Japan and gadgets go hand in hand, so it's no wonder that car technology figures prominently in automaker displays at the 2007 Tokyo auto show. Both Honda and Volkswagen put up exhibits showing their latest-generation navigation systems, which are generally available as in-dash options in their cars. Both companies embrace the new trend of hard drive-based navigation. These types of systems offer faster data access than DVD-based systems, and there is usually a bit of space left over for music storage. Honda uses a 40GB drive, the largest we've heard of as a factory install, while the Volkswagen … Read more
The highlight of the 2007 Tokyo auto show is easily the Nissan GT-R, gaining its mantle through its supercar performance and its fairly affordable price. For hours after Nissan unveiled the GT-R, people stood around it in awed silence, the only sound the frequent shutter clicks of cameras. Its design suggests brute strength and, according to the specs, it isn't faking. The car's 3.8-liter twin turbo engine puts out 473 horsepower, launching it to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Despite this amount of power, the GT-R achieves Japan's Ultra Low Emission Vehicle rating.
Nissan developed … Read more
Although a standard feature of gym equipment, do we need cardiac monitors in our cars? Denso thinks so, displaying this steering wheel-integrated monitor at the 2007 Tokyo auto show. When you grip the wheel, metal strips set into its rim use the contact with your hands to measure your heartbeat. We gave it a try, and it worked quickly, showing our heart rate on a screen. The health of drivers is obviously important for safety, because if someone is going into cardiac arrest behind the wheel, they would take out a dozen more people. Denso's monitor could be hooked … Read more
BMW showed an interest in mining its past with the CS concept, first shown at the 2007 Shanghai auto show. The company follows this theme with the tii concept here at the 2007 Tokyo auto show. This concept is based on the very real and very exciting 135i Coupe, BMW's new small car with the very big engine. If the 135i Coupe isn't enough car for you, the tii concept should certainly be. BMW didn't bother to change the engine or interior electronics for the concept, instead opting for some bodywork. The tii gets a lightened load … Read more
Mini? Mini who?
Audi has released photos of its Audi A1, aka the Audi Metroproject Quattro concept car that it plans to debut at the 2007 Tokyo auto show next week.
The Audi wins hands-down in terms of a sophisticated and elegant look for a sub-compact, inexpensive car compared with its intended rival, the BMW Mini Cooper.
The Audi A1 makes BMW's Mini Cooper look like Minnie Mouse, a colorful, fun and quirky friend you once thought was cute as a child. But now that you're an adult your interests lie more toward Heidi Klum or Seal.
My … Read more
The Bobby prototype from Yamaha Motor is an electric bicycle that lets riders connect to the Internet. Ubergizmo pointed out that the bike can also be turned on and off from select cell phones.
Bobby is one of 19 concept bikes Yamaha Motor plans to show at the 2007 Tokyo auto show. The Bobby is part of Yamaha's "Art of Engineering" theme for this year's show, according to Yamaha.
Yamaha Motor also seems to be partnering … Read more
Where do you draw the line between a motorcycle and a car?
Toyota's iQ Concept, a concept car that debuted in Frankfurt and will be at the 2007 Tokyo auto show, might be better suited for the next rally in Sturgis, SD.
Toyota is in collaboration with two Japanese companies to develop a 1-liter engine for the iQ that will be based on a Yamaha motorcycle engine, according to reports from Auto Blog and Automotive News Europe.
Toyota plans to produce about 80,000 iQ cars for Europe by 2009 and possibly more for the Indian and Chinese markets. … Read more
Honda is thinking very much inside the box for next week's Tokyo auto show, where it will unveil its latest hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered concept. The Puyo, whose name--according to Honda--is intended to convey "the sensation of touching the vehicle's soft body," is designed to be "kind to both people and the environment".
To achieve this, the bubble-shaped vehicle (we can't bring ourselves to call it a car) has no sharp edges and features a "gel body" made from soft materials to minimize injury to pedestrians. Those unfortunate to be hit by a … Read more
As part of the LA Auto Show this November, leading automakers were asked to submit ideas for a design challenge.
This year's theme was the "RoboCar of 2057" and the submissions are as far out as that date.
The concepts take into consideration environmental concerns and safety as well as imagination. General Motors based its car on the ant; Mazda has you thinking like a samurai; and Nissan wants to give you a pet that does the grocery shopping.
As far as we now know, Lexus plans to unveil two concept and six production vehicles at the 2007 Tokyo auto show, which opens in late October.
The Lexus concept cars that will be on display: the LF-Xh and the LF-A.
THe LF-A, a two-seater sports car, features a V10 engine and carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) body.
The LF-Xh, as you can see, is slightly similar in looks to the Lexus IS-F that debuted at the Detroit auto show earlier this year.
The LF-Xh is an all-wheel-drive, hybrid-electric vehicle with a V6 gas engine. The vehicle promises "outstanding … Read more