According to my informants, the Tokyo Motor Show will degrade into a „regional show“ and will pale in comparison to the monster shows in Shanghai or Beijing. Toyota will ignore that, and its exhibit will be “likely one of the most closely watched ones of the show,” as Automotive News [sub] says.
The crowd magnet will be a car which Toyota steadfastly refers to as the “compact, rear-wheel-drive sports vehicle jointly developed by Fuji Heavy Industries and TMC.” Any guesses what it may be?
Autoguide already publishes under-hood pictures, but Toyota will release neither name of the FT-86 / Scion FR-S, nor will it hand out pictures, even under strict I-will-cut-your-fingers-off-if-you-break-it embargo. First in-the-flesh pictures should appear on Sunday, November 27. How do I know that? Trust me.
Did I say no pictures? You will drown in pictures after the jump …
Also in the nearly good to go dept. is the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, which will go on sale in Japan “in early 2012.” Its fuel economy is advertised as “exceeding 57 km/L”, which would convert to a mind-blowing 134 mpg, if the darned EPA would accept the Japanese JC08 numbers. The EV cruising range is said to be 23.4 km (14,5 miles) enough to get to the store and back.
Further in the nearly ready dept., Toyota says that it is “developing EVs with the aim of launching a vehicle suitable for short-distance travel in 2012.”
Instead of the real thing, Toyota will show the FT-EV III “electric concept vehicle” with an “estimated cruising range of 105 km on a fully charged battery.” That would be 65 miles, somewhere in the neighborhood of the Nissan Leaf, unless those pesky EPA numbers play tricks on us. We’ll see what the production model will bring.
Moving on out to 2015, we shall see “a practical sedan-type next-generation fuel-cell concept vehicle fueled by hydrogen.” That (and Toyota seems to be making a point by repeating it) “highly practical fuel-cell vehicle is planned for launch in about 2015.” As Chief Engineer Satoshi Ogiso told us, they aren’t fooling around.
People who are still fascinated by the LHD/RHD phenomenon may notice that in the hydrogen-powered concept the steering wheel is on the left hand side. Read into it whatever you desire, but don’t dwell on it.
Finally, there will be the Toyota Fun-Vii, “a concept vehicle that heralds a future where people, cars and society are linked.” I don’t have the vaguest idea what that may be. According to the picture, it could be a vehicle propelled by flower-power.