thecarnut.typepad.com > 2007 TOKYO MOTOR SHOW PRESS DAYS #2

Honda Fit RS ... Popular in the US?

Honda Fit RS ... Popular in the US?

We think Honda's Fit RS model will be a big-seller in the US' northeast and the Denver area, too, where traditionally, cars with AWD get the nod over those without it. Factor in that larger engine, specific wheels and badges and more, and the Fit RS will have a lot of companies re-thinking their positions in parts of their market which gets hit with heavy snow and/or rain every year. All-wheel drive is also a great safety device in areas like the desert, where we live. Sands of the desert, prompted by intermittently powerful winds (youve heard of them ... the Santa Anas), and often coat the highways and freeways with as thin a covering as rain and making the highway as dangerous as it is in a downpour.


Honda Inspire

Honda Inspire

We have one of these here in the US ... We call it the 'Honda Accord'. And "Inspire" is a good name, but for reasons I'll probably never understand, one of the all-time great names for a car was used by Honda when they first introduced their Acura four-door V6 semi-luxury car, the "Legend". The name itself created a familiar feeling for the car, created a history for a car which had never existed.


Honda's Inspire -- Rear view

Honda's Inspire -- Rear view

Known at that Honda dealer down the block from you as an "Accord", this car, in its home market, is known as Inspire.


Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce

How could they have made the new Roller even uglier, with that front-end which only a Russian tank general could truly appreciate? Hey ... How about SUICIDE DOORS!? Yeah ... That's the ticket. Perhaps some folks at the R-R factory (which was built on a greenfield site on the same grounds where the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed is held; thousands of acres all owned by the current Earl of March ... Remember the "March F1" team?) thought that would be the best way to take people's attention OFF of that ultra-ugly front-end and headlamp treatment ... Hey, folks, we don't make 'em, we just critique 'em ...


Roller's Horrendous Front-End

Roller's Horrendous Front-End

Those who might think we are being a bit too hard on the Rolls people for allowing this car to go into production with that incredibly offensive front-end, take heart. We've had something of an epiphany concerning the design ... Maybe the Rolls stylists felt that since many of their buyers live in big cities, making the car look like some sort of military equipment might entice some potential buyers looking for the latest in automotive protection systems ... But, hey ... Whaddya we know, right?


BMW 1-Series Bows in Tokyo

BMW 1-Series Bows in Tokyo

Catching all sorts of media attention at this year's Tokyo Motor Show was the BMW exhibit, where the media met the all-new 135i in person for the first time in their country. Well, so it's not all that new ... In fact, the car has been sold in Europe with various engines since late 2003. But in Japan (and in the US), the car will be sold only as a two-door coupe and there's a convertible on the horizon, too.


BMW's All-New 1-Series

BMW's All-New 1-Series

The all-new (for the US and Japan) 1-Series will be available only as a coupe and convertible for the first year or more of its importation to those countries. A four-door and/or even a station wagon version might come to the US if this car does well in sales. Those versions are already sold in Europe. As far as the US is concerned, the car will develop 300 horsepower from its 3.0 Liter twin-turbocharged Inline-6 cylinder engine ... The car makes 320 in other markets. A six-speed stick and an automatic will both be available. Those performance figures make the car "entry level" only to those car-buyers used to paying top-dollar for their Bimmers.


BMW's New 1-Series Debuts in Tokyo

BMW's New 1-Series Debuts in Tokyo

BMWs are among the most popular import cars sold in Japan; larger models (5- and 7-series) seem to be favored by dangerous-looking fellows with slick-backed hair, wearing loose-fitting Armani suits and dark glasses and missing a portion or all of their pinky fingers (these guys are known as the 'Yakuza' in Japan; the Mafia in the US). Smaller 3-series models have young, hip and artistic owners. Where the 1-Series will fit into the BMW mix in Japan remains to be seen; maybe high school students from wealthy families will take a liking to them.


BMW Concpet 1-Series tii

BMW Concpet 1-Series tii

Tokyo was the world introduction for this BMW concept sports/racing car. This Concept 1-Series tii is "A fascinating design study with a clear focus on uncompromising sportiness". At least that's what BMW says about the car in the press guide for the Tokyo Motor Show. Could they have been a little more vague?


