2013 Tokyo Motor Show: Through The Lens of an Enthusiast

It has been a long wait, but the by-annual Motor Show has returned to Tokyo, and with at least by Japanese standards, at full swing.  Yes, one can say it is still recovering from the near bankruptcy failure it suffered in 2009 where nearly all foreign manufacturers declined to participate due to financial crisis.

 
2013 has brought about new models, plenty of concepts and although nowhere as near as large and posh as the 2007 show, the content is undoubtedly rich and interesting for various types of automotive consumers and fans.



Even though many manufacturers unveiled their new machines days before opening, Nissan has undoubtedly set the tone with face-lifted 2014 GTR and the long awaited Nismo version.

Both cars are production ready and will be available early next year.

If you want the awesome 600 horse power Nismo, it will set you back good 20 million yet, which is close to a Ferrari price tag, but with lap-time around Nürburgring of 7:08 and 0 to 100 kph in neck-snapping 2.1 seconds it surely has plenty of performance to match.

The Nismo GTR comes with track-ready bucket seats, lots of carbon-fiber and beautiful alcantara steering wheel.

Arguably out of Japanese manufacturers Nissan had most materials for true petrol-heads, even some exhibits didn't seem to contain an internal combustion engine.  The Nissan BladeGlider is a zero-emission concept that re-writes the laws of physics.  Weight distribution, suspension stiffness, and exceptional aerodynamics have redefined the whole concept of handling making this thing unbeatable around corners. 

Nissan was also able to hit the spot for more traditional car lovers with their IDx Freeflow inspired by modern day automotive trends as well as classic Nissan sports cars based on simplicity, accessibility and pure fun. 

For more pure enthusiasts Nissan has created the IDx NISMO, with redesigned looks, awesome side exhaust, removed rear seat contributing to a notion of pure sport. 

On the other hand, Toyota were looking at other type of consumer, perhaps more mainstream, the one who doesn't want to drive and wants to relax instead.  And while Akio Toyoda himself decided to have a go in a strange 3 wheel looking vehicle...

... I was admiring the FT86-Open Concept.  Many purists do not appreciate the idea as there was never a convertible 86, but we don't live in the 80's anymore.  People love open top cars, and with this car looking so good without the roof, there is only one thing left to do: go production!


On Toyota's premium front, the long awaited Lexus RC has been unveiled, with rather controversial design, but with absolutely solid performance. 

 Speaking of performance, the now end of life LFA was present as well,

But then there was this: The NX turbo concept.  Powered by a 2L turbo inline-four, it's a family car that is destined to scare the kids away. 

As promised, Honda has presented the close-to-production version of the beautiful NSX....

Now accompanied by its little brother: the S660 Concept.  The small 0.66L engine placed in the middle should make this a fun and sporty car for young folks across Japan.

When I come across Subaru booth at any car show, I always have a feeling of hope as I know what that company can achieve.  The truth is that I will always have warm feelings as a 1999 Subaru Legacy B4 RSK was my first car and it kept me entertained for good 8 years.  I absolutely can relate to the Subaru Love commercials aired on TV as that exactly, how it made me feel. 

But we all moved on, and although I still visit Subaru booths with feeling of hope, I tend to leave disappointed.  2013 was no exception.  Highly anticipated WRX Sti and Legacy were left out of presentation to home market much to disappointment of all Subaru fans across Japan (and there are plenty of them).  Instead we got a "Levorg", and while nobody seems to understand what it means, it does resemble a Legacy wagon.  A 2.0L turbo flat four with 300 horse power is targeting the enthusiasts, but boring CVT transmission does not, which makes me wonder who is this car for. 

Moving on to Subaru concept vehicles, it seems that they are enjoying the success of XV crossover and want to add more vehicles to that segment.  The Sport Cross does look promising from the back with those beautiful lines and massive exhaust outlets...
 
But things go horribly wrong up-front when they tried to breed a BRZ with Forester.  OK, I will say no more, and quickly move on...

..to Viziv concept, which actually looks a lot better.  The all-wheel-drive concept is powered by a 2.0 clean diesel engine and a three electric motors with power delivery handled by a CVT unit.  I guess we will have to wait and see which of those technologies make it to production, but in all honesty, I am more curious at what is being presented at Los Angeles Motor Show.

However, looking at what has been presented by European makers, I am ready to retract that last statement (or just limit it to Subaru). 

With presentation of what appears to be production-ready i8 it is clear that the Europeans take the Japanese market and Japanese enthusiasts very seriously

BMW had brought their entire range of new cars for simultaneous presentation with LA. From this magnificent 428i Convertible hard top,

to absolutely stunning and probably most anticipated car this year: The BMW M4.  Still in its prototype form it was an absolute gem of the show.

BMW's friends at Alpina, had their own idea of the 4 series as they have premiered the posh Alpina B4 Coupe.  The car enjoys a power boost, interior enhancement as well as Alpina trademark bodywork, paint and wheels.

The highlight of the Audi booth, along with various S and RS models was this S3 sedan.  Powered by a 2L turbo engine it picked up exactly where Mitsubishi Evo left off and should give the CLA45 AMG the run for its money.

Porsche booth was as always stylish and well presented with unveiling of their new GT3 Carrera Cup Car,
 as well as very interesting Macan, which follows the formula of highly successful Cayenne,

 and being powered by 3L turbo engine it is set to be a hot cake trend of car buying in near future. 

For traditional Porsche followers the stunning 991 Carrera Turbo convertible was here in its full glory as well. 
Swedish giant Volvo have brought the beautiful concept coupe to the show, which looked absolutely phenomenal in person. 

 While, in the most remote corner of the show we saw the Pagani Huayra in its full glory.

 Everything about this car is absolutely out of this world amazing. 

It is absolutely the epiphany of a hypercar and it has no intentions of hiding it.  If you have any doubts, just look at the price tag.

While the new Jaguar F-type coupe is by no means a hypercar it's definitely one of the most talked about automobile of the show.

Jaguar has earned major points with the original F-type,

so with everyone aware of its performance and pure entertainment potential, this car has some expectations,

But with roof over the head enhancing ride comfort and power to weight ratio, I am sure that this car can deliver. 

Jaguar also presented their other high end models such as this stunning XJR.  With their separation with Ford I really like the direction that the British legendary car maker is heading.

But, where is success, there is competition, and Mercedes is not going to let anyone play alone.  If there is any car that defines luxury performance it's the new S65 AMG powered by a twin turbo V12 monster of an engine targeted for people for whom a V8 just won't cut it. 

Just like the S Class, the CL class has always enjoyed a huge following in Japan, so it was a forgone conclusion that the Stuttgart giant would bring the top end S Class and S Class Coupe here for such occasion. 
Coming with a fully functional interior, the car is on the verge of going into production.

And what a spectacular car it is.  Undoubtedly it is setting the direction for the company to take as well as for the rest of the automotive world to follow.
 
But unfortunately I have to finish the Mercedes Benz coverage on the sad note.  Even though it is here at the show, the limited edition SLS AMG is the final version of the phenomenal coupe that entertained so many people around the world.  It is also the end of the superb 6.2L NA V8, which was at the heart of this beast.

Overall, it may have been not the biggest show, but it had a bit of something for everyone as there was plenty of excitement, innovation, and entertainment.

Thank you for reading everyone, please check back soon for more updates.

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