Exhibitors unveiled hundreds of new cars, for the thousands of people expected at this years Tokyo Motor Show.
Weekender attended the preview of the annual event and got a glimpse of some of the fascinating cars on display.
Mainly featuring Japanese car brands, the show also stars international vehicles for sale in the Japanese market. This year the organizers have chosen the theme ‘Fun driving for Us, Eco Driving for Earth’. With international reports about climate change in the news almost daily, eco-friendly technologies and renewable energy are becoming even more important in the design and manufacturing process. The larger car companies have embarked on what seems to be a battle of the eco-cars with Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Suzuki all promoting next generation vehicles, something which is surely a good thing for consumers and the environment. The vast halls of Makuhari Messe in Chiba have been transformed into amazing walk through showrooms, displaying the latest in technology and design. When we arrived, some cars where still covered in white cloth, waiting to be unveiled for the public during the official opening. The countless TV crews and motor journalists scrambled around the booths trying to get the first look at some of the new cars on display.
Toyota is undoubtedly one of the star’s of the show, the company revealed several new models including a new plug-in Prius hybrid, capable of being charged by any standard household outlet and can be driven short distances totally in electric mode – a first in Japan. The Japanese car maker celebrates 12 years of Hybrid development this year and can boast sales of over two million of it’s innovative cars worldwide. Toyota also broadcast it’s press conference live on the internet, reaching people who couldn’t make it to Chiba. A spokesperson described the new cars as “A source of dreams and aspirations for people young and old”.
As this is Japan, you can expect some eccentricity and this year’s show will not disappoint, Mitsubishi displayed their new MIEV electric vehicle inside the set of a full size house; complete with real kitchen. The car was presented by driving right into the lounge and can be plugged into the wall just like the living room’s flat screen TV.
Honda also showed some trademark creativity, with a futuristic new car, the six seater ‘Sky Deck’ as well as a bizarre one-wheeled, experimental electric vehicle. A Honda spokesperson told Weekender “We expressed in our booth the concept of ‘Creating the never before’ we will continue our R&D efforts to quickly deliver convenient, fun and unique products to our customers in a way only Honda can do.”
A whole host of high end luxury and sports cars attracted the attention of photographers, but a real surprise was the Sony Playstation – Gran Turismo booth. The hit racing game is regarded as the industry standard and patient fans can wait in line to play on new portable versions or sit in a racing chair and play the fifth and latest version of the game on a giant HD screen.
With several huge halls full of the very latest in cars, bikes and future vehicles, auto enthusiasts from around the world will be delighted with the shear wealth of displays on offer. Tokyo Motor Show staff commented that eager visitors can also drive some of the latest models including selected next generation vehicles. A 3km course has been prepared at the Chiba site and staff from participating car companies will also be on hand to provide assistance and comments on vehicle features and controls. Motor Show staff also commented that by introducing visitors to the fun of driving, the show seeks to “Create as many new auto enthusiasts as possible.”
Test drives will run until October 30 with tickets on a first-come-first-serve basis, available each morning after the show has opened.
Advance tickets, (on sale until October 23) ¥1,100, ¥500 High School Students
Same-day tickets (On sale October 24 – November 4) ¥1,300, ¥600 High School Students
Nearest station: Kaihin-Makuhari (Keiyo Line from Tokyo Station)