Tokyo motor show highlights - Introduction
Once one of the major international occasions, the Japanese capital’s automotive showcase has been sidelined in recent years, overshadowed by the last European extravaganza - either Frankfurt or Paris - and then squeezed uncomfortably between events in Los Angeles and Detroit.
Accordingly, this year’s show moved back into central Tokyo, to a smaller venue. Still, there were enough new ideas from Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota to create a buzz. The two prevailing themes seemed to be ‘fun’ and ‘responsibility’, with a mix of sporting intent and hybrid/EV technology - often in the one vehicle.
For me, though, the local brands’ thunder was stolen slightly by VW. It sprung a surprise in the shape of its Cross Coupe, a clear sign that the world’s largest car manufacturer is not about to allow the Range Rover Evoque an open goal in the ‘SUV coupe’ market.
Here are my thoughts on some of the show’s biggest debuts.
John McIlroy, What Car? magazine editor