SUV concepts by Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi: Tokyo Motor Show 2015

Daihatsu exhibits mini cars that add fun and joy to everyday life



 This report summarizes exhibits by Mazda Motor Corporation; Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the maker of Subaru automobiles; Mitsubishi Motors Corporation; and Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. at the Tokyo Motor Show 2015.

 Mazda unveiled the rotary-powered Mazda RX-Vision sports car concept that Mazda hopes to one day commercialize. Mazda also exhibited the all-new Mazda crossover concept called the Koeru, which when translated means "exceed" or "go beyond", created under the idea of offering value going beyond current concepts and conventions.

 FHI exhibited the Subaru VIZIV Future Concept that features autonomous driving technology resulting from the ongoing evolution of Eyesight. The SUV version comes with a hybrid all-wheel drive (AWD) powertrain with motor-driven rear wheels.

 Mitsubishi exhibited its eX Concept. This compact electrified SUV concept features Mitsubishi's electrification technology, all-wheel control technology, and autonomous driving technology designed for operating on designated driving lanes.

 FHI and Mitsubishi are working to make autonomous driving on expressways a reality by 2020.

 Daihatsu's theme for this motor show was "Possible". The company exhibited the Nori Ori, Tempo and Hinata concept mini cars that are each designed to make passengers happy and add fun and joy to everyday life. Daihatsu also exhibited the D-base Concept that envisions next-generation, eco-friendly vehicles that reflect the evolution of the internal combustion engine.

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Mazda: RX-Vision Concept and Koeru Concepts

 Mazda exhibited the rotary-powered Mazda RX-Vision sports car concept and the all-new Koeru crossover concept.

 Today, Mazda is the only car manufacturer in the world that is developing rotary engines. The company premiered to the world the RX-Vision that it hopes to one day commercialize.

 The Koeru (a Japanese word meaning to 'exceed' or 'go beyond') was exhibited to present "new value that exceeds convention."

★ Click to view a larger image.


Mazda RX-Vision (photo at right courtesy of Mazda)
Koeru Concept Driver's seat on Koeru Concept (photo courtesy of Mazda)


Mazda: RX-Vision and Koeru

RX-VISION  Although Mazda discontinued production of the rotary-powered RX-8 in 2012, Mazda has never stopped research and development on rotary engines. Mazda unveiled the RX-Vision sports car concept powered by the next-generation Skyactiv-R rotary engine and which features Mazda's ultimate styling for a front-wheel drive sports car. The RX-Vision represents a vision of the future that Mazda hopes to one day commercialize.
 The company continued to improve the fuel economy, exhaust-emission performance, and durability of rotary engines. The next-generation rotary engine has been named Skyactiv-R, expressing the company's determination to take on challenges with high aspirations and the latest technology, just as it did when developing Skyactiv technology. The RX-Vision is 4,389mm long, 1,925mm wide and 1,160mm high and seats two.
KOERU  (Japan premiere) The Mazda Koeru Crossover Concept is built on the company's Skyactiv technology and entirely captures its 'Kodo: Soul of Motion' design philosophy. It is 4,600mm long, 1,900mm wide and 1,500mm high (60mm longer, 60mm wider and 205mm lower than the CX-5) and seats five.
 By incorporating the vitality of animals in the wild, along with highly refined elegance into the Koeru's design, the concept represents an evolution of the 'Kodo: Soul of Motion' design philosophy that can be seen in its overwhelming proportions through depth based on Japanese artistic technique.



FHI: Subaru VIZIV Future Concept for autonomous driving on expressways

 FHI exhibited the Subaru VIZIV Future Concept. In addition to advanced active safety technology, it features all-speed autonomous driving and parking capability. This SUV concept is equipped with a hybrid all-wheel drive (AWD) powertrain with motor-driven rear wheels.

 In a press conference held at the show venue, FHI announced plans to commercialize adaptive cruise control on congested expressways by 2017, and autonomous driving on expressways with mass-market cars by 2020.