Concept 1-Series tii from BMW

Concept 1-Series tii from BMW

This 1-Series concept was placed close (about three feet) to the new 1-Series (the 135, which in BMW nomenclature means their 1-series with a 3 Liter engine with turbocharging; 'turbo' is what the '5' means) at the Tokyo Motor Show. It drew a lot of attention, as do all "import" cars in that nation's massive, and still growing, capitol city. While it is true that Japan has a negative birth rate, Tokyo continues to draw Japanese from every corner of that country. So while Japan's population decreases in all the other cities and towns and hamlets (usually the young people leave for Tokyo as soon as they can), Tokyo continues with its boom-town type of growth.


Nissan's "Green Program 2010"

Nissan's "Green Program 2010"

Nissan showed a large number of engines, some of which will no doubt eventually be produced, all under the banner of "Nissan Green Program 2010". Most of them were turbo-diesels; Nissan is expected to have a diesel engine option on their all-new 2009 Maxima when it is introduced in the US next year.


Nissan "Clean" Four-Banger

Nissan "Clean" Four-Banger

Details of one of the Nissan "Green Program 2010" engines shown at the Tokyo Motor Show. This one is a four-cylinder; most of the engines displayed were diesel models equipped with turbochargers, superchargers, or both. Apart from the 2009 Maxima which is already slated for having a diesel option in the US, their new Quest minivan, which has been a dismal sales failure in the US (and I still can't figure out why) would make sense for a diesel, too.


Details, Nissan "Green" Engine

Details, Nissan "Green" Engine

Another of the engines displayed by Nissan at the Tokyo Motor Show from their "Green Program 2010" project, which took up a large part of their already very large exhibit space. With the world's public introduction of their GT-R (finally) the centerpiece of their display area, it was good to see that Nissan is seriously working on developing these "clean" engines. If Nissan had only shown the GT-R, that would have been enough for the "GT-R Hungry" Japanese and international media at the show. The rest was kind of a 'bonus' for all us journos.


Nissan Round Box (Rd/Bx) Concept

Nissan Round Box (Rd/Bx) Concept

Nissan says this "Round Box" (Rd/Bx) is a "youth-oriented compact convertible (which) provides occupants with a sense of speed and exhilaration".


Round Box Concept By Nissan

Round Box Concept By Nissan

One thing you can't see on the Rd/Bx Round Box conept from Nissan are the small windows placed on the vehicle's floor so passengers can see the roadway as they pass over it --- Without the danger of actually touching the roadway itself. Or, as Nissan puts it in typically- and wonderfully-fractured English in the show's Media Guide: "Never before experienced value created by combinations of heterogeneous elements". Now, who could argue with that?


Nissan GT-R Debuts at Tokyo

Nissan GT-R Debuts at Tokyo

Several years in the making (two years ago Nissan showed a prototype which wasn't too far-off from this production car), Nissan proudly exhibited their all-new GT-R, the first GT-R which will be exported (legally, at least) to the US. It was without doubt 'the' Star of the 40th Tokyo Motor Show, 2007 edition.


Nissan's All-New GT-R Debuts

Nissan's All-New GT-R Debuts

Nismo (Nissan's racing and aftermarket performance-parts operation in Japan) originally designed the concept of a Z-tune version of the Skyline in 2002, when Nissan was putting an end to the R34 Skyline production, the last model built before this GT-R, which is known as R36). The first Z-tune was built in 2003, using a used 2002 Skyline GT-R V-Spec II. It was built with a concept RB26DETT 'Z1' engine. The cylinder diameter was bored out, and the crankshaft was designed with a longer stroke. The engine was now a 2.8L, and produced as much as 600 horsepower. Nissan engineers said they could have made the car churn-out more horsepower, but their emissions concerns nipped that fun in the bud. Nismo got approval from Nissan to build 20 Z-tune models. For the 20 production models, the 2.8L engine was revised to allow it to reach 9000 rpm. The turbochargers were supplied by IHI in Japan. The engine was advertised as making as much as 600 hp. This second revision of the Z-tune engine is called the 'Z2'. The bodywork is designed with the same functional components used in Nismo's GT500 racing cars, such as engine bay vents on the hood and fenders, as well as wider fenders for wider wheels. The Z-tune is also improved with an aggressive suspension setup, and a specially designed Brembo brake setup. The entire car is essentially handmade, with the car being completely stripped and re-built from the chassis up. Engineers reinforced and stiffened the chassis in key areas, completely redesigned the suspension, drivetrain, engine, gearbox and other components so as to work at maximum efficiency and reliability as is expected of a road-going vehicle. Only 20 units exist worldwide and they are regarded as the most expensive (prices for some have been known to exceed $500,000) street legal GT-R ever built.


