Few automotive events cover more ground than the biennial Tokyo Motor Show, which has a history of introducing products ranging from the practical to the downright wacky. And if the Honda exhibit is any indication, the November gathering will live up to expectations.
Offering a few hints of what it has in store for Tokyo Motor Show-goers next month, Honda plans to pull the wraps off the next-generation Odyssey minivan, as well as a new version of its only recently launched hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. The exhibit will include sports and track models like the new Acura NSX and quirky 2&4 Concept, and will look at alternative mobility solutions with the Wander Stand and Wander Walker Concepts.
The Tokyo show has, over the years, seen some pretty odd and exotic concepts designed to excite visitors – appropriately, in Japanese, translated into “waku waku.” That’s included past Honda models such as one that looked almost like a telephone booth on wheels.
Some of the models coming to the show this year seem pretty tame, by comparison, including a preview of the next-generation Honda Odyssey minivan. The Japanese maker isn’t saying much about the people-mover, for now, except to hint it will offer a “further advanced” sport hybrid drive system. That could make it the first gas-electric minivan in the U.S. if that system is carried over to the State-side version.
Another new model coming to Tokyo likely to make news is the next-generation Civic Type R, a performance variant that will be coming to the U.S. A statement from Honda indicates it will bring the first application of Honda’s new 2.0-liter VTEC turbo engine, and will pump out a solid 306-horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque. That will make it the most powerful Honda Civic ever.
Using a 6-speed manual gearbox, Honda claims a prototype for the new Type R recently set a lap time record at the Nurburgring’s Nordschieife for a front-drive mass-production model.
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Honda isn’t saying much about several of the show cars it will launch in Tokyo, hinting that its “Project 2&4 powered by RC123V” is “designed to fuse together the values of two- and four-wheel mobility.” That’s based on the MotoGP-class racer, the RC213V-S, which can run on both the track and street.
Stretching the limits of conventional mobility is apparently going to be a theme for Honda, in fact. Two of the more unusual approaches to that theme will be the Wander Stand and the Wander Walker concepts.
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Honda will try to cover everything from performance cars – with the Tokyo debut of the new Acura NSX, as well as an all-new fuel-cell vehicle it has tentatively dubbed the FCV. Honda was the first automaker to actually offer a hydrogen car on the retail market, and it returned to that market in the U.S. recently, along with Hyundai and, just this month, Toyota. Some believe fuel-cell vehicles could eventually usurp battery-electric vehicles as the green technology of choice.
The FCV sedan is designed to seat five adults, says Honda, and could cruise as much as 700 kilometers, or about 435 miles, between refills. Meanwhile, the vehicle could serve as a “mobile power plant” in the event of an emergency.
All told, Honda plans to reveal more than two dozen production models, concepts, motorcycles and other oddities difficult to categorize during the Tokyo Motor Show next month.
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