The cool, cute, clever and clinically crazy concept cars of the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show
The 2017 Tokyo Motor Show kicked off this week and immediately flooded the scene with a raft of new concept cars. All types of passenger and commercial concept vehicles are on display, ranging from SUV utility vans, to futuristic cargo delivery pods, to AI-driven motorcycles, to sleek, sultry sports cars. We haven't discriminated, putting together a full gallery of the concepts we love, the ones we could live without and those we're not even sure how we feel about.
Off/On-road fun and utility
Some of the most striking concepts of this year's Tokyo Show are the rugged but practical 4x4s built to move seamlessly between everyday city commuting, weekend home improvement projects and adventure vacations out in the mountains. We looked at the Yamaha Cross Hub mini-pickup earlier in the week, and there are a few others in this category of rugged, fun, practical utility vehicles.
Toyota's Tj Cruiser might just be our favorite in this category. It's styling is polarizing (we dig the big, bold shape but not necessarily that oversized grille), but the sheer utility of combining a rugged SUV and van seems hard to argue. This concept features sliding rear doors and seats that fold flat to create a huge load floor. The passenger side folds into a single floor that extends straight to the dashboard, offering space for items up to around 10 feet (3 m) long - so fill it with lumber or surfboards depending on what kind of weekend it is. The hybrid 4WD powertrain promises fuel-efficient driving for the city and high-traction, off-road-ready capability for wild weekends in the mud and dirt.
Our one complaint is that it only has four seats, when it feels like it should have six+. Still, we'd buy one.
On its concept-heavy stand, Suzuki is showing its own little 4x4, one that just screams "off-road fun," even though its name sounds more like something for an escape pod for the zombie apocalypse. The e-Survivor builds on Suzuki's heritage of tiny but tough 4x4s, adding plenty of ground clearance, a Jeep-like grille, an open-air cabin and transparent doors. Suzuki says it has a ladder frame and electric 4WD.
The sportier side
Ordinarily a single concept as gorgeous as the Mazda Kai would be a mic drop moment for an automaker, but Mazda decided it would have two equally brilliant concepts this year. The Kai compacts the next evolution of Kodo design language into small hatchback form, while the Vision Coupe above lets that Kodo language stretch its legs into a long, flowing four-door coupe. We'd say they both look equally stunning, so you could pick your poison based on which body style fits your life. We wouldn't mind seeing the Vision Coupe in the shade of red that adorns the Kai, though.
Another intriguing sports car on show is the Toyota GR HV Sports concept. This targa-topped two-seater is designed to find a functional blend of sporty, rear-driven performance and fuel-sipping eco friendliness with its Toyota Hybrid System-Racing powertrain. Its design is inspired by the Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid race car, and the driver-focused interior includes a cool ignition switch atop the shift knob that looks like something made to fire a missile.
Hungry for more? Jump into the photo gallery for a further look at those concepts and the many others that fill the Tokyo Motor Show.