2009 Nissan GT-R Specifications

2009 Nissan GT-R Specifications

While the Infiniti G37 is more than closely-related to the new GT-R which will be sold at Nissan dealers in the US (plans call for 1,500 GT-Rs annually made-for-the-USA), here are the Nissan Media Kit Official Specifications for the R36, the first Nissan GT-R made for (legal) export to the US:
Engine
VR38DETT twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6.
480 hp @ 6,800 rpm. 430 lb-ft torque @ 3,200 - 5,200 rpm.
Dual overhead camshafts with variable intake-valve timing.
Cast aluminum cylinder block with high-endurance/low-friction plasma-sprayed bores.
IHI twin turbochargers, one per cylinder bank.
Pressurized lubrication system with thermostatically controlled cooling.

Drivetrain
ATTESA ET-S All-Wheel Drive (AWD) with independent rear-mounted transaxle integrating transmission, differential and AWD transfer case.
Rigid, lightweight carbon-composite driveshaft between engine and transaxle.
Electronic traction control plus 1.5-way mechanically locking rear differential.
Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC-R) with three driver-selectable settings: Normal (for daily driving, controls brakes and engine output), R-Mode (for ultimate performance, utilizes AWD torque distribution for additional vehicle stability) and Off (driver does not want the help of the system).
Hill Start Assist prevents rollback when starting on an incline.

Transmission
6-speed Dual Clutch Transmission with three driver-selectable modes: Normal (for maximum smoothness and efficiency), Snow (for gentler starting and shifting on slippery surfaces), and R mode (for maximum performance with fastest shifts).
Fully automatic shifting or full sequential manual control via gearshift or steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Dual clutch design changes gears in less than 0.5 second (0.2 second in R mode).
Downshift Rev Matching (DRM).
Predictive pre-shift control (in R mode) based on throttle position, vehicle speed, braking and other information.

More GT-R Specs Posted with the Next Photo!


2008 Nissan GT-R R36 Specs (continued)...

2008 Nissan GT-R R36 Specs (continued)...

Wheels and Tires
20 x 9.5" (front) and 20 x 10.5" (rear) super-lightweight forged-aluminum wheels with Gunmetal Gray finish.
Exclusively developed nitrogen-filled Bridgestone RE070A high-capacity run-flat summer tires, 255/40R20 front and 285/35R20 rear.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
Optional exclusively developed nitrogen-filled Dunlop run-flat all-season tires, 255/40R20 front and 285/35R20 rear (includes Bright Silver wheels).

Brakes
Brembo 4-wheel disc brakes with 4-wheel Antilock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Preview Braking.
Two-piece floating-rotor 15-inch front and rear discs with diamond-pattern internal ventilation. 6-piston front/4-piston rear monoblock calipers.

Steering
Rack-and-pinion steering with vehicle-speed-sensitive power assist.
2.6 steering-wheel turns lock-to-lock.

Suspension
4-wheel independent suspension with Bilstein DampTronic system with three driver-selectable modes: Normal/Sport (for automatic electronic control of damping), Comfort (for maximum ride comfort), and R mode (engages maximum damping rate for high-performance cornering).
Electronically controlled variable-rate shock absorbers. High-accuracy progressive-rate coil springs.
Front double-wishbone/rear multi-link configuration with aluminum members and rigid aluminum subframes.
Hollow front and rear stabilizer bars.

Body/Chassis
Exclusive Premium Midship platform with jig-welded hybrid unibody.
Aluminum hood, trunk and door skins. Die-cast aluminum door structures.
Carbon-reinforced front crossmember/radiator support.

