Lexus kept its floor area at the 2007 Tokyo auto show fairly clear, letting the cars speak for themselves as it were. And the two Lexus concepts, the LF-Xh and the LF-A, certainly had a lot to say. The LF-Xh is a continuation of the trend for road-going, SUV-bodied cars that stress performance, like the BMW X6 concept we saw at the Frankfurt auto show earlier this year. The LF-Xh looks like a squashed RX 400h, and that squashing made it angry. Note the "h" on "Xh"--it denotes that the concept is a hybrid, using … Read more
Audi's metroproject concept car uses a unique take on the Quattro all-wheel-drive system, with gasoline engine-powered front wheels and electrically driven rear wheels. The car can operate with gas or electric power alone, achieving a range of over 60 miles on the latter. Its infotainment unit can be removed, yet will still control the car through a wireless network. The future is indeed now. Audi showed the metroproject off at the 2007 Tokyo auto show, and we fought through the crowds to get pictures.
Is there such a thing as a mini minivan?
Volkswagen's Space Up, which was unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo auto show on Wednesday, certainly seems to qualify.
The four-door Space Up is just 3.68 m (12 feet) by 1.63 m (5 feet) compared to the VW Touran minivan, which is roughly 4.3 m (14 feet) by 1.8 m (6 feet).
The Space Up follows the two-door Up that debuted at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show. As with the Up concept car, the drive train for all of the gasoline, diesel, and electric drives for this … Read more
Well, it's really called the FT-MV, and it's Toyota's look at the future of minivans. Normally we don't get excited about minivans, but those big back seats hooked us. The rear seats have power-adjustable ottomans, something we've only seen before in very expensive luxury sedans, such as the Lexus LS 600h. Toyota's press materials suggest this is the car to get when you're all grown up and want to provide your family with comfort equivalent to "a resort-hotel suite." But since we're not feeling all that grown-up, we'd take … Read more
Japan and gadgets go hand in hand, so it's no wonder that car technology figures prominently in automaker displays at the 2007 Tokyo auto show. Both Honda and Volkswagen put up exhibits showing their latest-generation navigation systems, which are generally available as in-dash options in their cars. Both companies embrace the new trend of hard drive-based navigation. These types of systems offer faster data access than DVD-based systems, and there is usually a bit of space left over for music storage. Honda uses a 40GB drive, the largest we've heard of as a factory install, while the Volkswagen … Read more
The highlight of the 2007 Tokyo auto show is easily the Nissan GT-R, gaining its mantle through its supercar performance and its fairly affordable price. For hours after Nissan unveiled the GT-R, people stood around it in awed silence, the only sound the frequent shutter clicks of cameras. Its design suggests brute strength and, according to the specs, it isn't faking. The car's 3.8-liter twin turbo engine puts out 473 horsepower, launching it to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Despite this amount of power, the GT-R achieves Japan's Ultra Low Emission Vehicle rating.
Nissan developed … Read more
Although a standard feature of gym equipment, do we need cardiac monitors in our cars? Denso thinks so, displaying this steering wheel-integrated monitor at the 2007 Tokyo auto show. When you grip the wheel, metal strips set into its rim use the contact with your hands to measure your heartbeat. We gave it a try, and it worked quickly, showing our heart rate on a screen. The health of drivers is obviously important for safety, because if someone is going into cardiac arrest behind the wheel, they would take out a dozen more people. Denso's monitor could be hooked … Read more
BMW showed an interest in mining its past with the CS concept, first shown at the 2007 Shanghai auto show. The company follows this theme with the tii concept here at the 2007 Tokyo auto show. This concept is based on the very real and very exciting 135i Coupe, BMW's new small car with the very big engine. If the 135i Coupe isn't enough car for you, the tii concept should certainly be. BMW didn't bother to change the engine or interior electronics for the concept, instead opting for some bodywork. The tii gets a lightened load … Read more
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Mini? Mini who?
Audi has released photos of its Audi A1, aka the Audi Metroproject Quattro concept car that it plans to debut at the 2007 Tokyo auto show next week.
The Audi wins hands-down in terms of a sophisticated and elegant look for a sub-compact, inexpensive car compared with its intended rival, the BMW Mini Cooper.
The Audi A1 makes BMW's Mini Cooper look like Minnie Mouse, a colorful, fun and quirky friend you once thought was cute as a child. But now that you're an adult your interests lie more toward Heidi Klum or Seal.
My … Read more