 FHI also exhibited the Impreza 5-Door Design Concept that envisions the design of the next-generation Impreza.


Subaru VIZIV Future Concept Subaru VIZIV Future Concept
Subaru VIZIV Future Concept
Impreza 5-Door Design Concept Impreza 5-Door Design Concept
Impreza 5-Door Design Concept envisioning the next-generation Impreza


FHI: Subaru VIZIV Future Concept and the next-generation Impreza design concept

SUBARU VIZIV FUTURE CONCEPT  (World premiere) Designed after the "Subaru and active lifestyle" concept, the car embodies Subaru's design philosophy "Dynamic and Solid" that puts people in an exciting mood to get out and get active.
 Combining the advanced front-recognition system called EyeSight with all-direction radar sensing, the car is capable of monitoring traffic conditions and hazards around the vehicle. It also uses high-definition GPS and mapping data to pin-point the vehicle's exact location, and apply optimum control based on the curves, lane markers, etc.
 In addition to avoiding collisions while running on straight roads, these technologies also make it possible to avoid collisions with other vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians in all directions when turning at intersections or backing up. They also enable autonomous driving on expressways and autonomous parking at home and parking facilities.
The power unit comprises a downsized, lightweight direct-injection turbo engine achieving the most net thermal efficiency in the segment, and a next-generation hybrid system. This combination is capable of providing not only enjoyable driving but also high fuel efficiency at the same time. Unlike other all-wheel drive vehicles, the propeller shaft has been eliminated by mounting the motor on the rear axle. This layout leads to a flat floor construction.
IMPREZA 5-DOOR CONCEPT  The Impreza 5-Door Design Concept is a preview of the next-generation Impreza, which ushers in Subaru's line of next-generation vehicles envisioned in FHI's mid-term business plan "Prominence 2020" that was announced in May 2014. It hints at the design direction of Subaru's future models as a whole. The 5-door Impreza is slated for launch toward the end of 2016.
 The front, side and rear designs are seamlessly joined to provide a Dynamic and Solid surface structure that creates a captivating, three-dimensional body that is a unique feature of Subaru styling. The company's "enjoyment and peace of mind" design concept is well reflected within the limits of the C-segment body size. The Impreza 5-Door Concept is 4,400mm long, 1,880mm wide and 1,440mm high.



Mitsubishi: eX Concept, a compact electric SUV with autonomous driving capability

 Mitsubishi exhibited the eX Concept, a compact electric SUV. The eX Concept has autonomous driving capability on expressways using Mitsubishi's EV and all-wheel control technologies, combined with connected car and active safety technologies. The eX SUV with autonomous driving capability is slated for launch in or about 2020.


eX concept eX concept eX concept
Mitsubishi eX Concept (electric crossover) Inside the eX Concept (photo courtesy of Mitsubishi) Driver'seat of the eX Concept (photo courtesy of Mitsubishi)


Mitsubishi: eX Concept (electric crossover)

 The Mitsubishi eX Concept is a compact SUV styled after a "shooting brake"*. It evokes the nimble image of a sporty crossover zipping around town. The car features double doors without center pillars. It measures 4,240mm long, 1,780mm wide and 1,575mm high and seats five.
 This electric vehicle is fitted with a 45kWh lithium-ion battery with significantly increased energy density resulting in a driving range of 400km. It features Twin Motor All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) systems that ensure excellent handling control and vehicle stability. The front and rear motors have a maximum output of 70kW each.
 This vehicle is fully equipped with safety features. For example, side view monitors are located on both sides of the instrument housing, replacing conventional door mirrors; and the conventional rear view mirror has been replaced by the rear view monitor mounted in the overhead console. Automated driving (quasi-automated traveling) technologies available on the eX Concept include Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) based on inter-vehicle communication, automated lane change based on Blind Spot Warning-Lane Change Assist, obstacle avoidance automated steering system, and automated valet parking that is used under the assumption that contactless charging facilities are available. While in autonomous driving mode, the autonomous driving indicator lamp is turned on to alert other drivers.

