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
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
Honda is thinking very much inside the box for next week's Tokyo auto show, where it will unveil its latest hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered concept. The Puyo, whose name--according to Honda--is intended to convey "the sensation of touching the vehicle's soft body," is designed to be "kind to both people and the environment".
To achieve this, the bubble-shaped vehicle (we can't bring ourselves to call it a car) has no sharp edges and features a "gel body" made from soft materials to minimize injury to pedestrians. Those unfortunate to be hit by a … Read more
A popular vision of the hydrogen future often includes swoopy, silvery cars, waterfalls, and majestic Icelandic landscapes. Chances are that the reality of hydrogen mobility may be a little more prosaic--a fact evidenced by the hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered Hyundai Tucson that we took for a ride yesterday. Aside from its obligatory hydrogen-themed badging, the Tucson--which runs on an electric motors powered by two 40kW UTC fuel cells--looked from the inside and outside like any other workaday SUV. This particular car had taken time off from its regular day job as an internal mail carrier for AC Transit, in which capacity it has … Read more
As far as we now know, Lexus plans to unveil two concept and six production vehicles at the 2007 Tokyo auto show, which opens in late October.
The Lexus concept cars that will be on display: the LF-Xh and the LF-A.
THe LF-A, a two-seater sports car, features a V10 engine and carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) body.
The LF-Xh, as you can see, is slightly similar in looks to the Lexus IS-F that debuted at the Detroit auto show earlier this year.
The LF-Xh is an all-wheel-drive, hybrid-electric vehicle with a V6 gas engine. The vehicle promises "outstanding … Read more
Photos of the Toyota i-Real robot/car that will debut at the 2007 Tokyo auto show are already making their way across the Web.
But what's all the fuss?
The i-Real is a battery-powered vehicle with three wheels.
The rear wheel can kick back further for a low-to-the-ground fast movement with great stability.
While the i-Real looks neat, it's really no different than other Toyota car/robot hybrids we've written about before.
Remember the i-Foot, the i-Wing and the i-Unit?
If you are interested and want to see more, AutoBlog Green has a nice gallery.