QotW: Which concept from the Tokyo Motor Show should be built?

Daihatsu Noriori 12

The Tokyo Motor Show may be over, but the concepts have a chance to live on. This year saw a return to the far-out concepts that you don’t see at any other auto show. From oddball Suzukis to a mid-engined Yamaha, bonkers Daihatsus to the stunning RX-Vision, as well as just about every type of sports car under the sun, Tokyo had it all. The only thing that’s missing is production.

Which concept from the Tokyo Motor Show should be built?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “If you could witness one automotive moment, what would it be?” 


Some, like UCHE and Banpei, wanted to witness a pivotal racing moment. Others, such as Leon or Stuart Kayrooz, wanted to witness the boardroom meetings that launched seminal Japanese cars. Our winner, Sammy B, however tugged at the heartstrings with a desire to see the birth of his own personal Toyota Van.

So many good ones, but I would have absolutely loved witnessing my own car [1984 Toyota Van LE] being built. We are the original owners, so watching it progress on the assembly line and even making its journey across the ocean and all the way to Cleveland would be a treat. That’s not really one moment I guess, but still.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash


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30 Responses to QotW: Which concept from the Tokyo Motor Show should be built?

  1. Wayne Thomas says:

    No question:

    Mazda RX Vision

  2. Sammy B says:

    Woohoo! I’m honored. I really like starting my day with a pic of Toyota Vans. That one up top is clean. We have the same steel wheels, but painted bumpers since it’s an LE.

    How do I go about claiming those sweet stickers?

  3. Dankan says:

    There were several fun looking cars, but if I could selfishly only have one of them in my drive way, then give me that Yamaha Sports Ride.

  4. Banpei says:

    Without doubt the Daihatsu NoriOri has to be built!

    A friend of mine got a muscle disorder since she was 7 years old and had been in a wheelchair since. Even though she can only move her head and her hands for a few inches she got her Dutch driving license last year. However since she has to drive into the car sitting in her wheelchair she can only drive a car that has a flat floor, a high enough roof and a wheelchair lift. The only suitable cars for that are vans.

    In effect she is driving around in one of the largest Mercedes Sprinter vans and it is way too big for her. It barely fits in a normal parking space and parallel parking is very difficult to do. So a small van that lowers itself to the ground like the NoriOri would be ideal for her!

    • Yoda says:

      Seconded, If anyone has the means to build a “from-scratch”, properly production-engineered and cost-effective both to build and to buy/use wheelchair accessible car it’s ToMoCo.

      • Randy says:

        Would be an interesting niche market…

        • Yoda says:

          Look up “Universal Design” too. There are a lot of other uses a low-floor minivan with a ramp could be put to, commercial and otherwise, if it didn’t have to be converted from a stock one almost doubling the base price in the process.

  5. Ant says:

    Unquestionably the Toyota S-FR. Okay, so it probably WILL be built – it certainly looked pretty close to production-ready – but it’s probably the clearest indication yet that someone at Toyota loves driving. It’s not designed to be fast, it’s not aggressive, it’s not full of extravagant technology; it’s simply a small, lightweight sports car with neat looks and a few subtle nods to the great sports cars of Toyota’s history.

    Failing that… well, the roads would be a better place with something as daft as the Toyota Kikai roaming around…

  6. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    Car: Mazda RX Vision.

    Sport: Yamaha Sport Ride

    SUV: Suzuki Mighty Deck

    Motorcycle: Suzuki Recursion

    Soccer Mom: Air Triser

    Accessory: Honda e500 Generator

  7. Scotty G says:

    I think that the Toyota F-SR will be built, as well as the Yamaha Sport Ride, for Yamaha’s first “production car”.. that is badged as a Yamaha (disclaimer for those who will say that they’ve made production engines..)..

    And, Subaru needs to add a wagon / 5-door version of the WRX, and soon; my Outback has 335,000 miles on it!

