Tokyo Motor Show 2011: Japanese OEMs (1)

Exhibits of concept cars and production models by passenger car manufacturers

2012/01/06

Summary

 The 42nd Tokyo Motor Show was held for ten days from December 2nd to 11th, 2011 (Press days were on November 30th and December 1st). The venue was transferred to the Tokyo metropolitan area for the first time in 24 years; the Motor Show was held at the Tokyo Big Site for the first time. At the 41st Tokyo Motor Show, which was held after the recession in 2009, no commercial vehicle manufacturers and overseas OEMs participated. At this Motor Show, commercial vehicle manufacturers took part again and overseas OEMs centered on European OEMs exhibited their products, giving life to the Motor Show. The number of visitors during this Motor Show increased by 37% from the 41st Tokyo Motor Show to about 843,000 (announced by the organizer).

 The exhibition report has been broken down into five reports - two for Japanese OEMs, overseas OEMs and two for parts suppliers. This is the first report that covers Japanese passenger car manufacturers' concept cars and production models (planned to be launched).

 Each of the Japanese OEMs (excluding Mazda) exhibited concept cars of PHVs, EVs, and ultra-compact EVs, which shows that they put strategic priority on electric-powered vehicles. On the other hand, Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ RWD sports car, which is scheduled to be launched in 2012, attracted attention, while Nissan/Honda showcased EV sports car concept; OEMs appear to demonstrate driving pleasure to appeal to the visitors.

 Among OEMs, Toyota focuses strategically on every type of vehicles from a fuel cell vehicle, PHV, EV, to HV, including the Fun-Vii concept car, which was called a moving smart phone. On the other hand, the concept cars that Nissan exhibited were all EVs, which show its effort on "zero-emission." Honda unveiled a sports EV concept and a PHV concept and also showcased four concept mini passenger cars.

 A noticeable exhibit is Mazda's focus on the internal-combustion engine, particularly on the diesel engine that is not common in Japan. Mazda assumes to use a diesel engine in the concept car (TAKERI), which it unveiled.



PHV: Toyota exhibits the Prius PHV, which it will launch in 2012, while Honda, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki showcase PHV concepts

 Each OEM exhibited plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs), which are considered to be next-generation eco-friendly cars following hybrid vehicles (HVs). Toyota unveiled the Prius PHV in Japan, which it will launch in January 2012. Honda, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki each showcased a PHV concept, the AC-X, the Concept PX-MiEV II, and the Swift EV Hybrid, respectively, for the first time.

 In addition, Toyota unveiled the Aqua compact HV, which it launched in December 2011.

 

Prius PHV, which Toyota will launch in January 2012 Honda's next-generation PHV sedan concept, AC-X
Prius PHV, which Toyota will launch in January 2012 Honda's next-generation PHV sedan concept, AC-X

Mitsubishi's PHV concept based on SUV, Concept PX-MiEV II

Suzuki's series PHV concept, Swift EV Hybrid
Mitsubishi's PHV concept based on SUV,
Concept PX-MiEV II
Suzuki's series PHV concept, Swift EV Hybrid

 

