2017 Tokyo motor show – live coverage

2017 Tokyo motor show - preview

The industry’s most diverse motor show is getting underway – check out what’s going on display in Tokyo here

The Tokyo motor show is regarded as one of the most diverse in the industry, encompassing the best of Japan’s native car makers as well as its idiosyncratic car culture, with wild tuning cars, boxy kei cars and more. 

The 45th edition of the biennial show starts opens its doors in Japan on Wednesday, which means the action kicks off this evening (Tuesday) for those of you in the UK.

Autocar’s live Tokyo motor show coverage

The doors have opened at the 2017 Tokyo motor show and Autocar’s team is on deck to bring you live coverage. At the show we have editorial director Jim Holder, editor Mark Tisshaw, news editor Rachel Burgess and staff writer Jimi Beckwith. Their coverage and that of our contributing writers can be found below with the local time (JST).

Scroll down to to see a list of the key cars set to be revealed at the Tokyo motor show. 

1032: Daihatsu’s stealing the show with its five dinky concepts, ranging from a sports car to a wheelchair-accessible vehicle: “Kudos to Daihatsu for unveiling its headline show car alongside a similarly coloured part of its heritage. Trouble is, the older car reminds you just how bloated modern vehicles have become, and the fact it is arguably at the expense of a dollop of charm too.

1024: Because mobility solutions are certainly not a new concept: “Honda is a famously not just a maker of cars, and has a whole glut of other ‘things with wheels’ at the show, including this futuristic take on the wheelchair.”

1015: Mark’s not keen to try out the lesser exhibits of Tokyo: “This looks like a Japanese remake of the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost film, The World’s End. I’m not even going to attempt to decipher what’s going on here.”

1003: Jimi’s in need of an energy boost already: “It might be one of the smaller global motor shows, but Tokyo is proving to be as maze-like as the rest of them. A mental and physical challenge to find the WiFi haven that is the press room from my arrival point.” 

0955: Everyone’s favourite EV concept is about to get overshadowed: “My favourite car at Frankfurt was the Honda Urban EV, and I suspect my favourite car from Tokyo might be its sibling the Sports EV. Ask me later…”

0944: Toyota’s pragmatic Tokyo presentation has Jim Holder impressed: “Interesting, wide-ranging, address from Toyota executive president Didier Leroy, on the firm’s transition from a car to mobility firm, exemplified by its work to find transport solutions for people with disabilities, through to what he says is world leadership in solid state battery technology, which he says Toyota holds more patents on than every rival. It’s a powerful speech, confident but not swaggering, and portrays Toyota in a more forward-thinking light than is often put forward by company outsiders.”

0930: Brands save Russian doll styling for the Moscow motor show, Mark: “The many, many faces of BMW – and the X7 isn’t even here. No chance of Russian doll styling here, at least.”

0921: Rachel’s not feeling the love for the Leaf Nismo: “Hate to say it, but the Leaf Nismo looks seriously underwhelming.”

0912: The world’s subtlest reference to rotary, perhaps? Mark’s getting dizzy: “The turn table on which the Mazda Kai concept is displayed is spinning as fast as I’ve ever seen one spin. Something to hide, chaps? You don’t have to look too closely to see the next gen 3 in there…”

0900: Mazda product strategists: this is an official request: “Aston won’t be replacing the Rapide ‘four door sports car’ (they rebranded it from a saloon years ago), but Mazda is more than welcome to do it for them with a production version of the stunning Vision Coupe.”

0852: Back to work, Burgess, we’re here for new metal: “One of my favourite cars of all time here. Seems slightly out of place but given all the classics I’ve seen on the roads here, ranging from a 2CV to an XJR, perhaps I shouldn’t surprised that the Japanese like their heritage cars”

0843: Wishful thinking, Mark: “Subaru has the not-for-UK BRZ STI Sport here among four other show debuts of various degrees of significance. And yet despite its performance makeover, there is still no extra power for its boxer engine. Has Subaru given it an F1-style performance freeze where it can’t touch it for years on end? Give it a good slug of extra power and torque to really differentiate it from its Toyota GT86 sibling.”

0840: Rachel’s been swotting up on Mazda’s design strategy: “Mazda has stripped back its design even more with its two new concepts, with a philosophy it calls the ‘art of light’ in which it wants its model surfaces incredibly clean so to manipulate the light. The brand’s head of design is trying to combat the lack of elegance in modern cars.”

0833: You’d think that once you’ve seen one motor show, you’d have seen them all. Not so. “First time at Tokyo motor show for me. Seems calm but intrigued to see how heaving it gets…” says Rachel.

0824: At motor shows, journalism is most certainly a contact sport: “There’s standing room only at home heroes Toyota and Lexus. Word is the secret Lexus concept is indeed the hydrogen-powered version of the LS. Not long until we get confirmation…”

0823: Jim Holder’s getting his serious, exec-grilling face on: “Dress rehearsal time at Toyota, to help film crews get their light and sound balance right ahead of executive Vice President Didier Leroy’s arrival for the big announcements. After all the build up, its nearly time to get going…”

0816: One of the first reveals of the day is this stunning Mazda Vision Coupe Concept. Mazda hasn’t given word on production, but has said that it’s a design study. Don’t expect it to be a dramatic replacement to the 6. 

0810 MTNissan’s stand is packed with new Leafs – it clearly is a huge leap forward tech wise, but visually? When the motoring history books are written, the Leaf will be commended for many things – a pleasing design not among them.

0805 MT: Most major motor shows have the word ‘international’ in their title, but that’s increasingly less the case. Paris feels like a French car show, the recent Frankfurt show a German one – and this Tokyo motor show is effectively Japan-only, with no major debuts outside of countries from outside Japan’s four islands. A good thing in my eyes – shows were becoming too homogenised. Not so for fairs like Tokyo.