    • Yoda says:

      The two pre-production Subaru concepts look like they’re planning to split the XV Crosstrek and Impreza hatchback; if I were them I’d seriously consider whether a sedan on that platform is really necessary at all.

      • Scotty G says:

        That’s a good point. It’s a rare auto company that even makes an AWD wagon anymore other than Subaru, Audi, BMW, & Mercedes-Benz.. Ok, I guess there are a few who still do, but not Toyota, Mazda, or Nissan, unfortunately. They’re all about SUVs / CUVs now in the US market.

        My wife just traded in her horribly, horribly-troublesome 2011 Mini on a new Crosstrek at the end of January and man, what a fantastic vehicle it’s been. It’s so quiet and solid with lots of room, even with the sloping hatchback (but, not as much as my 1997 Legacy Outback with a huge, square rear end..).. I would love to get a WRX “wagon”; the Outback can’t last forever (or, can it?).

        • Randy says:

          Don’t most have some AWD version in the home market, or aren’t we counting them? Just wondering… Of course, I consider the Venza a wagon, even if it IS marketed as a crossover.

          Off topic, but how bad was the Mini? Mom likes them and Fiat 500s; I’d rather she buy another Yaris, since ‘Zuki ain’t comin’ back (Hustler).

          • Scotty G says:

            True on the Venza, Randy, they are pretty posh.

            The Mine was, by far, thee worst car that either of us have ever owned, or ever will own. Not even a contest. Within six months of buying it brand new my wife would come out from her office and the windows would be down 4″. After being at the dealership for two days, they tracked it down to a “rusty door actuator”, on a brand new car! Luckily we got the 100,000 mile warranty or we would have spent $15,000 in repair bills in the 3 years that we owned it. It was dead in the water and on a tow truck at least 3 times, all for weird things that luckily were under warranty. The last straw was when my wife was coming back from work and the oil light came on. She pulled over and checked it; not one drop on the dipstick. (yes, we check our oil and it wasn’t low when she left that morning). There wasn’t one drop in the crankcase / oil pan / underneath / on top.. nothing. It just disappeared. That would have been over $5,000 to change all of the parts that went wrong on that one. Then, she was T-Boned by a humongous SUV and it was a sign to trade it in. The lady in the SUV said, “I didn’t even see her.” Nice.
            I highly recommend the Crosstrek, it’s a fantastic vehicle; although we passed on the 5-speed (and, we’re manual transmission people) because it needs a 6-speed. The 5-speed is screaming on the freeway; not good, Subaru really needs to step up to a 6-speed in the Crosstrek.

          • Scotty G says:

            Sorry – “Mine” = Mini, of course.

          • Randy says:

            Wow – absolutely sucks about the German car… SUV did you guys a favor! Hope the wife was okay from that!

            I’d do a Crosstrek in a heartbeat. Five-speed; six speed; whatever. I’m minimally on any highways anyway. I think my Scion is doing 3K at 60. I drove a CVT car ONCE – a Subaru Justy. It was like a go-kart. A friend has a CVT in his Sentra; for most people, I guess it’s fine, but I just can’t warm up to it. Maybe I’m weird, but I LIKE to feel a shift, and I honestly don’t know if you can use the “ratios” to “downshift” like in a traditional A/T for bad weather. Actually used it to hold back a bit, coming down a mountain road, too.

            If you get bored enough, check out Mazda’s JDM page – http://www.mazda.co.jp/

            We’re gettin’ shafted here in the States (as we often do)! Attenza (“6”); wagon; AWD; manual trans! I’d get it in white, with the heavily-white interior! Just needs a moonroof.

          • Randy says:

            Oh yeah – ’bout the Outback: I really liked the design. Assuming you got it new, it’s paid for, and AT WORST, it could be the “winter car”/”beater.” If it’s in good shape, then hang onto it, and keep it going. You know it’s history and quirks. As long as it’s solid and reliable, just keep it polished-and-waxed, and keep on truckin’.