Toyota
Prius PHV
 Toyota Prius PHV is a plug-in hybrid vehicle, which is based on the Prius HV with the addition of a high capacity battery and a recharging function from an external power source, thus enhancing EV driving performance. The model will be launched in Japan in January 2012. The selling price ranges from 3.2 million yen (The price of the Prius ranges from 2.17 million yen). The company will also start marketing it in the US in March 2012, further planning to sell it in Europe (Note 1).
 The fuel economy of the PHV (JC08 mode) is 61.0km/L. The cruising range in the EV mode is 26.4km, which is improved compared to a model that was leased in a limited number earlier (57km/L and 23.4km, respectively, for the leased model). By improving the performance of the Li-ion battery, the weight of the battery is reduced. In addition, by improving the system, the battery capacity has shrunk from 5.2kWh to 4.4 kWh, which made it possible to reduce the weight of the battery from 160kg to 80kg. These contributed greatly to the improvement of the performance of the Prius PHV. Besides, the fuel efficiency is improved by increasing the regenerative charge quantity and with special low-rolling resistance tires.
Honda
AC-X
 Honda AC-X is a concept sedan that shows Honda's next-generation PHV (Note 2). The model comes with a motor with a maximum output of 120 kW and a 1.6L engine with a maximum output of 95kW. The cruising range is more than 1,000km. The maximum cruising range in EV mode is 50km. The PHV fuel economy is 110km/L.
 In place of a round steering wheel, the model comes with a twin lever steering system at the driver seat, in which the driver shifts two levers that work together forward and backward (Note 3), and also has an automated driving system. The front bumper, side skirt, and rear diffuser are movable; when these are down, the Cd value is 0.21.
Mitsubishi
Concept PX-MiEV II
 Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II is a second generation PHV concept based on Mitsubishi's SUV. This model is 150mm longer than the 1st model and, also taking efficiency into consideration, the displacement of the engine is boosted from 1.6L to 2.0L. The cruising range in the EV mode is more than 50km. The overall cruising range is more than 800km. The company aims at Plug-In-Hybrid Fuel Consumption of more than 60km/L.
 The model has an engine and a motor in the front part and a motor in the rear part. There are three drive modes - EV mode, series drive mode in which the engine generates electricity, and parallel drive mode in which the engine drives the vehicle and the motor assists the engine. Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II also comes with a system in which the driver can switch the drive mode. The company plans to start marketing a vehicle with this plug-in hybrid system in FY2012.
Suzuki
Swift EV Hybrid
 The Suzuki Swift EV Hybrid is a series-type PHV concept car based on the Swift compact car, in which the engine is used only for power generation. The name of the model is changed from the former Swift Range Extender and the base model is also changed to the New Swift. In addition, the engine is changed to a 660cc R06A engine that is used in the Alto Eco. The capacity of the Li-ion battery is increased to 5 kWh (2.66kWh for the former model). The cruising range in the EV mode is doubled to about 30km (JC08 mode). The cargo space, which was used only for battery, etc., is secured for space to store things.
(Note) 1. It is expected that the launch of the model in Europe will be delayed compared to Japan and the US because the model should come with the functions that make it difficult to start the engine when the vehicle is suddenly accelerated in the EV mode. In Europe, there is a discussion on the government's measure to limit vehicles that enter the urban area and this is a move to respond to that.
2. Honda plans to launch a PHV based on the Inspire in Japan and the US in 2012.
3. According to Honda, a twin lever steering in itself makes poor drivers and elderly people easier to drive a vehicle in two points - (1) it is a more natural movement for people to move something forward and backward than to rotate it, (2) rotating a steering wheel requires cognition by the brain, but moving the arm forward and backward is an intuitive movement that does not involve the brain.

 

Toyota small HV

Toyota Aqua
(Prius c)
 The Toyota Aqua (Prius c) is a compact HV that is launched in Japan in late December, 2011. The model is 110mm longer and 15mm lower than Toyota's Vitz compact car (the width is the same) and its aerodynamic performance is enhanced. In order to secure a spacious interior, the battery and fuel tank are housed under the floor of the rear seat.
 The model comes with a compact and lightweight hybrid system that is combined with a 1.5L engine. Compared to that of the Prius, the combined weight of the engine, trans axle, and battery is reduced by about 35.5kg. The fuel economy in the JC08 mode and the 10-15 mode is 35.4km/L and 40.0km/L, respectively.


Aqua compact HV that Toyota launched in late December, 2011
Aqua compact HV that Toyota launched in late December, 2011

 



EV concept car: Toyota exhibits a compact EV to be launched in 2012 while Nissan and Honda showcase an EV sports car

 Toyota unveiled the FT-EV III, a compact EV concept car for short travel, which is scheduled to be launched in 2012. Nissan exhibited a LCV concept, the TOWNPOD, and a sports car concept, the ESFLOW, thus showing diversified directions of EVs. Honda also unveiled an EV sports car concept, the EV STER.

