If Geneva is where car makers launch supercars and green technology, and the alternating Frankfurt and Paris shows are for major volume products, the Tokyo motor show is where manufacturers – particularly Japanese ones – let off steam with eccentric concept cars and design studies.
While these cars won’t necessarily preview the performance cars we’ll be driving over the next few years, they’re a good indication as to the direction manufacturers are taking in terms of design and technology.
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That said, there’s a lot for sports car fans to lust over at this year’s event, above and beyond the quirky home-market kei cars and crazy concepts whose ideas may never see the light of day.
Particular highlights this year include Toyota's new S-FR concept - a potential Mazda MX-5 rival - and the potential return of a rotary-powered Mazda sports car. One of the best recent motor show concepts, Honda's 2&4 track day car, will also reappear in Tokyo. Scroll down for the latest news and images - and don't forget to return on October 28th, when we'll be updating this page with live information from the show floor.
BMW M4 GTS
The M4 GTS made its debut appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance back in the summer, but it makes its official world debut at the Tokyo motor show.
The track-focused car follows in the footsteps of the M3 GTS and delivers an increase in both power and torque over the regular M4 - to 460bhp and 450lb ft respectively. Aerodynamic addenda increases downforce, and weight is reduced.
Like the M4 GTS above, Honda's 2&4 concept isn't strictly a new appearance - it made its debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.
It's well worth revisiting at Tokyo though, if only because it's one of the most interesting and exciting cars Honda has conceptualised in years. It uses a MotoGP engine, revs to 13,000rpm and the driver's seat floats above the tarmac. It's the best indication yet that Honda still has some true car enthusiasts in its midst - now all Honda needs to do is make it.
Lexus 'progressive luxury' concept
Lexus is the latest company to announce a new concept car at this year's Tokyo show. Details are very slim at this time - and there's only a headlight image to go on - but the concept will be the firm's vision of 'progressive luxury'.
In Lexus terms, that's likely to include the latest take on its angular design language, and likely a hybrid powertrain. The new concept will join the recently-unveiled RX crossover and the sporty RC F on the marque's Tokyo stand.
Mazda MX-5 RS
Mazda’s Japanese customers don’t actually get the 2.0-litre engine sold elsewhere in the world, instead constrained to the smaller (but still peppy) 1.5-litre unit offered as an entry-level powerplant to UK customers.
A new RS version should add to the fun factor though, with an ‘induction sound enhancer’ to boost intake roar, a set of Recaro seats and other toys. What’s more, it’s a lot cheaper than a similarly-equipped UK car. In addition to the RS, Mazda will once again show its Global Cup racer in Tokyo, as well as a Roadster NR-A model aimed at club racers and trackday-goers.
Mazda RX-Vision concept
Fun though the MX-5 RS might be, we’re significantly more excited for Mazda’s sports car concept. Called the RX-Vision concept, it's a preview of a front-engined, rear-wheel drive and Wankel rotary-powered sports car.
It uses an all-new rotary powerplant named Skyactiv-R, a reference to Mazda's current line of high-efficiency engine technologies. There's no guarantee yet that Mazda will produce the RX-Vision, but if it does, it could be the long-awaited successor to the firm's much-missed RX-7 from the 1990s.
Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo
Nissan is one of several manufacturers to produce a wild concept vehicle for the Gran Turismo videogame series, but one of only a handful to turn it into a full-scale model.
The 2020 was first shown at Goodwood earlier this year, but Nissan has freshened it up for Tokyo with a coat of red paintwork. There's more than a little similarity to Nissan's GT-R LM endurance racer here, but the concept is also likely to donate some visual cues to the next GT-R supercar.
The Gripz concept is another we’ve seen recently, making its debut in Frankfurt. There are no changes here, but in its home market it’s sure to be a draw.
The car takes its stylistic inspiration from both the original Datsun 240Z sports car – fueling rumours the next Z will be a crossover – and the world of racing bicycles. Equally, this could be the best indication yet of the next Nissan Juke.