While European automakers stole the show in Frankfurt last month, the Japanese naturally responded with big debuts at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Show, which kicked off a few days ago.
Which new models most caught our attention? Here are six:
We knew Mazda was working on a fully electric vehicle and we finally got to see the final result in Tokyo. The MX-30 is a coupe-style compact crossover producing 140 horsepower and offering a range of about 200 kilometres. It may come to Canada someday… or we will get the larger Mazda EV that’s also in development.
The fourth-generation Fit made its debut for the first time. In Japan and Europe, it will offer no fewer than five hybrid variants. The big question is: will the Fit return to North America or will it be kicked to the curb like many other small cars? We hear Honda Canada wants to focus more on the next HR-V.
In Canada, the Toyota Mirai is still sold to fleet customers exclusively, but that could change when the superb second-generation model hits the market. Unveiled in the form of a near-production concept, the new Mirai boasts much sleeker looks, more advanced technology and a 30-percent increase in range. It also switches from a front-wheel drive platform to a rear-wheel drive platform.
Nissan Ariya Concept
Among the electric SUV concepts showcased in Tokyo this year, the closest to production is the Nissan Ariya. Larger than the Qashqai yet smaller than the Rogue, it’s said to deliver a range of 600 kilometres (based on the WLTP standard used in Europe) while using advanced semi-autonomous driving technology.
Lexus LF-30 Electrified
The Lexus brand is working on its first fully electric vehicle. Thanks to four in-wheel motors, the LF-30 Electrified concept generates 536 horsepower and its enormous 110-kWh battery has a range of up to 500 kilometres. The gullwing doors are just for show, however.
Another cool concept was presented by Mitsubishi. Similar to the Volkswagen ID. Buggy we first saw in Geneva last winter, the topless and doorless MI-Tech is designed for all sorts of adventures and terrains. A lightweight, compact turbine engine-generator that can run on a variety of fuels charges the battery to extend the range. Of course, there’s no way the brand will ever launch a product like that, but it shows how exciting its electrification strategy can be.