Although we like the really outlandish concept cars, others we saw at the 2007 Tokyo auto show were almost mundane. With realistic power trains and body styles that would fit in at any mall parking lot, these concepts are ready for the road.
Volkswagen seems intent on developing a new small car, a feat that should come easily for a company that made its mark with the Beetle and Rabbit. It showed its Up small car concept at the Frankfurt auto show, and now it increases the size a bit for the Space Up.
Volkswagen considers the Space Up a sort of minivan, emphasis on the mini. With an engine located in the rear, Volkswagen hearkens back to its original Beetle and microbus. But the LCDs on the dashboard of the Space Up are thoroughly modern.
Audi already announced it will produce a small car called the A1. The metroproject is a first look at this new car. Judging from what we saw at the show, Audi won't need to change much to put it in production. Its hybrid power train might not make it into a production vehicle, as it uses a gas engine for the front wheels, and an electric motor in back.
Another feature that may be a little too blue sky is the infotainment module. It works as the car's key, and can be removed. You can take it in the house, hook it up to your computer, and still control car functions through its wireless connection.
Toyota's goal with the iQ was to make a car as small as possible that could still hold four adults. With the iQ measuring under 10 feet long and less than 5 feet high, that's quite a feat. We hope there's also room for the engine.
Minivans won't go away in favor of crossovers, if Chrysler and Toyota have anything to say about it. Chrysler launched a new Town and Country this year, and Toyota is working on a new design for its minivan with the FT-MV. With big recliner chairs for the middle-row passengers, we think Toyota is on the right track.
Small cars are all the rage, as Daihatsu puts up a design contender. HSC stands for "Heart and Smile Concept." Silly name aside, we like the looks of this little car. It's eco-friendly, with a small three-cylinder engine that employs an idle stop mode, so you won't burn extra gas in traffic.
The Exiga could easily be the next Subaru Forester. The concept has room for seven passengers and would use a 2-liter turbocharged boxer-style engine putting power to all four wheels. The exterior design is realistic for a production car, although it has some futuristic touches such as LED headlights and rearview cameras instead of side mirrors.