Exterior
Wide-beam headlights with High Intensity Discharge (HID) low beams.
LED taillights and brake lights.
Dual heated power mirrors.
Flush-mounted aluminum door handles.
Body-color rear spoiler with integrated center high-mounted stop light.
UV-reducing tinted glass. Audio/Navigation/Performance Monitor
Digital Bose audio system with AM/FM/in-dash 6-CD changer and 11 speakers including dual subwoofers.
HDD Music Box system, including hard drive with 9.4 GB for audio storage.
MP3, WMA and DVD audio capable. In-dash Compact Flash card reader.
HDD-based GPS navigation with touch screen.
Driver-configurable performance monitor, developed with Sony Polyphony, with graphical readouts of vehicle data and driving data displayed on a total of 11 screens.
7-inch WVGA high-resolution color-LCD display for audio, navigation and performance monitor.

Interior
Automatic Temperature Control (ATC).
Electronic analog instrument cluster with multi-function trip computer and digital gear indicator.
Power front windows with one-touch auto-up/down feature.
Intelligent Key system with pushbutton start. Power door locks.
Cruise control.
Tilt/telescoping steering column.
Bluetooth Hands-free phone system with voice recognition. Seating/Appointments
Leather upholstered front seats with perforated Alcantara inserts.
8-way power front seats with entry/exit switch for rear-seat passengers.
Driver-shaped bucket seat.
Dual individual rear seats.
Heated front seats.
Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
Drilled aluminum pedals. Safety/Security
Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags, seat belt sensors and occupant-classification sensor.
Driver and front-passenger side-impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted curtain supplemental air bags.
Front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters.
Nissan Vehicle Immobilizer System.
Vehicle Security System.


Nissan "NV20" Concept

Nissan "NV20" Concept

When they make a small truck which companies and businesses can use for a variety of purposes in Japan, they don't fool around. Behold, Nissan's NV200, what they call "A Smart Business Tool of New Generation - for Active Professionals". And I am not kidding. Nissan calls the truck's exterior "Substantial, rugged-looking, combining a dramatic front cab with a traditional box-like storage space, creating an emotional-looking body form never before seen in this class of truck". Again, we ask, who could argue with that?


NV200 Nissan Concept Work Truck

NV200 Nissan Concept Work Truck

Nissan says the truck's interior has been created "to combine efficiency and a human touch, mentally refreshing its occupants when traveling to and from a job site. The customizable cargo area houses a unique pod that can smartly accomodate a variety of business needs". And, yes, I wondered what the 'unique pod' was for, too, when we saw it ...


Nissan's NV200 Customizable Work Truck

Nissan's NV200 Customizable Work Truck

Nissan says that the NV200 concept work truck has been "outfitted specifically for use by a professional marine photographer. The work area is equipped with a remote control panel for a spider camera, as well as equipment for organizing and editing photographs and images while on assignment". Well, okay, so that explains the fish photos in the work area.


Concept NV200 Work Truck by Nissan

Concept NV200 Work Truck by Nissan

One can easily forget while in Japan that this country, like the UK, which I've found to have many similarities to Japan, is a sea-going nation which has an extremely long history tied to the ocean as far as their culture, their work, their wars and even their work ethic are concerned. There is also a strong "romance of the sea" among many, if not most, Japanese, and those feelings are all expressed in this NV200.


Nissan "Intima" Concept

Nissan "Intima" Concept

Nissan's GT-R was certainly the Star of the Show, as so many in the auto business had predicted and expected. It was almost pre-ordained; if Nissan had shown-up with yet another GT-R concept, everyone would have been suitably excited even about that. Yet in the same exhibition space, just a few feet from GT-R, was this beautiful sedan concept, called Intima. Nissan calls it, "A new generation saloon (a sedan, in Europe and Asia) for people with a discerning, sophisticated eye for beauty, and who enjoy spending time in refined elegance and comfort, whether travling alone or with a partner". Sounds good to us ... And the car is really something special.


Nissan "Intima" Concept Sedan

Nissan "Intima" Concept Sedan

Nissan's Intima concept sedan takes what Nissan calls their "'modern living concept' into a new dimension, with an interior that invites passengers into an extraordinary world of artistic forms, materials and illumination".


Intima Concept Sedan from Nissan

Intima Concept Sedan from Nissan

Nissan points out in the show's press guide that Intima's exterior "styling matches the interior's artistic image, with a design that combines sharp-edged lines and organic panel surfaces". It is a very good-looking car, better in person than seeing it only in photos.


Suicide Doors on Nissan's Intima Concept  --- Why?

Suicide Doors on Nissan's Intima Concept --- Why?

