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Posts Tagged ‘Tokyo Motor Show’

Yamaha’s Motobot is World’s First Autonomous Motorcycle Rider

Robot designed to help improve motorcycles for humans.

by on Nov.02, 2015

Yamaha's latest creation: Motobot, a motorcycle-riding robot aimed to help improve motorcycles for humans down the road.

Perhaps no motorsports series is as dangerous as MotoGP. Riders zig-zag around the track at blinding speed, often dragging their knees as they shriek around tight corners.

But Valentino Rossi, one of the most celebrated bike racers on the circuit, has been handed a challenge. It may not happen this year, or even the next, but Motobot has promised to beat the nine-time MotoGP champ.

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That’s all the more impressive when you realize Motobot is an “autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot” developed by Yamaha. Introduced at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, it looks a fair bit like a Star Wars Storm Trooper done up in a menacing blue. (more…)

Jeep Marks U.S. Return to Tokyo Motor Show

Brand hadn't exhibited since 2007. Detroit Three out since 2009.

by on Oct.30, 2015

Fiat Chrysler showed eight vehicles in its display at the Tokyo Motor Show: the first time it has been there in eight years.

Among the dozens of cars and concept vehicles on display at the Tokyo Motor Show this year will be eight from Fiat Chrysler. While FCA won’t be introducing anything new, its appearance at the Tokyo Big Sky convention center is nonetheless noteworthy because it marks the maker’s first appearance at the biennial show in eight years.

In fact, none of the Big Three automakers have displayed at the show since 2009, and Jeep’s been out since 2007.

The Last Word!

Detroit makers, in general, have been wary about even operating in Japan, long arguing that they’ve effectively been locked out of what Detroit makers have often argued is a “closed” market for foreign brands. (more…)

Back from the Dead, Datsun Looking for Global Opportunities

Aiming at the 70% of the world’s population not yet mobile.

by on Oct.30, 2015

The new Datsun Go-Cross Concept.

With its tall roof, high seating position, rugged-looking skid plate and sunset-orange paint, the new Go-Cross looks like a stylish take on the crossover utility vehicles that have become increasingly popular in placed like the U.S., Europe and Japan.

But when it comes to market a couple years from now, it will take aim at a select group of emerging markets including India, Indonesia, South Africa and Russia. And it will likely carry a price tag of under US$10,000, a fraction of what a similar model might go for in established markets.

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While officially a concept car, for now, the Go-Cross is all but certain to become one of the next models offered by Nissan Motor Co. through its recently revived Datsun division.


Tokyo Goes Green – and Autonomous

Concept hydrogen and battery cars in abundance at 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

by on Oct.30, 2015

The design of the IDS Concept hints at the direction Nissan will take with the second-generation Leaf.

When the Olympics roll into Tokyo in 2020, visitors from around the world are likely to get a glimpse of the future as they race to the various sports venues now under construction around the sprawling, crowded city.

One choked by pollution, Tokyo plans to use the Olympics to showcase groundbreaking environmentally friendly – and safe – automobiles. But there’s no need to wait four years. The 2015 Tokyo Motor Show is already offering a glimpse of what’s coming.

Beyond the Headlines!

Among the futuristic models introduced at the show this week, Nissan’s IDS – short for Intelligent Driving System – can be driven autonomously and, with its 60 kilowatt-hour battery pack, can clock about 200 miles between charges. That intelligent drive system, claims CEO Carlos Ghosn, is capable of learning the habits of its owner to modify the way it drives, even to recommend places to stop for a bite. (more…)

Toyota Pushes Design Boundaries with FCV Plus

A radical alternative to conventional car design.

by on Oct.29, 2015

The Toyota FCV Plus largely abandons traditional automotive design conventions.

The funky styling of the new Toyota Mirai hydrogen car has already been raising some eyebrows, but if you think that’s pushing the envelope, well, as the old saying goes, you ain’t seen nothing’ yet.

The fundamentals of a fuel-cell vehicle are radically different from those of a car using an internal combustion engine, and Toyota takes things to a radical extreme with the FCV Plus concept vehicle that made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show this week.

A Look into the Future!

With the basic hardware driving the prototype neatly tucked away, the FCV devotes virtually every inch above the floorboards to passengers and cargo, resulting in a design that might seem more at home on the set of a science fiction flick than on today’s highways.


Nissan Teatro for Dayz – a Car for People Who Don’t Like Cars?

“A multimedia device for share natives.”

by on Oct.29, 2015

Nissan's Teatro for Dayz concept is a multimedia device designed for share natives, according to CEO Carlos Ghosn.