 

A compact EV concept that Toyota plans to launch in 2012, FT-EV III Nissan's EV that integrates a light commercial vehicle and a coupe, TOWNPOD
A compact EV concept that Toyota plans to launch
in 2012, FT-EV III
Nissan's EV that integrates a light commercial vehicle
and a coupe, TOWNPOD

 

Toyota
FT-EV III
 Toyota FT-EV III is an EV for short travel, which Toyota aims to bring to market in 2012. The model is based on a compact car, the iQ, and its exterior is almost the same as that of the iQ. It is about 100mm longer than the iQ. The cruising range is assumed to be 105km. The former FT-EV II has a special smaller body than the iQ and looks very different from the iQ.
Nissan
TOWNPOD
 Nissan TOWNPOD is one of the EV concepts that show diversified directions of Nissan's EVs. It has a style that integrates a light commercial vehicle and a coupe. It has four double doors - left and right, rear, and roof. The rear seat can be sled forward to be integrated with the front seat in order to be stored. The model was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show held in September 2010.
Nissan
ESFLOW
 Nissan ESFLOW is a concept car that shows the direction of Nissan's EV sports car. As the Leaf does, it has two mid-motors. By independently controlling each of the rear wheels, the model has achieved high turning ability and energy regenerative ability. The battery and the control system are laid out like the shape of an alphabet "I" at the center of the vehicle body. The 0-100km acceleration time is less than 5 seconds. The cruising range is 240km (US LA4 mode). The model was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show held in March 2011.
Honda
EV STER
 Honda EV STER is a rear-wheel-drive electric open sports car concept. It comes with a 10 kWh Li-ion battery. The cruising range is 160km. Instead of a round steering wheel, a twin lever steering is adopted. The driver can adjust the output of the motor and the setting of the suspension.

 

Nissan's compact EV sports concept, ESFLOW Honda's compact EV sports concept, EV STER
Nissan's compact EV sports concept, ESFLOW Honda's compact EV sports concept, EV STER

 



Ultra-compact EV concept: Nissan exhibits the PIVO 3 with an in-wheel motor while Honda, Suzuki, and Daihatsu showcase commuter EVs

 Nissan unveiled the PIVO 3, an ultra-compact EV with an in-wheel motor, which boasts a minimum turning radius of 2m. In addition, Honda, Suzuki, and Daihatsu exhibited commuter ultra-compact EV concepts with overall length of about 2.5m. In the background, governors of 35 prefectures in Japan proposed, in February 2011, a concept "Automobiles friendly for elderly people" (a 2-seat compact car with the overall length of up to 2.8m with the cruising range of about 60km) and requested its development to each OEM.

 

Nissan's compact EV concept with in-wheel motor, PIVO 3 Honda's ultra-compact EV concept, MICRO COMMUTER CONCEPT
Nissan's compact EV concept with in-wheel motor, PIVO 3 Honda's ultra-compact EV concept,
MICRO COMMUTER CONCEPT

Suzuki's ultra-compact EV concept, Q-CONCEPT

Daihatsu's ultra-compact EV concept, PICO
Suzuki's ultra-compact EV concept, Q-CONCEPT Daihatsu's ultra-compact EV concept, PICO

 

