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Old 10-22-2009, 07:54 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Tokyo show report and pics 2009



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Tokyo represents all that is best about Japan.
Its night time skyline is one of the wonders of the world and the city has an embarrassment of riches in roads, rail and public transport.
But Japan is also bust, with debts that one international newspaper claim are equally to the debts of the UK, Germany and France combined.


New car sales in the country are at 32-year low, with the only glimmer of hope in the sales of the tiny Kei mini cars and hybrids. Drivers in Japan are also seen as a cash cow for the government, which gets over 9 per cent of its total tax take from motorists.
To make things even worse for Japan’s eight domestic manufacturers, the last 12 months has seen a steep rise in the Yen, making exporting cars from Japan increasingly unprofitable.

Little wonder, then, that the 41st Tokyo show will probably go down as the quietest on record. A bi-annual event the number of exhibitors was well below half the number who appeared in the pre-crunch days of 2007.

Moreover, aside from small showings by Lotus and Caterham (made possible by the local importers) no foreign manufacturers appeared at the show.

With the exception of the public unveiling of the Lexus LF-A supercar, the only talk at Tokyo was of reducing the use of oil.

The effect of trailing from one set-piece press conference to another was almost comic. The first word of virtually every industry bigwig as they climbed onto the stage was ‘emissions’.

Even Caterham – a car company with a microscopic global impact – says it wants to introduce either an electric or hybrid car and establish a global one-make ‘zero emissions’ race series.

Typically, Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn made the most compelling set-piece speech declaring that the ‘race to zero emissions has begun’ and promised ‘zero emissions, zero particles, zero noise and zero oil.’

That was a slight exaggeration, because even Ghosn doesn’t think that, by 2020, electric car sales will deliver more than 20 per cent of all new car production.

Nissan’s Leaf has to be best-sorted pure electric car yet, based on an well-established Golf-size platform, with Nissan’s own slim battery packs packaged under the floor. But it will be expensive and will probably rely on government incentives and tax breaks to make any kind of financial sense.

Aside from a few early adopters, it may be that the Leaf makes most progress, initially at least, with public sector and government fleets.

Mitsubishi dropped in behind Ghosn’s 20 per cent estimate and showed its iMiEV cargo van and promised a self-charging electric SUV by 2013, but not all the Japanese makers placed their faith in electricity.

Mazda is betting on diligent re-engineering of the good old internal combustion engine to make significant gains in economy.

The company says the SKY series of ‘next-generation’ powertrains promises Mazda 2 levels of consumption in the Mazda 3 and 20 per cent better economy in the next version of today’s 2.2-litre diesel. Stop-start and regenerative braking will also appear.

Daihatsu is leveraging its experience in making Japan’s tiny tax-break special Kei-cars to build some of the lightest and most frugal machines around. The e:S concept gets 85mpg through no more than weighing just 700kgs and using a three-pot engine.

It’s a compelling simple and inexpensive formula for urban fuel economy and free of the complexity of electric motivation.

Hybrid technology is now well established and Honda’s six-seat Skydeck mini MPV and CR-Z coupe concepts are welcome evidence that affordable hybrid technology is about to start spreading into new segments.

Back in the mainstream market, Nissan’s big new Fuga rear-drive executive was unveiled at Tokyo, but we’ll know it better as the Infiniti M when it arrives in the UK next year. It comes packed with technology – including the option of four-wheel steer and a new hybrid transmission that promises diesel economy at motorway speeds.

However, it’s styling might not be either characterful or cutting edge enough to convince buyers in the notoriously conservative premium market.

Where uncompromisingly Japanese design was a success was in retro concepts such as the Basket and Cocoa Kei-cars and Honda’s EV-N electric commuting car. Satisfyingly graphic they are all more pure product design than automotive styling.

The Basket concept cast minds back to the Nissan’s low-volume, but ground-breaking, retro Pao supermini, which was unveiled at Tokyo 20 years ago.

The 1989 Tokyo show showed the Japanese industry in its pomp, scaring the life out of the European carmakers with its emphasis on cutting edge technology and radical ideas. It’s easy to forget that Honda unveiled the NSX over a decade and half before Audi managed to build its own aluminium supercar.

