Saturday, 3 December 2011

Tokyo Motor Show 2011

I woke up yesterday to a very strange phone call; I was asked if I wanted to attend the Tokyo Motor Show. To think that I would get an opportunity to go was simply out of this world! Hastily grabbing my camera bag and making sure I've got everything, I scurried down to the site.

Long story short - I was gobsmacked. The sheer size of the place was huge; 2 wings (East and West), 6 halls each wing each almost the size of a football field I reckon. Anyway, it's getting late here and I'm off to China in the morning so I better get rolling with the photos. Before I continue - the usual announcement needs to be made - photos can be found at flickr or by simply clicking on any image and it will take you there.
The theme of this year is "mobility can change the world". In particular, I noticed emphasis upon moving people with disabilities - many of the special visitors of the day were in wheelchairs, so I was very impressed by the focus from all the companies for such. Also, emphasis was put on eco-friendliness; virtually all exhibitors had "green" cars which were on display either as pre-production or prototypes. IMG_2614 Part of Toyota's display IMG_2613 The new Prius. I believe coming into it's 3rd revision (generation) now - correct me if I'm wrong, though. It does look the part as well as be environmentally friendly. IMG_2610 Toyota GR-MN - could we see a revival of the MR2? IMG_2777 The coveted 86 - I was very impressed with the overall package of the car and it will definitely be popular. I am hoping this is the start of a new era of FR cars sparking competition between the Japanese manufacturers - new Silvia anyone? IMG_2621 Lexus decided to show us the LFA Nurburgring edition. Beautiful. IMG_2629 Tucked away in the corner of the display was a dissected LFA. Towards the back left, you can see the minature recreation of the process in which they make the car. I may post some of those photos later. IMG_2640 IMG_2626 Lexus also rolled out their new range of hybrid vehicles - I was very surprised by the amount of hybrid luxuries which were on the streets of Japan. Not quite what I was expecting when it came to hybrids. IMG_2641 This is Lexus' new development called LDH - Lexus Dynamic Handling. It's to assist their cars in turning tightly at low speeds; after watching the demonstration video, I was impressed at the line it could take. IMG_2645 The Lexus hybrid engine IMG_2646 IMG_2652 The European car makers were definitely out in force also; I'm sensing a revive in Jaguar vehicles as they are definitely pushing their cars at the younger market. My dad is quite the traditional old guy, who loves Jags, but he said this was too modern. I guess Jaguar is moving beyond that market now. Sorry dad. IMG_2671 This doesn't really give you an idea of how massive this car is. The X6 M-sport edition makes the X5 look tiny. IMG_2659 Orange seems to be the cool colour these days. IMG_2662 Options, options, options. This sort of display was very prevalent especially in the European manufacturers. IMG_2680 The new M3 Frozen Silver special edition. It seems like glossy paint is on it's way out! IMG_2685 IMG_2683 It carries it's share of carbon like all M3/M5s. IMG_2691 The M5 - look at the brakes! IMG_2675 I got to have a good look at this car. Quite different from all the other rally cars out there! IMG_2677 IMG_2676 Mini debuted it's Mini Cooper Coupe, as well as showing off some future prototypes upon the Mini. I honestly didn't expect this one coming. IMG_2714 Does this need any introductions? IMG_2715 R8 GT 2012 = win. As said above, flat paint definitely seems in right now. IMG_2723 The A1 Samurai Blue debut. IMG_2733 This was a very cool VW concept car - definite throwback to the Kombi days. IMG_2734 Lotus only had a very small presence but brought 3 top notch cars IMG_2737 IMG_2744 Zero emission car that looks this good? Sign me up! IMG_2758 Raybrig HSV-010 - to see this car up close was quite the privilege. IMG_2760 Interesting exhaust! IMG_2817 Ray's were onsite; unfortunately they weren't displaying much. I deduced from the very broken conversation I had with them, they are intending on making their presence felt at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2012 in the new year. IMG_2822 I'm going to jump the gun here and skip to the BRZ race car. God damn. IMG_2837 What do you reckon? In WR Mica Blue? IMG_2842 Or in this white? IMG_2826 The S206 was there - I got to sit and feel this beautiful machine. IMG_2832 I liked the STI wing in the sedan, I reckon they should have carried it over to the S206. IMG_2844 Can you believe this is a Subaru? IMG_2849 IMG_2850 That front end. IMG_2853 SLS convertible - losing it's gull wings. Opinions? IMG_2859 I'd still prefer this over a zero emission car, any day. I guess I'm part of that "in-between" generation where the rise of the hybrid and the demise of petrol for the masses occurs. IMG_2865 IMG_2866 Future of our racecars? Silent but deadly? IMG_2862 Nismo released some interesting cars like this Juke Nismo edition. It goes to show that Nismo is not just for the thoroughbreds like the GT-R or the Silvia. IMG_2871 You don't have to look far to see Nismo's intentions of widening to include more mainsream cars. Like Mugen has done for Honda over the last two decades. IMG_2880
The very last RX-8, the Spirit R edition.
This version marks the official end to the production of rotary engines. It's quite sad really considering how versatile the engines are in the racing world, and even for street tuning. IMG_2889 Is this the direction of cars we are going to see in the next 10 years? IMG_2901 As well as cars, there were many side attractions like GT5 Spec 2.0 preview. My brother got a late pass into the show (to my amazement too!) which he was very, very pleased about. That's putting it lightly.

I have to admit, the future of motoring is exciting. I don't think manufacturers any time soon will be leaping off the petroleum in hopes of securing the global market. The smell of petrol is irreplaceable especially when it comes to racing. I have to say what a privilege it was to have early access to the Tokyo Motor Show. It is an experience that I shall not be forgetting any time soon. IMG_2781


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