Nissan PIVO 3  Nissan PIVO 3 is an ultra-compact EV concept that proposes a realistic solution as a vehicle that anyone can drive easily anytime. It is equipped with an automatic parking system called Automated Valet Parking (AVP), in which, when the driver pulls into a driveway at a parking lot, the vehicle automatically moves to the parking space, so that it can be recharged. The driver can call the vehicle automatically to a driveway with smart phone, etc.
 The PIVO 3 comes with an in-wheel motor for each of the four wheels and boasts a large rudder angle. When the vehicle turns, the rear wheels turn the opposite direction to the curve, which allows a short turning radius. In addition, compared to the front wheels, the tread of the rear wheels are narrower, which eliminate distance between inside/outside wheels of a cornering paths.
Honda
MICRO COMMUTER
CONCEPT
 Honda MICRO COMMUTER CONCEPT is an ultra-compact EV concept (L 2.5m/W 1.25m/H 1.43m). The battery and the power control unit are located behind the rear seat, thus allowing one adult and two children to board. The model comes with a 3.3kWh Li-ion battery. The cruising range is about 60km. It is characterized by a twin lever steering and exterior design that can partially be decorated differently.
Suzuki Q-CONCEPT  Suzuki Q-CONCEPT is an ultra-compact EV concept (L 2.5m/W 1.3m/H 1.65m). The model is a 2-seater - a front seat and a rear seat. The company also proposes a 1-seater with cargo space and a model with one seat for adult and two seats for children. The cruising range is about 50km.
Daihatsu PICO  Daihatsu PICO is an ultra-compact EV concept (L 2.4m/W 1.0m/H 1.53m). Unlike similar concepts of Honda and Suzuki, the width of the model is small and it has no doors. Daihatsu positions the model between a mini vehicle and a motorbike. The model is equipped with an automatic emergency brake system with radar that can detect 100m ahead and a system that limits the speed to 6km/h when the vehicle passes people.

(Note) At this Motor Show, Nissan also exhibited a tandem 2-seat ultra-compact EV, the New Mobility Concept. This concept car is a version with slightly-revised exterior of the Twizy, which Renault will launch in Europe next year.

 



Fuel cell vehicle concept: Toyota exhibits a sedan version that it aims to launch around 2015

 Two OEMs in the Toyota Group exhibited fuel-cell vehicle concepts. Toyota unveiled a sedan version that it aims to launch around 2015, while Daihatsu a mini commercial vehicle concept that is powered by liquid fuel.

 

FCV-R, which is a fuel-cell vehicle concept that Toyota aims to launch as a sedan FC show CASE, which is Daihatsu's fuel cell vehicle concept that is powered by liquid fuel
FCV-R, which is a fuel-cell vehicle concept that Toyota
aims to launch as a sedan
FC show CASE, which is Daihatsu's fuel cell vehicle concept
that is powered by liquid fuel

 

Toyota FCV-R  Toyota FCV-R is a fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) concept that it aims to bring to market around 2015. Toyota aims to introduce a sedan type FCV and is currently showing such direction. The FCV-adv, which is an SUV version that was leased starting in 2008, comes with four hydrogen tanks (70MPa), while the FCV-R comes with two hydrogen tanks under the rear seat and its back to secure a spacious interior room. By improving the efficiency of a fuel-cell stack, the cruising range is more than 700km (JC08 mode).
Daihatsu FC
show CASE
 FC show CASE is a precious-metal-free fuel-cell vehicle concept that is developed by Daihatsu and that is powered by liquid fuel (hydrazine hydrates). The company proposes a platform that stores a fuel cell stack, motor, and liquid fuel in the chassis, making it possible to utilize the body space at the maximum.

 



Mazda, Suzuki, Daihatsu, Subaru, and Toyota exhibit HV concepts and concept cars with internal-combustion engine

 Mazda unveiled a midsize sedan concept, TAKERI, which employs SKYACTIV-D diesel engine and a regenerative braking system that uses a capacitor. Suzuki unveiled the REGINA, a next-generation global compact car concept that is made lighter and has enhanced aerodynamic performance.

 Daihatsu unveiled the D-X, a sports car concept that comes with a 2-cylinder direct-injection turbo engine, while Subaru unveiled a HV wagon concept, the ADVANCED TOURER CONCEPT.

 In addition, Toyota unveiled the Fun-Vii, a concept car that heralds a future where people, cars and society are linked.