0800 MT: Usually not one for teasers, but for once we have been suitably teased in the build up to this show. New Honda and Mazda sports cars and a returning Mitsubishi Evo have whetted the appetite and have a genuine air of intrigue and surprise around them. Today will be a good day.

0800 JH: First stop is the Toyota and Lexus press conferences. We’ve already seen and heard about Toyota’s offerings, and the deeper you scratch below the seemingly wacky exteriors the more you learn about the firm’s future EV, hydrogen and Artificial Intelligence strategies. The real intrigue, though, is an unspecified Lexus concept. The smart money is on it being a hydrogen derivative of the flagship LS, fitting for the home motor show, but perhaps it could be the mooted BMW X1 rival on production form?

2017 Tokyo motor show – the cars


Daihatsu DN range

Daihatsu is presenting no fewer than five cars at the Tokyo motor show, including a dinky four-door coupé, the DN Compagno, small SUV, the DN Trec, larger, three-row SUV in the DN Multisix, 660cc, petrol-powered U-Space, and the DN Pro Cargo concept, which is powered by electric, and is claimed to be a versatile load-lugger, suitable for a variety of uses, from wheelchair-accessible vehicle, to small mobile cafe. 

Honda Sports EV

Honda’s doing a Volkswagen with its electric concepts, and is revealing the Sports EV – closely related to the Frankfurt show-stealing Urban EV a few weeks ago – in Tokyo. It’s another virginal white concept, with retro styling cues carried over from its Urban EV sibling. Unlike the Urban EV, Honda hasn’t announced a production date for the Sports EV…

Honda Urban EV

…although the Urban EV is being wheeled out at Tokyo for a second bite of the motor show cherry.

Lexus concept

Alongside its other models, including the new LS, Lexus will showcase a new concept car at the Tokyo motor show, which the brand is keeping tight-lipped about until the official press conference. Lexus’ last concept was the UX, revealed at the Paris motor show in 2016. Given the current electric, autonomous and SUV trends, it’s likely that the concept will be an electric, autonomous SUV. 

Mazda ‘design vision model’ 

Neither of Mazda’s concepts yet have names, but the design vision model, as Mazda describes it, shows the brand’s future styling direction, continuing its ‘Kodo’ design language, on a dramatic, four-door coupé. It follows the similarly rakish RX Vision concept of the last Tokyo motor show in 2015. 

Mazda ‘product concept’

The product concept, despite not being pinned to previewing any specific model, is an unmistakable signpost as to what to expect from the next 3. It’s a five-door hatchback, powered by Mazda’s cutting-edge Skyactiv-X compression ignition technology, and styling draws inspiration from the new CX-5

Mitsubishi e-Evolution

Mitsubishi is reviving the Evolution name on an unfamiliar car; instead of a rally-honed sports saloon, the e-Evolution is a low-riding coupé-SUV, with electric four-wheel drive and advanced autonomous systems. It’s not yet confirmed for production, but Mitsubishi says the car would be its flagship should it hit the roads.

Mitsubishi Electric Emirai 4

Odd one, this one; it’s not Mitsubishi as we know it, but the brand’s electrics and tech subsidiary, Mitsubishi Electric. The car might not make production as-is, rather being a test and display bed for human machine interface tech shown inside. 

Nissan electric SUV

The Nissan Leaf has been the Japanese car maker’s sole electric vehicle since launch, but now the second-generation EV has arrived, Nissan is planning to broaden its electric-powered range with an SUV. Although Nissan revealed the Terra electric SUV concept back in 2012, Nissan says that this is not the car for Tokyo this year. 

Nissan Leaf Nismo concept

Nissan will continue its EV assault with a concept to preview the upcoming Nissan Leaf Nismo – a racier version of the best-selling EV – which it’s bringing to the Tokyo show later in the month. 

Subaru Viziv Performance concept

Subaru’s Tokyo-bound concept is an aggressive, box-arched performance saloon, with the angular face of the Impreza up front and a ducktail spoiler at the rear. Subaru hasn’t yet revealed any details of the car, so look out on show day for full specs. 

Suzuki e-Survivor concept

And now for something completely different. Alongside the new Jimny, Suzuki will also show its e-Survivor concept, designed to be the future of the small off-roader. It has an electric motor for each wheel, huge ground clearance, two seats, an open roof and considerable off-road potential. 

Toyota Fine-Comfort Ride concept

Bet you can’t guess what this is being pitched against – Toyota’s going outlandish, with its Fine-Comfort Ride concept, which is said to propose “a new form of the premium saloon in a low-carbon society”. You guessed it – the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is in its sights, with a wheelbase 30cm longer than Mercedes’ saloon, and a focus upon comfort inside.

Toyota GR HV Sports concept

If Toyota made all the sports cars which it produced concepts for, it’d be a very sports car-heavy brand. The GR HV is a hybrid sports car based on the GT86, with rear-wheel drive, and a bizarre automatic gearbox, with manual gear lever. 

Toyota TJ Cruiser concept

Alongside the GR HV Sports in Tokyo will be a Tj Cruiser concept (pictured above). This hybrid model hints at the brand’s future SUV design direction with retro styling, chunky dimensions and a modular interior.

Toyota Crown concept

Not one for us; a Toyota Crown concept will also be on show, offering a glimpse of the next-generation Japan-focused model with Internet of Things connectivity, as well as the next-generation Century, another domestic market offering.

Toyota Century

Range-toppers don’t get much more different than this – Toyota will also bring its next-generation Century – a luxurious rival to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class to the show. It’s got a V12 under the bonnet, and styling straight out of a graphic novel.



Source: Autocar Online

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