            Ever see the old guy driving a car that shouldn’t have lasted that long? Cool, and gets looks and comments for the right reasons.

  8. mrbill says:

    While the Toyota F-SR checks the vast majority of the boxes for me, it’s Toyota’s quirky Kikai that I would really love to own. It’s a cross between Dieselpunk and Capsule Corp. that I just can’t look away from…
    As a die-hard Nissan fan, Toyota is showing that it has an interesting side for real automobile enthusiasts…if it will deliver.
    Nissan…you’re not showing me anything. Aside from your prohibitively expensive sports monsters, you have nothing that interests me newer than 2004. I’m looking at you too Infiniti.
    If Toyota built the Kikai as well as the F-SR, I’d flip like a hibachi hotcake.

  9. Michael says:

    RX vision.

  10. ya_boy_yeti says:

    Toyota S-FR holy crap can you imagine tearing up in the California canyons? Taking it in to a small shop, drop a turbo, tune it a little, drop it maybe an inch, place a chin spoiler, add a duckbill spoiler, titanium tomei exhaust, ( idk manaray turbina s rims? will that look good? bc i want something 13″) nah… Ill go with Basset Racing Inertia Advantage 13×8. (provided that its 4×100) ILL WAIT FOR YOU MY LOVE.

  11. boyee says:

    Mazda RX-9. If that is what the RX-Vision will be called, I’ll buy toy models for everyone on the JNC staff! The rotary will live on. #LongLiveTheRotary and #LongLiveTheRoadster because why not? #LongLiveTheRotaryRoadster might be a twist Mazda will surprise us all with!

  12. Tom Westmacott says:

    As an FD owner / addict, I was going to say ‘RX Vision’, of course, but something stopped me. The Vision is cool, but its too big and impractical. The essence of RX-7 is that you use the compactness of the rotary to build a small sports car with the firepower of a big one, while still maintaining perfect balance – the ideal combination of delicacy and punch. The Vision has a huge long bonnet and is too wide, it wouldn’t fit into my life or my driveway. I very much want a new RX-7, but by the time you’ve adjusted the Vision to make it the right scale, it wouldn’t be building the concept, it would be a different car.

    Having realised that, the conspicuously realistic Yamaha Sports Ride is the 2015 concept that needs to go straight into production. There has been an AW11-shaped gap in the market for a decade now; that was very popular at the time, but has no contemporary equivalent. Small, cheap and light, but with grown-up supercar looks and handling rather than being derived from a shopping trolley, the original MR2 was something unique and special.

    Yamaha should pick up a Toyota 1.6 engine, use it in stock form for the base model, adding its own top end for the pricier ‘S’ version. The car itself looks perfect, distinctive and original without being outrageous or impractical. It could be made affordable even in smallish volumes using the Gordon Murray system, and sold in both Yamaha motorcycle dealers and Toyota car ones, bringing an MR2 successor and another bit of sporting halo effect from the Yamaha badge to support Akio-san’s campaign to resuscitate their image. I can’t wait!

  13. ahja says:

    LF-FC!!! I love flagship luxury cars. And Lexus has made the best one for decades – the LS, everything a luxury car should be. It is the model that actually reinvents the luxury car game. Despite what those losers at Mercedes and BMW would have you believe about their sad, inferior offerings. The Lexus LS has been haunting them since the day first batch emerged in Tahara 25 years ago. Maybe they had hoped that their long Germanic nightmare of getting spanked by Toyota in the world of luxury cars would finally end as the LS460 grew long in the tooth (even though its closing in on a decade in production and is still The Best…). But only to have this sizzling Lexus concept surface to make their 7-series and S-classes look weak sauce yet again.

    At least Toyota didn’t add insult to injury by unveiling the new pinnacle of luxury sedandom at Frankfurt.

    • Ant says:

      I like the LS, and indeed most of the current Lexus range, but I think you’re overstating its grip on the market. If by “haunting” you mean “selling in substantially smaller numbers, but always present” then that’s correct, but I’m not sure the German marques are as worried as you’re making them out to be.