 

Mazda's midsize sedan concept, TAKERI Suzuki's global compact car concept, REGINA
Mazda's midsize sedan concept, TAKERI Suzuki's global compact car concept, REGINA

 

Mazda TAKERI  Mazda TAKERI is a midsize sedan concept car that adopts SKYACTIVE on a full-scale. Based on a concept car, the SHINARI, the model expresses "a fine balance and a masculine power." It comes with a 2.2L clean-diesel engine, SKYACTIV-D(with start and stop system) and the i-ELOOP, a regenerative braking system that newly uses a capacitor. The cruising range is assumed to be 1,500km. The company says that it targets fuel economy that is nearly equal to that of Toyota Camry HV (23.4km/L in the JC08 mode).
Suzuki REGINA  The REGINA is Suzuki's next-generation global compact car (A-segment) concept. The model targets fuel economy of 32km/L or higher (JC08 mode). The company has developed a platform that revamps a linear framework structure, takes in strong curved lines and also maintains rigidity, thus reducing its weight by more than 100kg (as compared to the company's A-segment model). Even with the windshield up, aerodynamic performance is heightened and the Cd value is lowered by more than 10%. The model comes with an 800cc turbo gasoline engine and a start and stop system with a regenerative braking system.

Daihatsu D-X

(pronounced "d-cross")

 Daihatsu says that the Daihatsu D-X is a 2-seater open sports concept with "tough and aggressive styling." It has a resin body and the driver can enjoy diversified styling including SUV. The model comes with a 660cc inline 2-cylinder direct-injection turbo engine, for which the displacement per cylinder is increased. The maximum output and the maximum torque are 47kW/6,000rpm and 110Nm/2,000rpm, respectively.
Subaru ADVANCED
TOURER CONCEPT
 Subaru ADVANCED TOURER CONCEPT is a HV wagon concept that uses next-generation technology. The model comes with a 1.6L direct-injection turbo horizontally-opposed engine, a high-torque CVT, and Subaru's own lightweight and compact HV system that responds to four-wheel-drive system, and Eye Sight, which has expanded the recognition range. The company plans to adopt these technologies gradually in production models in the future when new models are introduced.
Toyota Fun-Vii  Toyota Fun-Vii is a concept car in the image of a moving smart phone that heralds a future where people, cars and society are linked. The model's whole vehicle body can be used as a display, which makes it possible to change freely the color of the body/interior and the item on display. It can update software for drive-line/control system/multi-media system to the latest version through the Internet. In addition, through communicating with the infrastructure and vehicles around, the driver can grasp traffic conditions and the location of other vehicles and communicates among vehicles.

 

Daihatsu's sports concept, D-X Subaru's HV wagon concept
Daihatsu's sports concept, D-X Subaru's HV wagon concept

Fun-Vii, Toyota's concept car that heralds a future where people, cars and society are linked
Fun-Vii, Toyota's concept car that heralds a future where
people, cars and society are linked

 



Production models: Toyota and Subaru exhibit the 86/BRZ, a RWD sports car that they jointly developed, while Mazda showcases the CX-5, which has totally adopted SKYACTIV technology

 Concerning production models (planned to be launched), Toyota and Subaru jointly developed and unveiled a prototype of RWD sports car, Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ, which attracted much attention. Mazda unveiled a new model, the CX-5, which has adopted SKYACTIV technology on a full-scale.

 In addition, new models of Subaru Impreza, Honda CR-V, and Suzuki Swift Sport were exhibited.

