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2005 Tokyo Motor Show Preview


2005 Chrysler Akino concept

2005 Chrysler Akino concept

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Chrysler Has Something Akino for Tokyo

Chrysler has a new idea ready for the audiences that will mass for the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. The Akino concept, the company says, is a one-box vehicle that seats five people despite its compact dimensions. Named for its designer, 37-year-old Akino Tsuchiya, the concept uses natural and recyclable materials like bamboo flooring, sconce lighting, and throw rugs and pillows to create a homey interior. Tsuchiya penned the vehicle at the DaimlerChrysler Pacifica Advanced Design Center in Carlsbad , Calif. The Tokyo show opens to the press on Oct. 19.

Honda Has "FINE!"Tokyo Concepts

Honda's displays at the Tokyo Motor Show will include a new four-door concept, a fuel-cell car, and a vehicle that's designed for families with dogs. The "FINE!" theme was chosen for the display, Honda says, as it's dedication to "free thinking, intelligent, advanced technology, and exciting new designs." The Honda concept vehicles on display include:

2005 Honda Sports 4 Concept

2005 Honda Sports 4 Concept

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The four-door Sports 4 Concept, which Honda says is penned to "make sure everyone in the vehicle shares the exhilaration of the drive;"

2005 Honda W.O.W. Concept

2005 Honda W.O.W. Concept

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The W.O.W. Concept, geared to a "more enjoyable, dog-friendly mobile lifestyle;"

2005 Honda FCX Concept

2005 Honda FCX Concept

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And the latest FCX concept, a fuel-cell sedan with a low floor, a low center of gravity, and a full-size cabin.
Mazda Offers Senku Concept for Tokyo

2005 Mazda Senku

2005 Mazda Senku

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Meanwhile, over at the Mazda stand, Ford's Japanese affiliate will be showing off a new four-seat, rotary-powered sportscar concept called the Senku. The Senku (it means "pioneer") could be the foundation for Mazda's future styling themes, with a smooth aero shape with power sliding side doors. The leather-trimmed cabin sits behind a direct-injection rotary engine coupled to a hybrid power unit. Mazda says the powertrain gives the Senku a 50:50 weight distribution as well as more power than a rotary-engined sportscar could have without the electric boost.

Subaru Has Hybrid Concept for Tokyo

2005 Subaru B5 concept

2005 Subaru B5 concept

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All-wheel-drive specialist Subaru is to display a "high-powered hybrid" concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show. Called the B5-TPH, for Turbo Parallel Hybrid, the three-door coupe combines a 260-hp 2.0-liter boxer engine with an electric generator/motor fitted between the engine and transmission.

The four-cylinder horizontally-opposed gas engine is not taken from an existing Subaru model. It features a Miller-cycle system, technology that Mazda flirted with in the mid-1990s in the Millenia sedan. The system improves engine efficiency by reducing pumping losses thanks to a combustion expansion or power stroke that is longer than the compression stroke.

Normally this system makes an engine sluggish at low speeds but thanks to the electric motor, Subaru says, standing-start torque is boosted even beyond that of an Impreza Turbo.

The electric motor itself produces 10 kW (13.4 hp) and 150 N-m (110 lb-ft) torque while the petrol engine has a 191 kW (256 hp) output with 343 N-m (253 lb-ft) torque.

A new type of manganese lithium-ion battery charges to 95-percent capacity in five minutes and operates not just in city driving but also when cruising. This, Subaru claims, provides a low-cost solution to giving driving enthusiasts lively acceleration and a high top speed with excellent fuel consumption and low exhaust emissions.

The design of the Subaru B5-TPH can best be described as a smooth-contoured crossover with a large tailgate, hinged just behind the B-post. Its crossover theme, which Subaru pioneered with the Forester, combines the practicality of a hatchback, the fun of a coupe, and the all-terrain ability of an SUV, complete with almost eight inches of ground clearance.

Subaru says that while the B5-TPH continues the theme of previous concept cars such as the B11S and B9 Scrambler, the concept is not meant to hint at any future model. But if it doesn't, and hybrid is the must-have technology of the moment, then why would they do it? -Ian Norris

2006 Subaru Impreza WRX by TCC Team (9/26/2005)
The five-year wait was worth it.


Nissan Pivo Concept Could Solve Parking Dilemma

2005 Nissan Pivo concept

2005 Nissan Pivo concept

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Hate trying to park on a crowded city street? Not comfortable making a K-turn? Nissan's new Pivo concept could solve such problems, explained designer Masato Inoue, during a sneak preview of the bubble-shaped, three-seat electric car. Short for "pivot," the battery-powered platform can swivel 360 degrees, actually eliminating the need for a reverse gear, according to Nissan. The automaker will formally unveil the unusual prototype at this month's Tokyo Motor Show, a biennial gathering known for its quirky concept vehicles. The pivoting motion would make it impossible to connect cabin and chassis with conventional, mechanical linkages, so the Pivo relies on so-called "by-wire" technology, electronic connections controlling acceleration, braking and steering, among other vehicle functions. At a preview in Japan , a Nissan test driver easily slid Pivo into a tight spot, spun the cabin around so it faced the opposite direction, pulling out of the parking space in a simple motion. Nissan officials acknowledged that Pivo itself isn't likely to reach showrooms - at least not anytime soon, but various technologies incorporated into its design could have near-term applications. "We want to demonstrate the myriad possibilities that drive-by-wire could achieve," said Inoue. The concept vehicle also uses new lithium ion battery technology that could dramatically extend the range of an electric vehicle, making it more competitive than earlier models that used lower-range batteries. -TCC Team

2005 Nissan Note Concept

2005 Nissan Note Concept

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If it's not one of the wildest concept vehicles to debut at the often off-center Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan's Note inspired by adidas certainly has one of the most unusual names. Aimed at Japan's so-called "Remix Generation," the Note is meant to connect with those who see sportswear as the height of fashion. "Wearable" fabrics are used both inside and outside and could easily be interchanged by an owner, even the surface treatment of the bumpers, according to Nissan designers. Other unusual touches include an enameled glovebox opened and closed with a zipper, and a removable center console storage container.

2005 Nissan Foria concept

2005 Nissan Foria concept

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The Foria compact coupe tests the waters for a premium sports coupe blending high quality and performance. The Foria show car is a 2+2 coupe, with a front-engine, rear-drive layout. It features an extremely short front overhang, with a mid-size engine under the long hood. The Foria's automatic transmission is operated by a Formula One-style paddle shifter. Visually, the most notable touch is the B-pillarless doors, the rear doors opening "suicide" style. This approach is meant to provide especially access to both front and rear seats, Nissan officials explain. The Foria's rear curves gracefully into crystalline taillamps. The interior combines a gray sports jersey fabric, brown leather and ivory-colored front seats. The built-in video display can provide a variety of different forms of data, from navigation maps to point-of-information accessed while driving.

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