      It’s hard to find like-for-like figures, but from those I can find, the BMW 7-series and Mercedes S-class both comfortably out-sell the LS. The only region in which that isn’t consistently the case is the US, which is understandable since that’s the market Lexus was created for.

      What Lexus absolutely did was proved that a company didn’t have to be established in that segment of the market to make an impact, provided they have the right product. That’s something that Tesla is arguably replicating today, albeit through a completely different strategy.

      Sad and inferior? I think a little marque bias might be creeping in there – with a few notable exceptions, Mercedes and BMW’s flagships have been magnificent vehicles. I recently drove the latest G11 7-series, and it’s really quite difficult to fault. And as it stands, it’s probably the most technologically advanced car in its class. That’s not necessarily something Lexus can boast with the LS – that car has tended to refine existing technology, rather than debut entirely new advancements.

      However… I drove a pristine original LS400 last year and loved every minute. And The LF-FC at Tokyo did look fantastic – if the production model looks anything similar, it’ll be a hugely desirable car.

      • ahja says:

        A lot of wretched cars dominate sales lists, for a myriad of reasons. And real, amazing, quality cars undersell fairly often as well. Point is, sales in no way reflect what is a great car and what isn’t (…unless your criteria for “great” is sales figures). There really is virtually no correlation.

        Lexus might or might not significantly “steal” sales from BMW and Mercedes, but it predates on them mainly by another mechanism entirely. That is, for the last 25 years, the LS has repeatedly and continuously exposed them exactly for what they are: expensive brand names that are objectively inferior in terms of assembly quality, amenities, quietness, smoothness, ergonomics, materials, and especially, RELIABILITY. Toyota has been relentlessly blowing the German companies out of the water on all these fronts. Of course, just as GM and Chrysler manage to hold on to very sizeable chunks of the US market due to legacy infrastructure and customers, the same is true for BMW and Mercedes in Europe, which has more people than the US by quite a bit.

        Believe it or not Mercedes and BMW used to (like, in the 80s and early 90s) have a reputation on the secondary market of “it is solidly built and well made, it will last a long time and be a good car for any second owner”. That’s actually a true statement about Lexus today, but if you said that about a BMW, Mercedes, (or Audi) anybody with even some fringe knowledge would think you are some kind of joke of a greasy used car salesman. Used Mercedes and BMWs depreciate like rocks because everybody knows they are ticking time bombs waiting to bleed their owner dry in hopes of getting them to pick up a new Merc/BMW. In contrast, Lexus has parleyed Toyota’s reputation for durability and reliability to a new level, led by the LS. As it should be. I think you will see 10 UCF10s still on the road for every W126. And same for UCF20/21 compared to W140.

        • Ant says:

          I don’t disagree that Lexus has the German marques beaten for reliability, but your initial post grossly underestimates just how good the current German luxury vehicles are.

          Lexus, in my experience, is very good at build quality, longevity, and dealer service. What a 7-series or S-class does better – ignoring sales entirely – is up-to-the-minute technology, handling, and variety of powertrains (possibly more important in Europe than it is in the USA).

          Comfort, quietness etc are as good as makes no difference the same across this class – *all* vehicles at the LS level are utterly remarkable as far as traditional luxury qualities go.

          My point isn’t to denigrate the LS – far from it, it’s always been an excellent luxury vehicle. But reliability issues aside (and that’s a bit of a throw of the dice anyway – all modern cars are fairly trouble-free compared to their distant predecessors), the German marques really do make some very good vehicles indeed. Dismissing them as “losers/sad/inferior” strikes me as lacking familiarity with the latest range of products.

          Or, as suggested before, more than a little biased. Which is understandable; we’re on a Japanese car site, after all. But much as I love Japanese cars, and JNCs in particular, I can appreciate the merits of products from other companies and countries too.

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