 

Prototype of an FR sports car that Toyota/Subaru jointly developed, Toyota version, "86" Subaru version, "BRZ"
Prototype of a RWD sports car that Toyota/Subaru jointly
developed, Toyota version, "86"
Subaru version, "BRZ"

 

Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ  Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ is a prototype of a RWD sports car that Toyota/Subaru jointly developed. Toyota version, Toyota 86 (Note) and Subaru version, BRZ, will be launched in the spring of 2012. The companies say that by using a special platform and a horizontally-opposed engine, the model has achieved a lower center of gravity that is equivalent to that of a high-performance sports car.
 The companies newly developed a 4-cylinder 2.0L engine, which is Subaru's horizontally-opposed engine in combination with Toyota's direction injection technology, the D-4S with separate twin injectors for both port injection and direct injection, which boost output at high rotation speeds and fuel efficiency. The maximum output is 147kW/7,000rpm. The maximum torque is 205Nm/6,600rpm. The fuel efficiency is equivalent to that of a 2.0L-class sedan.
 The difference between Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ includes the configuration of the front part of the body including headlamps and the setting of the suspension.
Mazda CX-5  Mazda CX-5 is a new SUV that has adopted its new design theme, "KODO - Soul of Motion." The model has totally adopted a new-generation technologies - SKYACTIV technology - including gasoline engine, diesel engine, transmission, body, and chassis. The company is scheduled to launch the model in Japan in the spring of 2012. The company targets fuel efficiency of 16.0km/L (JC08 mode) for a gasoline-powered model (FWD) and that of 18.6km/L for a diesel-powered model (FWD).
 The model is equipped with a start and stop system for gasoline and diesel engines. It also comes with safety features including Smart City Brake Support, which, if the radar detects the risk of collision when the vehicle is moving at less than 30km/h, automatically brakes the vehicle, and Rear Vehicle Monitoring System, which detects vehicles moving in an adjoining lane or behind, and gives warning when the vehicle makes a lane change.
Subaru Impreza  Subaru Impreza is a 4th-generation Impreza, which will be launched in December 2011. The 5-door model is given a sub-name, the SPORT, and the 4-door model, the G4. The model is as long as the former model, but is 25mm longer in wheelbase and the lower part of the A-pillar is extended forward by 200mm to make the interior space larger. In the upper version, Eye Sight (ver.2) with Pre-crash braking is available.
 The model comes with a new-generation, horizontally-opposed engine (1.6L、2.0L) and newly-developed CVT (Lineartronic). Subaru has adopted a start and stop system for the first time, which can restart the engine in 0.2 seconds at shortest as standard equipment, excluding some grades. By using super-high-strength steel, the weight of the white body is reduced by 10kg. The fuel economy of a 1.6L 2WD model with a start and stop system is 17.6km/L (JC08 mode).
Honda CR-V  Honda CR-V is a 3rd-generation SUV. Only a 2.4L model is available to the former model, but a 2.0L model is also available to this new model. It is 30mm shorter, but the length of the interior space is made longer by 250mm to 2,125mm. The model was launched in Japan in December 2011.
Suzuki Swift Sport  Suzuki Swift Sport is a 3rd-generation Swift Sport, whose driving performance is improved. The model comes with a M16A engine with a maximum output of 100kW and a 6-speed MT/CVT with 7-speed manual mode. The company unveiled a European version, which is a 3-door model, at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, while a Japanese version, which is unveiled at this Motor Show, is a 5-door model.

(Note) The model is marketed in the US as the FR-S under Scion brand.

 

Mazda CX-5, which totally adopts SKYACTIV technology 4th-generation Subaru Impreza 5-door version, "SPORT"
Mazda CX-5, which totally adopts SKYACTIV technology 4th-generation Subaru Impreza 5-door version, "SPORT"

3rd-generation Honda CR-V

3rd-generation Suzuki Swift Sport
3rd-generation Honda CR-V 3rd-generation Suzuki Swift Sport

 



Fuel-efficient gasoline vehicle: Mitsubishi showcases a global car, the Mirage, while Daihatsu, Suzuki, and Honda exhibit new mini vehicles

 Mitsubishi unveiled the Mirage, a global car that it produces in Thailand. Daihatsu and Suzuki showcased the Mira e:S and the Alto eco, respectively, which have achieved fuel economy of more than 30.0km/L in the JC08 mode. Honda unveiled the N-box, with which it aims to turn around its mini vehicle business.


