The following vehicles were world debuts at the 2019 Tokyo motor show.
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Daihatsu has four concept world premieres and these are called IcoIco (a tiny and narrow robo-shuttle), TsumuTsumu (a dinky truck), WaiWai (small MPV with six seats and two canvas sunroofs), and WakuWaku (angular and rugged Kei SUV).
The Rocky was another world premiere. Unlike a long ago predecessor of the same name, this one does not have a ladder frame but rather is a monocoque. There will be front- and all-wheel drive versions as well as a Toyota equivalent called Raize. Both of these small SUVs resemble the DN Trec, which was a concept at the 2017 Tokyo motor show. In some markets, the Rocky from the 1980s/1990s was sold as the Rugger, Taft, Fourtrak or Feroza.
In a speech spelling out the future direction that the company would take, including its plans for electrification, Takahiro Hachigo stated in May (2019) that the next generation of the Fit (Jazz in some countries) would be revealed in hybrid form at the Tokyo motor show.
“…we will expand the application of our i-MMD2 2-motor hybrid system to the entire lineup of Honda vehicles. In addition to the i-MMD hybrid system which is compatible with mid-to-large-sized vehicles, we developed a new, more compact i-MMD hybrid system suitable for small-sized vehicles. This small-sized i-MMD hybrid system will be adopted first by the all-new Fit which we are planning to exhibit as a world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show this autumn”, Honda’s CEO states.
Honda then released more news about its premieres on 26 September. As well as the Fit, there is also a Freed facelift.
By no means a major brand in its home market, the Japanese LCV and heavy commercials maker is nonetheless a force to be reckoned with in certain Asia-Pacific countries such as Australia and Thailand. It was therefore logical that the first redesign of the D-Max would be announced in the second of these two key markets. Its motor show debut takes place in Japan though. The new pick-up is available in three bodystyles and with 1.9- and 3.0-litre diesel engines. This is also the first Isuzu pick-up for a long time not to be a JV with General Motors.
The premium brand, which is very successful in Japan, used the 2019 Tokyo show as the backdrop for the premiere of the LF-30 Electrified, a 5,090mm long EV concept. This striking design study has a glass roof and butterfly doors and is meant to point towards where the brand might be in 2030.
Toyota also announced that it will reveal Lexus’ first electric model in November.
The MX-30, an EV, is Mazda’s first such series production model. The company says this 4,395mm long crossover has a maximum range of 200km from its 35.5kWh battery pack. Both the length and wheelbase are identical to the CX-30.
The CX-8 is now two years old in the home market, so Mazda announced a package of updates.
The Mi-Tech, a “small plug-in hybrid electric SUV concept car” was revealed by Mitsubishi Motors. The vehicle’s four-motor AWD system is claimed to have been both downsized and to weigh less: presumably when compared to the drivetrains in existing Mitsubishi PHEVs. Rather than a conventional petrol engine, the fossil fuel burning part of this electric buggy’s powertrain is a gas turbine. It can run on petrol, diesel, kerosene or alcohol.
Another concept revealed at the Tokyo show was called ‘Super Height K-Wagon‘. This is most likely to be a preview of the Kei-class and A segment vehicle being co-developed by MMC and Nissan Motor which is due for launch in Japan and other markets during the first quarter of 2020.
The IMk concept appears to be a preview of one of the two small electric models which Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors told the media in November 2013 that they would co-develop. There was an update on the project in October 2017, the partners stating that their respective cars wouldn’t appear until 2020. The concept is 3,434mm long, and it is presumed that the k in the name signifies its Kei car dimensions.
A facelift for the Skyline, which in many other countries is the Infiniti Q50, was announced in July. Tokyo is the car’s motor show debut. Another show premiere is the facelifted Serena. This was announced in August. Nissan also revealed the 4.6m long Ariya concept, a preview of a long-range EV which will have two motors.
