The wackiest showcase of concept cars on Earth, the Tokyo Motor Show, is about drop. Sure, the big gala at Makuhari Messe is a great chance for Japanese automakers to express, in automotive form, technology, sustainability or speed. But let’s face it, we want to see the nuttiness. You’re not going to find a glow-in-the-dark car with no corners that is not only soft to the touch, but wants to be touched, at Frankfurt or Motown.
Thankfully, the show also makes way for more grounded design studies, and we are particularly thankful for the Honda CR-Z. According to Honda, the moniker stands for “Compact Renaissance Zero,” a phrase that leads us to believe that this concept will signal a rebirth of the sorely missed Honda CR-X. The original pocket rocket ushered in an era of cheap wheeled fun and, eventually, the whole import tuning scene, and Honda seeks to recapture the spirit of that age, calling it a Renaissance. Who are we to argue?
Also, in Japanese parlance, “zero” refers to the idea of returning to the core of whatever it is that’s being zeroed and starting anew from that point. This sounds like some form of tacit acknowledgment that the CR-X’s eventual mutation into the del Sol and its subsequent disappearance altogether was a bad thing, as many of the car’s fans have suggested. So, while the CR-Z is powered by a hybrid engine unlike its predecessors, it should still, in theory, reflect the essence of the original CR-X by being compact, lightweight, and above all, a blast to drive. The Tokyo Motor Show opens on October 26.