in recent years it's been dabbling in another type of vehicle – the bicycle. As a result, it's now possible to buy a US$10,000 Lexus F Sport road bike, while a pedal-electric commuter
may or may not be on its way to production. At this year's Tokyo Motor Show, however, a new Lexus bike was unveiled ... the NXB Concept mountain bike.
If you love cars and motorcycles, the Tokyo Motor Show
is one of those events which is always worth attending. It's home ground for 15 automakers, hundreds of automotive component manufacturers, and the highest concentration of R&D for every facet of public and personal transport in the world.