* A term for station wagons or hatchbacks sporting the elegance of a coupe. It originates from British horse carriages that were used for hunting.



Daihatsu: Concept cars built to make passengers happy and add fun to everyday life

 The theme of Daihatsu's exhibit at the show was "Possible". The Daihatsu booth was built with wooden blocks stacked up one upon the other to convey the message that building is an accumulation of things, with new additions being added on top of the previous ones.

 Daihatsu exhibited the Nori Ori, Tempo and Hinata concept mini vehicles.


Daihatsu booth All-new Tempo Concept
Daihatsu booth made of building blocks All-new Tempo Concept
All-new Nori Ori Concept All-new Hinata Concept
All-new Nori Ori Concept All-new Hinata Concept


Daihatsu concept mini cars that add fun and joy to everyday life

NORI ORI  (World premiere) The Nori Ori focuses on the first hurdle for anyone who rides in a car, i.e., "getting in and out of the car". The name "Nori Ori" in Japanese means "getting in and out" in English. Built as an easily accessible mini vehicle, the Nori Ori has a super-low floor that makes "getting in and out" significantly easier.
 Occupants can enter and exit the vehicle from the sides and back as well. It has a retractable slope by the front seat and a floor lift in the back. It also has a flat floor that allows for easier movement inside the cabin interior. The compartment is large enough for two unfolded wheelchairs.
TEMPO  (World premiere) The Tempo, a Japanese word meaning a "retail store", presents a new style of store, namely a movable one on wheels. The Tempo takes full advantage of the spatial freedom of a front-engine/front-wheel drive vehicle layout. It has a large, LED-lit gull-wing door that, when swung open, exposes a showcase with a counter table. The vehicle sides are used for digital signage, i.e., they become electronic signboards.
HINATA  (World premiere) The Hinata, a Japanese word for a "sunny place", is a mini vehicle with an all-new roundish design that fuses design with spaciousness. Designed for natural relaxation with double doors on both sides, the seats can be arranged in several ways. For instance, two seats may face the sun to enable a mother and a daughter out for a leisurely drive to stop and catch a little sun together.

 Daihatsu exhibited the D-base that shows the image of next-generation, eco-friendly vehicles that are the culmination of the pursuit of the ideal internal combustion engine.

 Daihatsu also exhibited the Cast Sport, a production model that was released for sale on October 29 while the motor show was running.


D-base D-base CAST SPORT
Daihatsu D-base Concept of next-generation basic car Simple, stylish compartment inside D-base Daihatsu Cast Sport, third variation of Cast mini vehicle series


D-base, a new basic small car concept

D-base  (World premiere) Daihatsu has always been developing basic cars for the 'next' generations. This corporate DNA has been incorporated into this new, basic, small car (mini vehicle) with enhanced basic performance. This next-generation, eco-friendly car has been developed based on the pursuit of the ideal internal combustion engine that have advanced Daihatsu's e:S technology. According to Daihatsu, the D-base has achieved a spirit of innovation with a simple yet luxurious, stylish, eco and smart design.


Daihatsu production cars: Cast Sport

CAST ACTIVA/STYLE September 2015  Daihatsu's Cast, which is an all-new mini vehicle, has three variations, all designed after the company's concept: "mini-vehicles that add color to your life based on your own specs". All three models are highly fuel efficient at 30km/liter. The Cast Activa with crossover-like exterior design and a 30mm ground clearance, and the Cast Style boasting a sophisticated, metropolitan refinement, were released for sale in September 2015.
CAST SPORT October 2015  The third variation, the Cast Sport, was released for sale at the end of October while the motor show was still on. It is fitted with sport-specific features that include a sporty suspension, special emblem, and constantly-lit LED front illumination.

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