A facelift for the Japanese market’s Impreza Sport was revealed at the show, along with a prototype of the next Levorg. The second of the pair will be a larger car than the original Levorg and therefore better represents the name: Subaru said this meant ‘Legacy, Revolution, Touring’ when it revealed the Levorg as a concept in 2013. The first generation model is a C segment wagon (effectively an old-shape Impreza estate) but the next one will be in the D segment. This makes sense as the Legacy wagon no longer exists.
A media release from the company noted that the theme for the Suzuki booth [sic] would be “WAKU WAKU SWITCH for EVERYONE: Excitement for you, excitement for everyone”. There were four concepts: Waku SPO, a plug-in hybrid small coupe with old-style mirrors half way down the bonnet; Hanare, an autonomous pod; and the Hustler concept, a preview of the second generation of the small crossover available in Japan since December 2013. To judge by the concept, the new model will look much like the existing Hustler. The fourth concept was called Every Baby Room. This was a small MPV based on the Every and which ‘proposes a car that provides room for changing diapers and breast-feeding at ease, such as in outdoor events or in shelters upon natural disasters’.
‘Granace‘ is the name of a new MPV which will be manufactured in Japan by Toyota Auto Body. Toyota categorises this 5.3m long and 1.97m wide minivan as a ‘full-size wagon’ with either three rows of seating for six occupants or four rows for eight. The standard engine is TMC’s 1GD 2,754cc four-cylinder diesel. Drive goes to the front axle via a six-speed automatic gearbox.
Another world premiere for Toyota is the ‘Tokyo 2020 Version e-Palette‘, a modified example of the robo-pod which premiered in January 2018 at CES. TMC says that as many as twenty examples of the 5,255mm long e-Palette will offer low-speed SAE level 4 automated transportation throughout the Olympic and Paralympic villages during next year’s Games.
There were many concepts from Toyota too, including the e-Trans (a taxi for people and packages), e-Chargeair (a pod which can be sent to recharge EVs) and e-Care (mobile clinic).
The LQ was a further concept (not for Lexus despite its name but for Toyota). The company says this is the next generation of the Concept-i which was first exhibited at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show. The LQ is a level 4 autonomous vehicle. The not so catchily named ‘Ultra-Compact BEV‘ also premiered at the show. This tiny electric car is headed for production in 2020.
One other debut is more proof, after the Corolla, that Toyota is moving into an era where it no longer feels the need to shock as it did with the current Prius. Instead, the firm’s multi-continent Design departments are shifting their thinking into sync with mainstream tastes. The Mirai concept, a change of direction compared to the Fine-Comfort Ride fuel cell concept of just two years ago, underlines this. A new Mirai will be on sale in late 2020.
The elegant Mirai prototype is claimed to have a range which is 30% greater than that of the existing model. The concept is rear-wheel drive, 4,975mm long and a five-seater. There is therefore a strong whiff of what might have been a new Lexus GS about it. Had that car not been (apparently) cancelled.
Having been building the second generation Copen for more than five years, Daihatsu has found a way to lift the tiny production volume which matches the size of its 660cc front-wheel drive roadster. Starting in November, the company will begin supplying the Copen GR Sport, a version of its own model, to its Toyota, Toyopet, Toyota Corolla, and Netz dealers across Japan, and also to Toyota Mobility Tokyo Inc. The little car wears Gazoo Racing rather than Toyota badges.
The new Yaris is the first vehicle for the TNGA-B architecture. It remains a mystery why TMC will have taken more than nine years to replace the Vitz in its home market but at last the successor has been announced. One of the major changes, along with the debut of a new platform, TNGA-B, is the name change for the Japanese market after three generations of Vitz. The new car will be available with 1.0- and 1.5-litre petrol engines in certain countries, along with a 1.5-litre petrol hybrid. Japanese market sales commence in February. The current Vitz went on sale there in December 2010.
Future product program intelligence
Additional data on vehicle life cycles and future product plans, such as code names, production plants and expected annual build, are available in PLDB from QUBE.