We'll say it again --- There's a reason they call them "suicide doors". Yet clearly Nissan is aiming many of the features of this 'Intima' sedan concept directly at older car-buyers, where getting in and out of the car easily and smoothly is an important part of the vehicle's entire concept.


Nissan Intima Interior/Passenger's Seat Movement

Nissan Intima Interior/Passenger's Seat Movement

Nissan says that "The front passenger seat swivels approximately 80 degrees to the outside, as if to welcome and escort a passenger into the car".


Nissan 'Intima' Future Saloon Concept

Nissan 'Intima' Future Saloon Concept

Nissan says in their press information, "Rich elegance is conveyed through Intima's arching side character line, while the crystal-like appearance of the front and rear lamps. grille and wheels project an image of superior quality and refinement reminiscent of jewelry". That "crystal-like appearance" of the front and rear lamps is possible due to the use of light emitting diodes (LEDs); these LEDs allow the stylists much more freedom and leeway in their design, whereas in the past they were 'stuck' into fitting large lighting systems of pre-specified size into any vehicle's front and rear.


Nissan "Pivo 2" Concept

Nissan "Pivo 2" Concept

Nissan's press material says, "The Environmental Friendly Electric Urban Commuter Embodies "Friendly Innovations" to Create a New Car-Driver Relationship". Their Pivo 2 press info includes this: "The application of numerous cutting-edge technologies has resulted in Pivo 2's compact package, unprecedented shape and in its movement never before seen in a road-going vehicle". In these photos, we show that Nissan also borrowed an old trick from the so-called "bubble cars" which appeared in Germany and Italy after WWII (the Messerschmitt, the Heinkel, the Iso Revolta Isetta, among many others) ... That 'trick'? Making the front of the car also the car's only door! As we often say, there's nothing new in the world of cars ... Only new ways of using things which have already been invented.


Pivo 2 Concept from Nissan

Pivo 2 Concept from Nissan

As the door opens, the driver prepares to 'disembark' from Pivo 2. Nissan also says in their press material concerning Pivo 2: "Pivo 2 employs a Robotic Agent that serves to connect the car and driver, engendering feelings of affection and trust. With its 360-degree revolving cabin, its front door is accessible from any direction - allowing the door to be turned to face entering passengers wherever they are standing, providing a warm welcome." What that means is that the entire passenger cabin can revolve in a complete circle above the chassis/wheels.


Pivo 2 Concept --- "I'll just get out here" ...

Pivo 2 Concept --- "I'll just get out here" ...

As the car's inventor exits the funny-looking contraption, the many uses of the car's "door" become more clear. One could park the vehicle, and by rotating the cabin, always make certain that the 'door' is facing away from traffic and towards the sidewalk or road side. That's a nice safety touch which might work on some vehicles of the future ... It worked well 60 years ago with Europe's "bubble cars". Nissan adds in their media material conerning Pivo 2: "Its Metamo (variable geometry) System not only enhances convenience, it also contributes to improved dynamic performance and safety."


Nissan GT-R Cutaway Rear View

Nissan GT-R Cutaway Rear View

After the Nissan GT-R itself, the next most-viewed exhibit at the Nissan display at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show in October, 2007, was this great and imaginative cutaway of the vehicle, leaving nothing to the imagination, but serving to increase the understanding of observers of how the car combines all its forward-looking parts to create a whole worthy of a 'world class sports car'.


Nissan GT-R Cutaway Front View

Nissan GT-R Cutaway Front View

A cutaway view of GT-R's front end, with the engine in clear view. GT-R will also have one of the only instrument panels in all of the world's cars which reports instantaneously on the vehicle's dynamic functions. Want to time the car in a 1/4 mile? Want to test how many G's it can handle? Test braking distances from a series of different speeds? Simply call-up the wanted info on the car's center-console-mounted computer touch screens. Not only is GT-R a traditional brute of a sports car with all that means, but it is also a 21st century auto with all which that name implies as well.


GT-R Cutaway Front Detail

GT-R Cutaway Front Detail

A closer, more detailed look at the GT-R's front end. Enjoy!


Nissan GT-R Cutaway Rear Detail

Nissan GT-R Cutaway Rear Detail

This closer, more detailed photo of the GT-R's rear end shows the car's rear transaxle, four-wheel steering mechanism, some details on the car's exhaust system and parts of GT-R's all-wheel drive system. There is a lot going on in this car, both on top of the sheetmetal and deeply below it as well.


