With just three manufacturers coming to Tokyo from across the shores, this has been a relatively dull year for the Tokyo Motor Show, with most manufacturers pulling out of, what is billed as, the craziest auto show on earth.
But it seems that hasn’t deterred local bigwigs from going all out.
So we take a look at what they have to offer and why the Motor Show at Makuhari Messe still matters to the rest of the world.
Back to the 86!
What better way to break the jinx of an economic downturn than to bring the one car that started an era of drifting — the AE86. Toyota hopes that the hills around Tokyo will once again reverberate with the sound of screeching rubber and snapping handbrakes as the AE86 Corolla makes a comeback. Reviving memories that are long lost in tapes of Initial D, the FT-86 concept is trying to keep the traditions alive — of a fast, light weight, rear-wheel-drive two-door coupe. And this time, they’ve taken help from their friends at Subaru, whom they purchased a couple of years ago from GM.
So out goes the in-line four and in comes a 2.0-litre boxer four. This is the same unit that powers the WRX STi albeit, with somewhere between 150-180 bhp. While the design may be a little too far-fetched for the hachi roku, the 86 is extremely well thought out. The dashboard is decked in some sort of leather, while the controls for the stereo are behind the leather surface. Interestingly, to slip in a disc you need to ‘unzip’ the rack - if that helps achieve 50:50 weight balance, so be it! The sub 4.2-metre coupe designed by ED2 concept from France has a lower centre of gravity and according to sources, might weigh just 1200 kg. But with an anticipated price tag northwards of $ 20,000 and the production version hitting shelves only in late-2011 (debut at 2011 Tokyo Show?), the amount of pandemonium this car has created has been unmeasurable. Ask us — it’s our car of the show!