Were it ever to go into production, we assume Nissan would have to think long and hard how and where to sell it: a traditional new car showroom or an Apple Store.

True, it has four wheels and four doors, but beyond that, the Nissan Teatro for Dayz concept doesn’t have all that much in common with a conventional automobile – perhaps because it seems aimed primarily at a young generation that is ambivalent, at best, about owning a car.

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Think of the Teatro for Dayz as “a multimedia device designed for share natives,” suggested Carlos Ghosn, the Japanese maker’s CEO, during a news conference at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show. (more…)

Yamaha Scores a Surprise Tokyo Motor Show Hit with Sports Ride Concept

The “active feeling” of a motorcycle in a two-seat sports car.

by on Oct.29, 2015

Yamaha stole the thunder from four-wheeled vehicle makers at the Tokyo Motor Show with its Sports Ride concept car.

Yamaha scored one of the surprise hits of this year’s Tokyo Motor Show – and not with a new two-wheeler but a sports car concept designed to provide the “involved and active feeling” of a motorcycle.

The Sports Ride Concept is about the size of a Lotus Elise, about 500 pounds lighter than the latest Mazda Miata, and has the edgy looks of an Alfa-Romeo 4C. But whether it will actually make it into production is far from certain.

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Yamaha officials didn’t want to discuss the Sports Ride in detail, and they repeatedly emphasized the fact that the tw0-seater is a “concept.” That said, the prototype sat on its display stand with a mock-up of the carbon fiber monocoque that would be used in its construction. And the display noted the 1,650-pound sports car would be built using the iStream production process. (more…)

Renault-Nissan Partnership Set to Overcome Latest Crisis, Says Ghosn

Expect a lot more consolidation in the auto industry, says Renault-Nissan CEO.

by on Oct.28, 2015

While consolidation is essential to the auto industry, it won't be easy to make work, warns Ghosn.

The 16-year-old alliance between Japan’s Nissan and France’s Renault isn’t about to break down, Carlos Ghosn, who serves as CEO of both companies, said during an appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Widely considered the most successful relationship of its kind in the auto industry, questions have been raised by reports that the French government wants to raise its stake in Renault, something that could shift the power balance of the alliance. Some observers now expect Nissan – which holds no voting rights in its ally – to step in and purchase a stake in Renault.

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While Ghosn declined to address specifics, he stressed that he doesn’t see the Renault-Nissan Alliance breaking down. “From time to time you are going to have crisis, problems, divergence,” he said during his news conference, but the two companies are “aligned on the fact that the alliance has been a tremendous success.” (more…)

Toyota Offers Two Takes on the Sports Car with S-FR and Kikai

Small 2-seat S-FR has production plans in its future.

by on Oct.28, 2015

With its widemouth bass of a grille, the S-FR adopts classic sports car proportions.

No surprise, considering the size of the brand, Toyota’s stand at the Tokyo Motor Show is filled with a variety of new concept and production models – as well as a pint-sized robot. They cover a vast range of automotive genres, from fuel-cell vehicles to a pair of sports car options.

The Kikai is a minimalist design that lets you get a clear look at the machinery that drives the beast. The little S-FR is a bit more traditional – and more likely to land in showrooms in the near future as the anchor of Toyota’s new three sports car strategy.

The Future is Now!

With its widemouth bass of a grille, the S-FR adopts classic sports car proportions, with a long hood, a low roof and a compact powertrain driving the rear wheels. But it measures a mere 13 feet, nose-to-tail and is small enough to look well-proportioned riding on tiny 15-inch wheels. (more…)

Mitsubishi Comes to Tokyo Motor Show with Pair of Concepts

Batteries power eX SUV, XR puts emphasis on design.

by on Oct.28, 2015

The Outlander Sport-sized Mitsubishi eX concept hints at future battery drivetrain technology.

It may be one of Japan’s smaller automakers, but Mitsubishi staked out a big presence at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show with a pair of new concepts vehicles, one focused on design, the other emphasizing its growing reliance on battery power.

Both the Concept XR and eX show cars are expected to find their way into production in the near future. And we’re likely also to see some of the new technology show up on a variety of future Mitsubishi products, including the self-parking and auto-charging system.

Auto Show News!

Both models pick up some cues from the current Mitsubishi line-up, rather than adopting the almost cartoon-like exteriors seen on some other recent show cars from the brand. But they also reveal where Mitsubishi plans to take its design language moving forward.