GT-R Information Display

GT-R Information Display

Nissan calls their GT-R a "Multi-Performance Supercar" with a "Premium Midship Package" featuring the world's first four-wheel drive independent transaxle, and used this backlit display at the Tokyo Motor Show to explain not only those features and many more of the high-tech facets of their new R36 GT-R, from its all-wheel drive system found on no other production car in the world, to the car's all-wheel steering, the engine's twin-turbo system and various other mechanical and electronic highlights of the new car.


"Hmmmm ... New GT-R cutaway, neh?"

"Hmmmm ... New GT-R cutaway, neh?"

Japanese journalists and automotive execs get their first look at the Nissan GT-R's life-size, working cutaway display. It's one thing to see the car as a whole, quite another to go "under the sheetmetal" and view the various technologies on the car working together to get all that twin-turbocharged horsepower to the car's four corners ... Wonder how long the tires are going to last?


Suzuki's "Kizashi 2" 2007 Tokyo Motor Show Concept

Suzuki's "Kizashi 2" 2007 Tokyo Motor Show Concept

After showing the car world their Kizashi Concept at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, held just a few weeks before Tokyo's Motor Show, Kizashi 2 was upon us. (And these two shows, with that schedule, take place every two years, so anyone interested in booking flights and hotel rooms and credentials should start soon ... They both happen again in 2009). Suzuki unveiled their Concept Kizashi 2 – a "mighty-looking" crossover sports wagon – at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show. We guess if some, or even one, Kizashi is good, then more, or two, Kizashis must be something else altogether. But one must wonder why a comparatively small Japanese car company (albeit one of the world's biggest motorcycle makers; they sold over 100,000 cars in the US for the first time in their 21-year-long US history in 2006) would go to all the trouble, time and expense of preparing two separate concepts when none of the major auto shows overlap each other in scheduling, now that the Los Angeles Auto Show is held more than a month before the Detroit Auto Show, the only international shows which had conflicting schedules.


Suzuki's Kizashi 2 Concept, Head-On View

Suzuki's Kizashi 2 Concept, Head-On View

In that wonderful, flowery, expressive and sometimes incomprehensible way that Japanese is oft times translated into English, The Suzuki press material says of the Kizashi 2: "Conceived for energetic people from all walks of life, Suzuki Concept Kizashi 2 has an aesthetically pleasing form that reflects a dual focus on status and vitality in a way that generates excitement about its performance and heightens the pleasure of ownership." Now, who could possibly argue with that?


Concept Kizashi 2 By Suzuki

Concept Kizashi 2 By Suzuki

After translation into English, and the English of the UK style and method of spelling at that, the Suzuki PR people had apparently originally written in Japanese, "Under the bonnet, a 3.6-litre V6 – the biggest engine ever used by Suzuki – is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission for powerful acceleration and superb levels of performance." We'll buy that. It's the styling which concerns us; so massive and "mighty" (a favorite word of Japanese stylists).


Suzuki's Kizashi 2 Concept; Front Wheel Detail

Suzuki's Kizashi 2 Concept; Front Wheel Detail

With the V6 engine which Suzuki has planted in the vehicle's engine bay, and that's the largest they've ever made, according to press materials, and its six-speed automatic transmission, Suzuki appears to be experimenting with the drivetrain of the entire Concept Kizashi 2. It's probably the largest car-like 'crossover' four-wheeler which Suzuki has built, in their attempt to outfit the vehicle with the comfort of a sedan and the stowage, towing and moderate off-roading ability of an all-wheel drive car, van or station wagon (see the company's "X-HEAD" elsewhere in these albums for a much larger Suzuki truck concept). Suzuki said at their Tokyo Show's press conference that the company is very interested in the possibilities of hybrid powerplants for the future, yet showed-off little of that 'interest' in prototype or even concept vehicles in their large exhibit space. Large disc brake rotors can be spied inside this, uh, 'interesting-looking' front wheel of Kizashi 2 ... An important feature of gas/electric hybrid cars, trucks and crossovers already in production and on the streets around the world, takes the energy generated during braking and transmits it to the vehicle's battery pack for automatic re-charging. When such systems are more developed, in the near-future, traditional wheel brakes on hybrid vehicles can be completely replaced by electrical brakes with minimal energy wasted through friction.


