Future wheels at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show (pictures)
From car-motorcycle hybrids to far-out tractors, the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show experiments with all sorts of new vehicle architectures.
The usual suspects of concept vehicles are on display at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show this week, where environmentally friendly, fun driving are prominent themes.
Toyota debuted a number of vehicles including the 9-foot-long FV2, a Light Cycle-style one-seater with a hatch that closes over the driver.
Designed to be like a futuristic horse that has a physical and emotional connection to the driver, the FV2 doesn't have a steering wheel. Instead, it responds to the driver's movements such as forward and back or left and right, while also assessing his or her mood.
Meanwhile, the exterior is covered with touch-panel displays that can be changed at will. Inside, an augmented-reality windshield provides information such as navigation data and safety warnings.
Toyota also showed another three-wheel vehicle, the i-Road. Somewhat of a cross between a car and a motorcycle, the 7.7-foot-long two-seater has an active lean system that changes the height of the front wheels to ensure stability on turns.
The i-Road is slated to be tested in Japan and France next year, according to Toyota.
Honda debuted its S660 Concept roadster, a compact charmer with a three-cylinder, 660-cc engine that recalls Honda's earlier small sports cars. It's expected to be mass-produced for the Japanese market in 2015.
Another jaw-dropping concept at the Tokyo Motor Show this year is this unreal electric motorcycle concept from Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
The J is a three-wheeler with one wheel in the back and two in front. The latter split apart in "comfort mode" when the driver sits in an upright position, but come together for "sport mode." The J is powered by a Gigacell high-capacity nickel-metal hydride battery.
Mini showed its refreshed Mini Cooper hatchback in Tokyo, with the S model giving drivers a 2-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 192 horsepower. The car is also on display at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show this week.
Tokyo-based Ken Okuyama Design exhibited the Kode 9, a sporty two-seater that evokes vintage racing cars. It has engine options from 1.6 to 2.4 liters, right- or left-hand drive, and a plush red interior.
Also from Ken Okuyama Design, this 3,600-pound tractor is one of the slickest farming vehicles we've seen in a while. About 10 feet long, the YT01 Advanced Tractor was created for Japanese diesel engine maker Yanmar.
Motor shows are never without quirky concepts, including this odd electric two-seater concept called D-Face. Conceived by a Japanese group called Durax, the D-Face is 7.8 feet long and features a tablet computer on the steering wheel.
It has a front-entry system via a hatch that is supposed to open automatically but needed a little assistance during a demonstration. Access isn't exactly easy for people with long legs, but at least the hatch can keep you dry before unfurling an umbrella in the rain.
Nissan's super-sleek BladeGlider concept electric vehicle is inspired by swept-wing aircraft design. It can seat three people, two behind the driver, and is supposed to provide a sensation of "gliding" over the road. Nissan calls the BladeGlider a "prototype of an upcoming production vehicle."