2005 Tokyo Motor Show, Part V

October 19, 2005

TCC's Auto Show Index by TCC Team (10/3/2005)
Our coverage of the world's major auto shows, year to year.

2005 Tokyo Motor Show Index by TCC Team (10/18/2005)


 

Audi S8

 

2006 Audi S8

2006 Audi S8

It’s the Audi with the Lamborghini engine — and if that sounds tantalizing, it is. The big S8 supersedan made its appearance in Tokyoas Audi celebrated strong sales in the island nation — numbers are up 17 percent this year, and the company expects it will break its record sales of more than 800,000 units worldwide this year. Coming next year to Europe and likely to the U.S. later in the year, the S8 sports a 450-hp version of the Gallardo’s V-10, here displacing 5.2 liters and outfitted with direct injection and mated to a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. Audi estimates the S8 four-door will rocket to 60 mph in about 5.0 seconds and hit a governed top speed of 155 mph. Quattro all-wheel drive is standard, and ceramic brakes are available. On the standard list: 20-inch wheels, air suspension, steering-controlled adaptive lighting, and a choice of carbon-fiber or wood interior trim, as well as a DVD navigation system. A Bang & Olufsen audio system is optional on the S8, which will be priced in Europe from $115,000.

 

 

Audi Shooting Brake Concept

2005 Audi Shooting Brake Concept

2005 Audi Shooting Brake Concept

The unconventional Shooting Brake concept bowed on the Audi stand wearing winter-white paint and aspirations of becoming one of six new Audi models due in the next two years. An indication of the styling of the next TT, the Shooting Brake is a three-door hatchback with the deep new Audi grille and a smart interior design trimmed in aluminum. Under its hood, the Shooting Brake gets power from a 250-hp, 3.2-liter direct-injected V-6. Teamed up to a six-speed DSG gearbox and quattro all-wheel drive, the Shooting Brake could accelerate to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds, Audi says. Ceramic brakes have the speed-scrubbing duty, hiding behind pretty 19-inch wheels. The Shooting Brake wears aluminum trim on the center stack, gauges, and dash. Its DVD navigation system has an innovative interface that allows drivers to write their destination on the screen with a stylus; the system recognizes the handwriting and uses it to program the route.

 

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VW EcoRacer


2000 Lincoln LS

2000 Lincoln LS

The surprise hit of this year’s Tokyo show undoubtedly was the VW EcoRacer, a petite sports coupe/convertible with removable roof panels, a speedster-style windshield and a two-seat cockpit. The EcoRacer sports a carbon-fiber body and a midship engine that allows it to acceleration to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds and to a top speed of about 138 mph. The 1870-pound vehicle is powered by a 1.5-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder mated to a DSG gearbox. The EcoRacer’s body has T-top panels that tilt up when the doors are opened for easy access; the panels and the T-bar roof can be completely removed and the windshield can be swapped out for the speedster-style screen for the ultimate wind-and-bugs sensation of speed. The EcoRacer’s rear hatch can be removed as well — leaving the EcoRacer capable of convertible from coupe to roadster to speedster with a minimum of effort. Dramatic touches include 17-inch alloy wheels and LED lighting.

 

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VW Polo GTI

2006 Volkswagen Polo GTI

2006 Volkswagen Polo GTI

Like the GTI of the Seventies, which “democratized the Autobahn,” the new Polo GTI brings a new level of performance to a car that has more often had other priorities: fuel economy, parsimony, staying out of the way of 911 Porsche Turbos. The Polo GTI makes 150 horsepower from its 1.8-liter, turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder engine. Sixty miles per hour arrives in about 8.2 seconds, VW says, and the styling updates key the autorati in on the Polo’s GTI goods: a blacked-out honeycomb grille, fog lamps, and red brake calipers highlight its performance edge. The newest GTI will go on sale in the spring from about $20,000.

 

 

 

Chrysler Akino

 

2005 Chrysler Akino concept

2005 Chrysler Akino concept

Chrysler Group, its sales on the uptick in America, is also experiencing a surge in non-North American markets. So far this year, the company’s sales outside North America are up six percent. Hence comes a concept devoted to markets where pickups and SUVs don’t rule the roost. The new Akino concept is a one-box city vehicle with an interior patterned after high-end living rooms — and named for the 37-year-old designer who, like the vehicle itself, has one foot in Japan and the other in the U.S. California-based designer and Japanese native Akino Tsuchiya says her Akino concept appeals to the senses with materials and finishes you might find in your own living room — bamboo, leather, throw pillows, and rugs, even sconce-style lighting. The cozy, comfy Akino was styled at Chrysler’s Pacifica studio outside San Diego.

 

 

Mercedes-Benz F600 HYGENIUS

 

2005 Mercedes-Benz F600 HYGENIUS concept

2005 Mercedes-Benz F600 HYGENIUS concept

Any press conference that ends up with Dieter Zetsche joining in with a hired quartet and backing band on the violin in a snappy run-through of the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” gets our attention. And while we’re a little bit fatigued by the whole fuel-cell thing (2010? 2015? The 12th of never?), the new Mercedes-Benz F600 HYGENIUS shows some thoughtful progress in the notion of those vehicles of the future. Based on today’s B-Class, the F600 (pardon us for not using the superscripted HYGENIUS throughout) sports a fuel-cell powertrain with a driving range of 250 miles and a power output of 155 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. That, Mercedes-Benz says, endows the F600 with performance and driving range equivalent to that of conventional gas-powered cars. The fuel-cell powertrain not only provides locomotion for the vehicle — Benz says it can also be used to power a few houses as a sort of mobile generator. In relation to past fuel-cell experiments, the F600 has a cell stack 40 percent smaller and 16 percent more efficient. And in terms of real-world use, Benz says the integrated lane-change cameras, child seats with their own custom stroller design, even cupholders that warm and cool beverages are signs that the company is taking the future of fuel cells very seriously.
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