Find a Car
Go!

2003 Tokyo Motor Show, Part III Page 2


 

2003 Lexus LF-S concept

2003 Lexus LF-S concept

Enlarge Photo
Lexus Greens Up with LF-S

Even Lexus gets into the green scene with the LF-S, short for Lexus Future Sedan. Don’t be surprised to see this make it into production sometime soon, sources reveal. The sporty four-door features a V-8 gasoline engine mated to a high-output hybrid designed to enhance performance, as well as mileage. The LF-S also boasts coupe-like styling, an indication of the direction Toyota hopes to take its up-market brand. Since its debut in 1989, Lexus has been available only in a limited number of markets, with an emphasis on the U.S. In Japan, its products are sold through an assortment of other Toyota divisions — one reason there has not been a consistent Lexus “look.” That should change, as LF-S suggests. The marque now has its own board of directors, design studios, and research labs, and it is about to debut in Japan.

 

2003 Lexus LF-X concept

2003 Lexus LF-X concept

Enlarge Photo
When it does, potential customers could see a version of the LF-X, the brand’s second Tokyo show car. The Lexus Future Crossover has a more wagon-like body than the current RX330. It’s powered by a 4.3-liter V-8 and features all-wheel drive.

 

Green Machines Old News in Tokyo

Environmentally friendly technology dominated the last two auto shows in smoggy Tokyo — not surprising considering the number of cars on its roadways and the time they spend stuck in daily traffic. Green technology was still a hot topic this year, as Toyota’s presentation demonstrated. But it didn’t dominate as it has before. If anything, the need to make cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles has become a simple, accepted truth among Japanese manufacturers. “It is essential we share awareness of (such) problems,” said Yoshihide Munekumi, the chairman of Honda Motor Co., during an industry round table. This “awareness” has resulted in some strange bedfellows. Take Toyota, which is involved in two eco-friendly joint ventures: one with General Motors, the other with Nissan. The latter Japanese marque will bring its first hybrid to market by 2007 using a version of Toyota’s latest Hybrid Synergy Drive.

 

Small Cars, Big Aspirations

It’s one of the smallest of the Japanese automakers, but Daihatsu has some big ideas, as it demonstrated by rolling out a half-dozen concept vehicles during this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. An affiliate of Toyota’s, Daihatsu focuses primarily on the market for micro and minicars, finding creative ways to package in a surprising amount of interior space.

 

2003 Daihatsu Qi

2003 Daihatsu Qi

Enlarge Photo
The Qi (pronounced chee), is a city commuter concept vehicle that, according to company officials, is meant to “outwit today’s problems.” Barely nine feet, nose-to-tail this van-like vehicle is a full-fledged four-seater, though the rear bench is best suited to kids or cargo. Qi features a low load floor and a sliding passenger door. It’s powered by a range of engines, including a miniscule 660cc three-cylinder gasoline engine, or a hybrid electric that gets nearly 90 mpg.

 

2003 Daihatsu D-bone

2003 Daihatsu D-bone

Enlarge Photo
The D-bone is, well, a bare-bones design with a skeletal frame that becomes part of its design theme. With its bug-eyed headlights, motorcycle-style fenders and four-wheel-drive system, it’s a pocket-sized ute meant for city driving or sand dunes.

 

Daihatsu UFE-II

Daihatsu UFE-II

Enlarge Photo
The ultra-fuel-efficient UFE-II claims to be the highest-mileage vehicle ever. The successor to a mileage miser shown two years ago, the windswept two-seater uses an unusual Atkins 660cc three-cylinder gasoline engine mated to a two-motor hybrid drive. The body was wind tunnel tested to a drag coefficient of 0.19. For the aerodynamically challenged, that translates to slick. And it helps the research project to deliver a record 141 miles per gallon.

 
Follow Us

Commenting is closed for this article
Try My Showroom
Save cars, write notes, and comparison shop with hi-res photos.
Add your first car
Take Us With You!
   
Related Used Listings

 
© 2015 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Read Our Cookie Policy.