Mitsubishi's global car, Mirage
Mitsubishi's global car, Mirage

 

Mitsubishi Mirage  Mitsubishi Mirage is Mitsubishi's global car, which was previously called "Global Small". The Mirage has achieved a top-class fuel efficiency that is required in the mature market and a price that the middle-income group in emerging markets can afford. The company is scheduled to start production at its third plant in Thailand in March 2012 (Note 1).
 The company targets fuel economy of 30km/L (10-15 mode) for a model that comes with a newly-developed 3-cylinder 1.0L engine, which will be launched in Japan in the summer of 2012, by using a start and stop system and regenerative braking system.
Daihatsu Mira e:S  Daihatsu Mira e:S is a mini vehicle launched in September 2011, which achieved fuel economy of 30.0km/L (JC08 mode. 2WD). The price ranges from 795,000 yen. The company exhibited a 3.1m-long, 3-door concept car, "e:S" at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. The commercial version of the Mira e:S is a 5-door model that is 3.395m long. As the concept of the model was changed due to the needs of customers and pricing, the company redeveloped it.
 The company has achieved the above fuel economy by accumulating its existing technologies including an engine with i-EGR (ion current combustion control system EGR) that has enhanced the compression ratio to 11.3, improvement of the efficiency of CVT, a weight reduction by 60kg through the streamlining of the body shell structure, and a start and stop system that stops the engine at 7km/h or less.
Suzuki Alto eco  Suzuki Alto eco is a new grade model of the Alto mini car, which has improved fuel economy to 30.2km/L (JC08 mode). The company started marketing in November 2011. The price ranges from 895,000 yen .The company has improved fuel economy by more than 30% (the fuel economy of the standard grade Alto is 22.6km/L ((JC08 mode: 2WD/CVT model)) by using a start and stop system that stops the engine at 9km/h or less and an R06A engine with intake and exhaust VVT, reducing weight of about 20% of the body, and decreasing air resistance by lowering the vehicle height by 15mm.
Honda N-box  Honda N-box is Honda's new "mini-minivan". It was launched in December 2011 (Note 2). The company developed a new platform for mini vehicles (which the company plans to use in mini vehicles in the future), which shares the same center tank layout as Honda's compact car, the Fit, and which has an engine room 70mm smaller in anteroposterior width than that of the current model. The company says that, with this platform, it secures an interior space for the rear seat, which is larger than that of a minivan. The model is fully equipped with features including electronic stability control (ESC: Honda calls it VSA) and hill-assist start as standard equipment. The selling price for a FWD model ranges from 1.24 million yen.
 Honda also showcased four units of the N Concept, which show the direction of mini vehicles. The CONCEPT_1 is the above N-box. The CONCEPT_2 is to be marketed as N-box custom. The CONCEPT_3 is a model with lower vehicle height and with a slope. It is scheduled to be launched in the summer of 2012. The CONCEPT_4 is a sedan-type concept car. The company aims to start marketing it in the next one year or so.
(Note) 1. Due to the disruption of auto-parts supply caused by flooding in Thailand, it may be delayed by up to one month.
2. According to a report, Honda is said to target to sell 15,000 units of the N-box per month. In 2010, Honda sold about 115,000 mini passenger cars a year.

 

Daihatsu Mira e:S, which has achieved fuel economy of 30.0km/L in JC08 mode Suzuki's Alto with improved fuel economy, Alto eco
Daihatsu Mira e:S, which has achieved fuel economy
of 30.0km/L in JC08 mode
Suzuki's Alto with improved fuel economy, Alto eco

Honda's new mini car, N-box

Honda's sedan-type mini car concept, N CONCEPT_4
Honda's new mini car, N-box Honda's sedan-type mini car concept, N CONCEPT_4

<Automotive Industry Portal MarkLines>