Top Tokyo Motor Show concepts

1.    Mazda RX-Vision

Mazda’s, ahem, vision for a future sports model made RX fanboys giddy at a prospect of the return of the beloved Wankel-powered coupe, made others salivate at the RX-Vision’s sexy, Aston-esque looks, and made me wonder whether Mazda can afford to muck about with Wankel technology in an era when emissions and fuel consumption, always the engine’s weak spots, are more important then ever.


2.    Yamaha Sports Ride

Last time Yahama got in bed with Gordon Murray, the legendary Formula 1 and McLaren F1 designer, they gave us the Motiv.e concept – sexier than a Smart, but hardly the stuff of dreams. The Sports Ride, on the other hand, is much more like it – a sexy, carbon fiber coupe that weighs only 750kg. Again, it seems like something Smart had attempted in the past (the Smart Coupe) done right. Now, how about that production version?

3.    Nissan IDS

A glimpse at what the next Leaf might look like, the IDS promises the new model to feature some i3-influenced surfacing and ultra-narrow tires, both of which inject the model with a lot of attitude. Whisper it, but the IDS looks a bit like a family version of the BMW i8.

4.    Lexus LF-FC

Lexus’ preview of what its next LS sedan will look like, the LF-FC is one sexy that blends the aggressive front of the LF-LC concept with a vaguely Aston Martin Lagonda-esque profile and, unfortunately, rear lights from the Toyota Mirai. But its killer app may yet be its hybrid powertrain – if Lexus were to put that into production it may yet prove the “next big thing” after the Tesla S.

5.    Subaru Impreza Concept

There are few things we can take for granted in the car world these days, and one of those is that Subaru concepts are reliably gorgeous and without fail lead to… ugly production models. It is too early to judge, though, as Subaru promises that “this time it’s different”, and the Impreza Concept has a lot going for it – it’s less obviously pie-in-the-sky than the 2013 WRX concept, it features some sexy Ferrari F12-esque flanks and a squat rear that looks a lot like the Peugeot 308. I want to believe that this is the car that makes Subaru attractive again, but you know, I’ve been hurt before…