Toyota 86

At its new home in the wonderfully named Tokyo Big Sight convention centre, the home-town heroes and some of the big guns from Europe rolled out a clutch of new wares to excite and transport.

It's not surprising that Toyota chose its home-town motor show to launch its new affordable hero car.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Toyota 86

Powered by a 2-litre boxer engine, the 86 will head into Aussie showrooms in 2012. What name it'll wear — 86 or GT 86 — has yet to be confirmed.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Audi A1 Sportback

It was only a matter of time, but Audi has finally grafted two extra doors onto its Mini-chasing hatchback.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Audi A1 Sportback

The more practical hatchback goes on sale in Australia in the middle of 2012. It will come with four seats as standard, although five seats are available at no extra charge. The excellent MMI entertainment and nav system is, naturally, an option.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Subaru BRZ

Oh, hey, it's the Toyota 86/GT 86 again. Wait, no, what's that? A Subaru badge?

Yep, the two companies worked together for this new sporty coupe, but whether the Subaru-badged version will come to Australia has yet to be decided.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Mitsubishi Mirage

One should never judge a book by its cover. Cars on the other hand ... well, let's just say that the new Mirage won't win any custom thanks to its razor-sharp looks or racy visage.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Mitsubishi Mirage

It will probably land in Australia in 2012. Whether our cars will sport the thrifty three-cylinder, 1-litre petrol engine that drinks just 3.33L/100km is anyone's guess.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Mitsubishi Mirage

Things aren't much more enticing on the inside. Mind you, if a large touchscreen nav is fitted as standard, that may sway some.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

Take one regular wagon, fit it with four-wheel drive, jack up the suspension, throw on some fender flares and — hey presto! — a dirt-track-ready car for those who don't want to wrestle with an SUV. It's a strategy that's worked wonders for Subaru and its Outback over the years.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Porsche 911

You can't accuse Porsche of rewriting its design book too frequently (or at all) with every new 911. Despite being virtually all new, the shape has only been gently evolved.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Porsche 911

The key ingredients are the same: rear-wheel drive, engine behind the rear wheels and six cylinders in a boxer configuration. You can, however, specify a seven-speed manual transmission — a first for a passenger car.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Honda CR-V

Tucked away in a corner of its stand is the most important car in Honda's immediate future: it's a family swallowing, pocket-friendly SUV.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Honda CR-V

We're not particularly smitten with the rear-end's bulbous looks, but it should do wonders for cargo space.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Honda CR-V

The newly redesigned rear seats split-fold 60/40, like so many other cars. But the new mechanism is easier on the muscles and the seats lie almost completely flat with the boot floor.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Honda CR-V

The new car can be ordered with either a 2- or 2.4-litre engine in Japan, and front- or all-wheel drive.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Toyota Prius C

Want a cheaper, more compact hybrid car? Well, Toyota's hoping that you'll put off any car purchases until 2012.

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Toyota Prius C

Although the company isn't saying anything yet about pricing, except to say that it'll be "competitive", we'd expect it to start from under AU$30K.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Toyota Prius C

The smaller Prius features an electric instrument panel to keep you informed about what the 1.5-litre petrol engine and various electric motors are up to.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Tall body hatchbacks, like the new B-Class, are practical, but rarely exciting.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Car tech geeks out there will bemoan the fact that the new B-Class loses the old car's unique "sandwich" floor. In that layout the engine was mounted at an extreme angle, so that in the event of a frontal accident it would slide underneath the cabin floor.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Mercedes-Benz B-Class

As compensation, however, the B-Class now features a more luxurious-feeling interior adorned in soft plastics and leather.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Mazda CX-5

The company's new SUV has lost a little in translation from concept car to production model, but it's not too shabby looking.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Mazda CX-5

The CX-5 is the first car to feature a full suite of Mazda's fuel-saving SkyActiv-branded technologies, including a high-efficiency diesel engine and automatic transmission.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Lexus GS

The new 5-Series-chasing GS is (still) in many ways the awkward middle child — not as handsome nor athletic as its smaller IS sibling, while also not being as laid-back or suave as the bigger LS.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Lexus GS

Drivetrain choices overseas include 2.5- and 3.5-litre V6s, as well as hybrid featuring the bigger engine.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Lexus GS

Inches count when it comes to entertainment and nav displays. The new GS features a whopping 10-inch screen with a lovely level of resolution and all controlled by the trackpad-like Remote Touch controller.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

BMW 1-Series

Fitting the BMW design aesthetic to a small hatchback proved troublesome the first time around and it doesn't look like BMW's found the solution just yet.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

BMW 1-Series

The second-gen car can be had with a floating 6.5-inch entertainment and nav display, Bluetooth, USB, automatic engine start/stop, parking assistance and lane departure warning.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

BMW 1-Series

The new 1-Series is already on sale in Australia with a range of turbocharged four-cylinder engines. Prices start from AU$39,990, but no amount of money will make those awkward eyes go away, though.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Mini Coupe

If you want a Mini, but thought that four seats (at a pinch) was too many or that hatchbacks are just too darn practical, here's the decidedly less-than-practical two-seat coupe version.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Mini Coupe

But wait! It's technically a hatchback, too, as the rear windscreen lifts up with the boot lid. Time for a Bex and a lie down.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Volkswagen Beetle

Americans and females loved the first of the retro-style Beetles. Sensing that 50 per cent of the market was potentially untapped, VW added an extra level of butch to the new car.

It might make sitting in one a less wince-inducing proposition, but would guys buy one?

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Citroen DS5

We love the way the regular Citroen C5 looks, but the DS5 bumps the aesthetics factor up a notch or two in our books.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Citroen DS5

The car will launch in Australia in the middle of 2012.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Citroen DS5

We reserve a special amount of love for this homage to chromium.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Citroen DS5

In Europe there will be a Hybrid4 version that combines a 140kW diesel motor powering the front wheels with a 27kW electric motor for the rear wheels.

Derek Fung travelled to the Tokyo Motor Show as a guest of Toyota Australia.

Photo by: Derek Fung/CNET Australia
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