TCC's Auto Show Index by TCC Team
Our coverage of the world's major auto shows, year to year.
2005 Tokyo Motor Show Index by TCC
Western auto shows like
Geneva, manufacturers tend to focus
journalists’ attention on one concept car. But it’s not the same in
Japan; local companies use their home
exhibition to splurge prototype after prototype on enthusiastic visitors. Suzuki
didn’t disappoint, launching four new vehicles.
2005 Suzuki PX Concept
First up was the PX
, a compact minivan with a touch
of luxury. Three rows of Recaro leather chairs offer plenty of room, and there’s
a high-tech audio system to keep the family entertained.
The silliest name award goes to Mom’s Personal Wagon, which features a trippy
1970s interior complete with swirly brown and orange carpet. Aimed at mothers of
small children, the instrument panel features animated cartoon characters.
Ionis is the most futuristic of the
four cars. Powered by an all-new fuel cell, the unit is stored under the
vehicle’s floor to maximize the cabin’s storage space. Doors that slide forwards
and backwards parallel to the flanks mean easy access to the minicar’s
2005 Suzuki Ionis concept
2005 Suzuki LC concept
And then there is the LC
retro-styled and unashamedly cute compact sedan with a white plastic steering
wheel and virtually no dashboard switches at all. Don’t expect to see it at your
local showroom. Ever.
2005 Honda Sports 4 Concept
Previewing the styling of the next
generation Accord – that is the job of the Honda Sports 4
Super Handling All
the car maker believes its new vehicle will allow even the worst motorists to
experience the thrill of on-the-edge driving. Power is allocated to each of
the four wheels based on how each is performing, and according to Honda that
means a safer experience. Technology includes a pop-up monitor featuring an innovative night vision
system plus four independently operated sunroofs. Not sure about the square steering
2005 Honda WOW concept
Next to it on the Tokyo
show stand was the
sort of car this exhibition has become famous for. The Wonderful Open-hearted
is the ultimate ride for
dog lovers. The middle row of chairs folds up out of the floor to create one of
two things —
to sit on, or something to put your pet pooch in. The dashboard glovebox is
replaced by an altogether more useful storage space for man’s best friend, and
the B-pillars feature a vertical rail that can be used to tie a dog lead to. The
car is based on the Jazz supermini platform, and is unlikely to go into
production in this guise. However, expect some of the clever interior packaging
to feature on future small cars from the company.
2005 Honda FCX
about two things —
the car and way you refuel it. It’s loaded with intelligent technology, and
according to a company spokesman “is about showing fuel cells in something that
doesn’t look like a milk float.” Insight owners take note! Linked to the vehicle
is the Home Energy Station (HES), a system that turns natural gas into hydrogen
in your garage. In addition to producing H for the four- seater sedan, the box
of tricks contains a fuel cell to create electricity to power your house. The
waste heat given off during that process is used to warm the domestic water
tank. Is this how we will all exist in the future? Honda clearly thinks so.
2005 MINI Concept Tokyo
Naming your concept car after the
auto show you’re unveiling it at is always going to boost the number of local
media turning up see to the wraps come off. And so it was in
smart marketing move by German-owned, British-built MINI.
The Concept Tokyo is a development of the
Traveller prototype, unveiled at September’s
Frankfurt exhibition. Quirky gizmos included a picnic
table that folds out of the roof, and a set of cutlery and crockery stored in a
panel above the offside rear wheel. “We have taken our inspiration from the MINI
history books,” said Michael Ganal, BMW’s board member for sales and marketing.
That’s all well and good, but don’t expect to see knives, forks and spoons on
the options list anytime soon.
2005 Subaru B5 concept
The star of the Subaru stand can’t
actually be seen —
it is under the hood of the B5-TPH
concept car. By
creating the world’s first hybrid turbocharged boxer engine —
mating the traditional 2.0-liter Miller-cycle unit to a single electric motor
the Japanese firm is claiming
pioneering improvements in emission levels and fuel
TPH stands for Turbo Parallel
Hybrid, and the thin motor has been fitted between the gas engine and the
automatic transmission. That keeps the car’s weight distribution at the optimum
Developing 260 PS at 6000 rpm,
the 200 mm of ground clearance and 19-inch alloy wheels means the car should be
versatile both on and off-road.
There’s been plenty of media
speculation that the three-door hatchback is a showcase for the styling of the
next generation Impreza. However, a spokesman denied that. “I’ve seen the car
and it doesn’t look like the B5-TPH,” he said.
A mini RX-8 along the lines of the MX-3 —
that’s the tantalizing
description of a car Mazda will unveil at the North American International Auto
Show in January.
Journalists at this week’s
Tokyo event were
given a sneak preview of the vehicle, in the form of a grainy sketch that
appeared on a presentation screen for a few seconds. Little official information
is available. However, company insiders have hinted the two-seater concept
points the way to a production model that will hit showrooms around
The newcomer is being designed and
developed by Mazda North America, based in
“It’s an exciting continuation of the Mazda DNA with an understanding of the
market place and what it wants,” said director Franz von