Lotus brings back a legendary name with the Lotus 2 Eleven on display at the 2007 Tokyo auto show. The original Lotus Eleven was built from 1956 to 1958, and competed successfully in many races of that era. The new generation 2 Eleven is based on the Exige S, getting its suspension and 1.8-liter supercharged and intercooled engine. But Lotus manages to squeeze 16 percent more power out of it, upping horsepower to about 255 at its top engine speed of 8,000RPM. The 2 Eleven is currently Lotus' most powerful car, and it gets from 0 to 62 … Read more
Single-person wheeled vehicles look like the stuff of science fiction, but Toyota and Suzuki showed off a few concepts at the 2007 Tokyo auto show. They tend to have a futuristic look and electric drive, but we're not entirely sure what problem they are supposed to solve. Just as the Segway become more novelty than necessity, we can't imagine future thoroughfares jam-packed with people commuting in the vehicles. Still, they look like they would be fun to drive.
Mitsubishi's I Miev Sport incorporates an amazing amount of new technologies to complement the work the company has already been doing on electric cars. With three electric motors making up its drive train, the I Miev Sport gets a range of 200 kilometers. For a little extra juice, it uses regenerative brakes, miniturbines in its grille, and solar panels on its roof. Mitsubishi unveiled this latest example of its research into practical electric cars at the 2007 Tokyo auto show.
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