Toyota's magnificent concept car, the Fun-Vi three-seater, is drawing lots of attention at the show with its customizable appearance. Users can change the exterior display panels with a phone app, displaying their own photos, their blog, or anything else on the body.
The 42nd installment of the Tokyo Motor Show returned to the capital for the first time in 24 years after a long run at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, just outside Tokyo. Opening to the public Saturday, it showcases 45 world premieres, up from 39 at the last show.
Honda's sleek AC-X plug-in hybrid concept has a 161-hp electric motor. Its "engine drive mode" is for aggressive driving with joystick-like Twin-Lever Steering controls, while "automatic drive mode" puts the car in autopilot and stows the steering mechanism.
Speaking of autopilot, Toyota is running test-drives of its Automatic Vehicle Operation System (AVOS), an autonomous drive control for the Prius. The car uses GPS and embedded sensors to find its way on regular roads, as well on the roof of Tokyo Big Sight.
Another EV concept from Honda, the angular Micro Commuter is a three-seater with a lithium ion Loop battery, an output of 23 hp and a range of 60 km per charge. The folding Moto Compo electric scooter, which also uses the Loop, can be stowed beside the driver in a kind of symbiotic vehicular relationship.
The Nissan Townpod, revealed in 2010, is a bulky EV concept designed under the goal of "mobility that exceeds the category of a mere passenger car or a commercial car." Its charge port is hidden in the nose panel, while the side and rear doors can open wide to take oversize cargo.
Kobot is a series of concept vehicles from Kowa Tmsuk, a joint venture involving companies in medical equipment and robotics. Here, the stylish interior of the Kobot Pi seems geared toward younger drivers as much as its exterior, which resembles a giant pumpkin on wheels.
The Kobot V, meanwhile, is an electric scooter that looks like a Tron concept that didn't quite make it past the brainstorming stage. It has a "telescopic foldable structure" to save space in parking lots, according to Kowa Tmsuk.
Subaru's production BRZ is a rear-wheel sports car under development with Toyota. It has a 2.0-liter, horizontally opposed 4-cylinder D-4S Boxer engine and was designed under a product concept of "Pure Handling Delight."
Daihatsu's boxy FC ShowCase can seat four people and is powered by hydrazine hydrate liquid fuel cells, which can be synthesized from nitrogen and hydrogen. The technology does not require rare metals and is being billed as environmentally friendly.
Designed by Yamaha and Toyota, the Electric commuter EC-Miu is a tricycle with Wi-Fi capability for navigation by smartphone, and can be recharged with a contactless interface at G-Stations for electric cars.
Suzuki's compact Q-concept two-seater is one of several bubble cars at the Tokyo Motor Show. It's designed for shopping, commuting, and short rides, with a 10-km (6-mile) radius from home. Route navigation is through a smartphone slotted into the dash; relevant apps can transmit info to friends who are driving nearby.