Suzuki "Kizashi 2" Concept

Suzuki "Kizashi 2" Concept

Following the debut of the first Kizashi concept in Frankfurt, Suzuki's design studios beefed up the concept more for its Tokyo Motor Show debut. If there are any plans for the Kizashi 2 to see production, those wheels should not be included ... Except as purely defensive devices used against marauding police cars, perhaps ...


Suzuki "X-HEAD" Concept

Suzuki "X-HEAD" Concept

Not every concept has to be race-car oriented, certainly not at the Tokyo Motor Show ehere a vehicle's usefulness is at least as important as its sportiness. That said, Suzuki says their "X-HEAD" concept truck could serve as the basis for a fire engine, ambulance, camper or even a Japanese-style full-sized pickup truck (which are rarely seen in Japan, except at construction sites). We'll say one thing ... It sure is different!


Suzuki "Pixy" and "SSC" Concepts

Suzuki "Pixy" and "SSC" Concepts

Say "Hello!" to the mothership concept. Suzuki's Pixy borrows a lot from Toyota's and Nissan's various tiny 1-person vehicles. These mini-cars have grown into a "must" for many of the major car-makers exhibiting at the Tokyo Motor Show. Must have something to do with their being considered "cute" (there's that word again ...) and possibly appealing to the show's female visitors. But Pixy goes a step further than the other like concepts ... Pixy can drive right into and attach itself to the "SSC" for long-range trips or even off-road use, says Suzuki.


Suzuki X-HEAD Concept Truck Rear View

Suzuki X-HEAD Concept Truck Rear View

Looking for all the world like a 3/4-sized American-made large pickup, the X-HEAD (the tire treads have an "X"-design built into them) from Suzuki is possibly what happens when a company which makes wonderful motorcycles and Japanese k-cars (the minicars with less-then-660cc engines, which get a huge tax break to encourage their use) tries to build somehting akin to a classic American pickup. MMmm ... We think you don't quite get it yet, guys.


Suzuki's Pixy and SSC -- Together Again!

Suzuki's Pixy and SSC -- Together Again!

You can run around town in the cute little Pixy (right) all day to your heart's content ... But when it's time for longer-range, higher-speed highway travel for an out-of-town vacation, or even a little not-too-rough off-roading, drive your Pixy right into the SSC mothership, have them mate correctly (follow all the instructions, now!), and head for the hills! The Japanese love to do things in groups, even when on vacation (some would say 'especially' when they're on vacation). So the very concept of solo travel in the Pixy and then a vacation to some out-of-the-away spot with only you, your Pixy and your significant other, is slightly off-putting to many Japanese; might even make them a little nervous. Maybe that's why there are so many of these 1-person vehicles being displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show ... Some of them might even be considered 'shocking' to some in the local populace.


AARRGH! It's the SUZUKI X-HEAD ... AGAIN!

AARRGH! It's the SUZUKI X-HEAD ... AGAIN!

Run for your lives, Suzuki's X-HEAD concept is coming! If Japan were to create their own "Montster Truck", this might be what it would look like. Suzuki, famed for motorcycles and small Japanese "k-cars" (which have 660cc-and-under engines) have gone way over the top with their X-HEAD concept. While the all-wheel drive truck was displayed as a possible basis for fire trucks and other types of work and municipal work trucks, show-goers enjoyed it for just what it is: A Japanese version of a toy-like Tonka Truck, which would bring a smile to the face of any man or boy .


Suzuki's Pixy Concept

Suzuki's Pixy Concept

Here's how the Pixy actually works ... The front 'door" opens and then actually lifts over the cabin and its occupant, making getting in or out about as simple as can be.


Suzuki Pixy In Operation

Suzuki Pixy In Operation

While a Suzuki employee helps a western journalist understand and experience their Pixy 1-person vehicle concept, it's easy to get a good view of how easy the Pixy appears to operate. Pixy is an all-electric vehicle; nothing was said at the show, though, about what kind of batteries Pixy carries, what a recharge would entail and how far one might go on a full charge. These 1-person vehicles are aimed at the largest and still-growing market in Japan --- That group of people 65 years of age and older.


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