20 years on, the Japanese industry is cowed by the global recession and other problems, such as the rise and rise of the Korean carmakers and low-cost production in emerging nations. It remains to be seen whether a combination of back-to-basics transport, electric power and unashamed luxury will keep the lights on in Tokyo’s tower blocks.
http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/sh...-and-pics.aspx




























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Old 10-22-2009, 07:58 AM   #2
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:01 AM   #3
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:03 AM   #4
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:40 AM   #5
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God that lotus is pretty.

I am deffinitely looking forward to driving the FT-86 and the CR-Z.
Due to the RWD, if the FT-86 has the right fun factor and price I'll be buying one.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:21 AM   #6
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this is a good time to be a fan of things with wheels. designs are still fresh even with companies giving lip service to "zero emissions" this and that. i'm glad to see companies catering both to the green and the sporty crowds simultaneously rather than cranking out luxobarge SUVs.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:06 AM   #7
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I'll take the Lady Cop/Model....
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:48 PM   #8
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all the way to post 6 before evil SUVs were brought up... not bad...

a very boring car show from those pics.
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:53 PM   #9
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Default Most rivals no-shows at Tokyo Motor Show

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all the way to post 6 before evil SUVs were brought up... not bad...

a very boring car show from those pics.

Chiba, Japan -- This year's Tokyo Motor Show is a lonesome affair for the Japanese, with foreign automakers largely no-shows for the first time in decades as they cut costs amid the downturn and focus on fast-growing markets like China.

The Japanese have always had a major presence at the Tokyo show, now being staged for the 41st time. But never before have this nation's top five automakers and their affiliates so dominated the biannual event.

Conspicuously absent from the Tokyo show were German automakers Volkswagen AG and BMW AG as well as U.S. manufacturers General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co.

South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. was on the preliminary list of participants but canceled just three weeks ago, citing "the global economic downturn, which has forced a more careful allocation of resources." The only non-Japanese taking part are Group Lotus, the British maker of sports cars, and Alpina Burkard Bovensiepen of Germany.

The cars on display Wednesday -- electric vehicles, plug-ins, futuristic hybrids -- were all designed to drive home the message that the Japanese are determined to take a decisive lead in green auto technology.

"The race to zero-emission has begun," Nissan Motor Co. Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said, driving on stage in a bullet-shaped electric vehicle. Inspired by a motorcycle, the experimental Land Glider has wheels that tilt into corners, swaying from side to side. Toyota Motor Corp., the world's No. 1 automaker, is showing a plug-in Prius, which travels longer as a pure electric car than the hybrid model that switches between a gasoline engine and electric motor.Chief Executive Akio Toyoda showed off an in-the-works two-seater Lexus luxury hybrid called LF-Ch.

To stress that Toyota was also bullish about electric vehicles, he showed the short-range commuter FT-EV II. "Some say that hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles are completely different," he told reporters. "But Toyota hybrids can also run as electric vehicles. They are already half electric-vehicles."

Takeshi Uchiyamada, executive vice president at Toyota, said 30 percent of Toyota's new product sales may be hybrids, not including plug-in hybrids, by 2020. Mamoru Katou, auto analyst with Tokai Tokyo Research, said Japanese automakers were vying to lead in green technology, even if some of the models were too experimental to be sold any time soon. "Ecology is what you push these days," he said in a telephone interview. "They are all trying to show where we are headed in the future."
The lethargy of the Japanese market, which fell to its lowest level in more than three decades last year at 3.21 million vehicles, is another reason overseas automakers and suppliers have stayed away.

Instead, they have focused on events in emerging markets, such as the Shanghai Auto Show held in April. China's vehicle sales hit 9.66 million units in the first nine months of this year, up 34 percent, as the country widened its lead over the U.S. as the world's top auto market.

Honda Chief Executive Takanobu Ito stressed the show here is an opportunity to demonstrate the strengths of the Japanese in environmental technology, such as Honda's Clarity fuel-cell vehicle, which runs on hydrogen.

