First highlights of the Tokyo motor show
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The 45th Tokyo motor show has kicked out with local manufacturers set to reveal the future of powertrains, designs and artificial intelligence.
Toyota was first off the block, opening the biannual event from the West Hall of the convention centre, with the reveal of its Concept-i series.
According to the Japan manufacturing giant, the Concept-I coupe represents the use of “artificial intelligence, and as a partner that understands people”. This vehicle aims to become a ‘beloved car’ of a new era, according to Tokyo.
It combines technology that understands people ("Learn") with automated driving ("Protect”), and new “Fun to Drive” experiences ("Inspire"). A cabin has a forward projecting silhouette.
Toyota will conduct road tests in Japan by 2020.
Tokyo also revealed the new crossover concept vehicle, the Tj Cruiser that combines the room of a cargo van and the comfort of an SUV.
A local favourite of Japan’s Imperial family, the Toyota Century, also had a royal presence at the show.
The third-generation luxury limousine will now be powered by a 5-litre V8 hybrid system but continues the subtle design.
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Sister company Daihatsu revealed its localised products, such at the Doctor Van, which allows a wheelchair to access the van, with a medical centre inside.
The rest of the line-up included dinky small hatchbacks/vans that dominate Japan.
But hats off to the brand for the debut of the DN Compagno, a compact car “for active seniors”. Based on the original Compagno, which was made from 1963-70, it is built in collaboration with Italian coachbuilder Vignale. Daihatsu says the new Compagno “comfortably seats two adults and provides colourful support in post-retirement life”.
Over in the East Hall, Porsche was the first of the non-Japanese brands to show off its products – but like other European manufacturers on show, all the products had been revealed at the recent Frankfurt motor show.
For Porsche that mean the third-generation Cayenne large SUV and the e-hybrid Panamera.
At the neighbouring stand, Volkswagen announced that it will put the ID Buzz into production after demand from the public.
Based on the microbuses of the 1960s and ‘70s, the ID Buzz will go into production “at the start of the next decade” announced VW, with an EV motor capable of 600km range. It will also eventually gain fully autonomous driving capability, says VW.
The brand, desperate to put dieselgate behind it, focused the press launch on its EV products for the Japan market, including the e-Golf.