Subaru Turns Up The Battery Power
Subaru has dubbed its display at the 37th Tokyo Motor Show the Blue Cocoon, forits blue lighting and deep blue background, which was used to show off three different concept vehicles — among them the B9 Scrambler, a sleek two-seater with a sequential hybrid power train that will get the equivalent of 48 miles per gallon with the space used for a conventional all-wheel-drive system. One of the keys to the system is a manganese lithium-ion battery that stores more energy longer than a nickel metal hydride battery. The B9 also serves as a design research vehicle. Subaru has been looking for a more modern version of the corporate grille and other front end features, and has been testing reaction with various recent prototypes. Given a positive reaction here in Tokyo and perhaps at the Detroit show in January, this could become the automaker's new "face."
Subaru R1eEnlarge Photo
Subaru B2Enlarge Photo
Subaru also showed off a prototype for Legacy Touring Wagon that features a seat that swivels making it easier for a passenger to get in and out of the seat.
Coming to a Dealer Near You
You’re not likely to find the UFE-II at your local dealer any time soon — even if you live in Japan. But a number of other Tokyo show cars will make the leap from concept to production in the not-too-distant future. As you’d expect, most will be bound for the U.S. market. The Subaru RS, for example, is expected to replace the aging Pleo minicar, but it’s simply too small for American tastes. U.S. buyers will see the Mazda Ibuki show up as the next-generation Miata, though the edgy styling should be toned down a bit before then. Mitsubishi’s Spyder show car gives a hint of what’s to come when Chrysler launches its next line of C-class passenger cars, which are being developed largely by the Asian automaker, a member of the DaimlerChrysler family. As their names suggest, one will see the Lexus Future Sedan, or LF-S, and Lexus Future Crossover, or LF-X, set the tone of models to come, while Nissan’s stylish Fuga is being touted as the shape of things to come at the Infiniti brand. And don’t be surprised to see Honda borrow many of the styling cues found in the curvaceous HSC sports car, perhaps to serve as a replacement for the Acura NSX.