In addition to the Insight hybrid, which went on sale earlier this year, Honda is showing a near-commercial version of another hybrid-only model, the sporty CR-Z. It is going on sale in February in Japan, and later in the U.S. and Europe.
But when asked about the absence of rivals from abroad, Ito could only say, "It feels lonely."
http://www.detnews.com/article/20091...384/1148/rss25
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:54 PM   #10
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i stand by my previous comment
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
this is a good time to be a fan of things with wheels. designs are still fresh even with companies giving lip service to "zero emissions" this and that. i'm glad to see companies catering both to the green and the sporty crowds simultaneously rather than cranking out luxobarge SUVs.
I agree
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:05 PM   #12
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I still want the STI most!
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:43 PM   #13
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I think we are on the precipice of a very boring time for cars. Looking at something like a fuel cell Renault is akin to looking at washing machine. Uninspiring, and boring.

I am glad they added the STI and GTR at the end to wake me back up. I wonder when the markets will realize people do not want ugly expensive fuel efficient cars. They want fun, beautiful, reasonably priced fuel efficient cars.

Start making those that are sustainable and reliable and we can talk. Until then, you doing nothing but releasing Microsoft Vista.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:05 PM   #14
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They want fun, beautiful, reasonably priced fuel efficient cars.










none are likely to meet all of your criteria simultaneously but it's not for lack of trying.
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:20 PM   #15
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My two fav small cars so far.

Really really liking the FT


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Old 10-22-2009, 06:26 PM   #16
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Fun and beautiful are not any more expensive than ugly and boring. I do not think they are trying hard enough. I think they are rushing designs to market to grab a piece of the green market before the green fad ends.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:38 PM   #17
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WANT!!

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this looks awesome!

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Old 10-22-2009, 11:39 PM   #18
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I'll take the Alpina

F the STI
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby-Doode View Post
My fav small car so far.
Really really liking the FT
^^Agreed!!
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:20 PM   #20
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That Caterham is sweeeet!

Nick
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:31 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Scooby-Doode View Post
My two fav small cars so far.

Really really liking the FT



this + the honda mini van
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Old 10-25-2009, 01:35 AM   #22
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looked to be no excitement for a new car show.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:58 PM   #23
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I'm not a new car kind of guy, usually.

But I'd jump at the FT and the CR-Z on the showroom floor.
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:23 PM   #24
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Default FT-86 Concept as Toyota or Scion in U.S.




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In an otherwise lackluster 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, there’ll be a lot of attention paid to the few new products of any serious merit – and one of those is the eagerly-awaited Toyota FT-86, the rebirth of one of the Japanese giant’s most heralded nameplates.

Officially, the prototype going on display today at Makuhari Messe is nothing more than a show car, but unlike some of the wild and wacky models that have a way of popping up at the biennial Japanese event, then vanishing, never to be seen again, our sources confirm that the FT-86 will reappear in the not-too-distant future, though one of the unanswered questions is which badge it will wear in the U.S..

It’s possible it will make the jump across the Pacific as a Toyota, but it is also possible, we’re told, that the FT-86 concept could show up as the replacement for the Scion tC, the youth-oriented marque’s most sporty model.

That would certainly fit. In prototype trim, the FT-86 revives some of the design cues from the last production car, known to aficionados as the Hachiroku – 86 in Japanese – which was pulled from the Toyota line-up in 1986.

The most notable detail is the gulping, shark-like grille, which is surrounded by a pair of straked vents. The overall theme is triangular, and though there’s a vague similarity to the Nissan GT-R, the look is a lot less over the top – until you check out the interior, which is exactly what one might expect at the Tokyo Motor Show, down to the zippered CD slot.

While we’ll have to wait for the official news conference for specific details, we’ve learned that it will be fitted with a 200 horsepower 2.5-liter boxer engine.

Yes, that’s right. The engine is sourced from Subaru, which entered into a partnership with Toyota, several years ago, after a controlling stake in the smaller Japanese maker was sold off by General Motors. The FT-86 is the product of the new partnership, and variations of the sporty coupe will be sold by both Toyota and Subaru. The latter, according to reports from Japan, will market an STI edition with the output of that boxer powerplant bumped up to 250 hp. Even more powerful turbocharged versions could follow.
http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2009...yota-or-scion/
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:59 PM   #25
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Toyoda said he wants to bring back excitement to Toyota. It wont show up as a Scion.
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