Subaru unveiled a chunky, jacked-up sports coupé as a celebration of its rallying heritage
All you need to know about the most important unveilings at Japan’s biggest motor show
In keeping with the event’s rebrand to the Japan Mobility Show, most of the vehicles on display are electric cars, but there are still set to be some surprises for petrolheads as carbon-neutral fuels and hydrogen-combustion enter the fray.
Read on for our A-to-Z guide to the Tokyo motor show, covering all the most important reveals you need to know about, plus some of the weird and wonderful concepts on display.
The BMW X2 has become a larger, more rakish coupé-SUV in its second generation, also gaining the option of an electric powertrain. It has made its public debut in performance-focused petrol M35i specification, outputting 296bhp and 295lb ft.
The me:Mo is an electric city car designed to evolve with its owner, offering interior and exterior customisation to suit “changes in the customer’s stage of life”. For example, it was shown at Tokyo with a child-friendly interior set-up, featuring a sandbox, toy bin and quirky multi-coloured bodywork.
Slightly shorter than the Smart Forfour, the Ospano is a electric convertible designed to make driving feel like “taking a walk”, prioritising “relaxed enjoyment” for its two occupants.
A small electric van aimed at business in big cities, the Uniform is said to offer a variety of bodystyles and a rear power socket for running external devices.
Daihatsu Vision Copen
Could the Copen be about to break free from Japan’s kei car regulations? The Vision Copen certainly suggests so, having grown to a similar size to the Mazda MX-5 and packing a 1.3-litre petrol engine – almost double the displacement of the current car’s turbocharged 660cc three-pot.
A pint-sized two-seater built for those who are unable to walk long distances, and who live in urban areas where public transport is scarce. It is also a demonstration of Honda’s sustainability goals, having been finished using acrylic resin rather than paint, so it can be more easily recycled.
The Honda Prelude has returned as an electric sports coupé demonstrating the brand’s commitment to the “joy of driving”. Little has been said about the sleek new EV, but company president and CEO Toshihiro Mibe said “we are diligently progressing with development”, and urged the public to “keep your expectations high”.
This electric supermini has been developed to showcase the Japanese firm’s sustainability goals. It’s made entirely from a recyclable acrylic resin to promote the concept of ‘resource circulation’.
Our first look at an Audi A4 and BMW i4 rival coming in 2026, the LF-ZC is claimed to deliver “an exhilarating driving experience” and “twice the range of conventional BEVs”. It sits on a new architecture that will underpin a variety of Lexus and Toyota EVs, using a new Tesla-style ‘gigacasting’ production process that effectively splits the car into three major parts.
The LF-ZL is a large electric SUV designed with a focus on new interior technologies. Inside, it features a driver-focused dashboard with a large infotainment touchscreen for the front passenger. Lexus claims that the LF-ZL previews a future where “mobility, people and society can be seamlessly integrated”, including a driving experience that can be tailored to each individual. There is also an on-board AI that offers services said to be “like talking to an attentive and accommodating personal servant”.
Mazda Iconic SP
As the current-generation Mazda MX-5 approaches its ninth birthday, questions are naturally raised about its future. Here’s the firm’s answer: a 370bhp EV concept with a Wankel rotary range-extender, tipping the scales at just 1450kg. Even better, it ushers in the return of pop-up headlights, which haven’t featured on a Mazda since the RX-7 was axed in 2002.
Mazda MX-5 facelift
New safety legislation has forced Mazda to fix a swathe of driver-assistance technologies to the MX-5 to keep it on sale. However, it’s also taken the opportunity to give the roadster its first visual refresh in nearly nine years, with new lights at the front and rear. Its dynamics are said to have been sharpened, too, with a more responsive throttle and reworked power-steering settings.
Nissan Hyper Adventure
Majoring on vehicle-to-everything technology, this electric 4×4 has a high-capacity battery to enable it to supply power to any external device, from a kettle to an electric jetski or even the national grid. When demand is high, it could allow for the sale of electricity in the car’s battery back to the grid, thereby increasing the reliability of energy infrastructure.
Nissan Hyper Force
Nissan has all but confirmed that the GT-R will still have a place in its line-up with the new Hyper Force concept, previewing how the venerable sports car will make the jump to electric power. It packs a whopping 1000kW (1341bhp) output, and is expected to pioneer the use of solid-state batteries in production cars around 2028 or 2029.
Nissan Hyper Punk
This electric crossover hints at the future of the Nissan Juke, with edgy origami-inspired styling and a suite of AI-powered features aimed at younger buyers. Nissan said it has been designed specifically for influencers and online content creators, with onboard cameras that can capture the scenery around the car.
Nissan Hyper Tourer
Previewing a future high-tech luxury minivan to rival the Volvo EM90, the Hyper Tourer is an ultra-luxury people carrier featuring fully autonomous capability, high-density solid-state batteries, vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology and a strong focus on aerodynamics.
Inside, it features front seats that swivel 360deg, a floor made out of LEDs, virtual reality headsets for the rear passengers, and AI to monitor the various aspects of the occupants’ health, such as their heart rate.
Nissan Hyper Urban
The Hyper Urban is a Qashqai-sized crossover designed to be updateable as technology improves, even featuring a removable instrument panel that can be swapped out for one with the future technologies. Like the Hyper Adventure, Hyper Punk and Hyper Tourer, it also includes grid-balancing V2X technology.
Subaru Sport Mobility Concept
This chunky, jacked-up sports coupé is a celebration of Subaru’s rallying heritage, introducing new design cues that mark a departure from the firm’s current line-up. Subaru suggests its driver would have control of “all four wheels at will”, hinting at the use of advanced torque vectoring technology.
Suzuki’s first EV will be an S-Cross-sized crossover that aims to “carry forward the brand’s 4×4 legacy”. Previewed by a concept shown at Auto Expo 2023 in Delhi, India, it featured a 60kWh battery, allowing it to drive a claimed 550km (342 miles) between charges.
Described by Suzuki as “a crossover of fun and practicality”, the boxy eWX concept lays the foundation for the next-generation Wagon R Kei car. It too makes the switch to an electric powertrain, offering a range of 142 miles between charges.
The next generation of Swift is being developed with a particular focus on engaging dynamics and charismatic performance, with the firm saying the Dacia Sandero rival has been conceived with “drive and feel” in mind.
The construction of the supermini is also said to put much more of an emphasis on sustainability.
The first Gazoo Racing-branded electric sports car is promised to be small, low, light and fun. The FT-3e is based on the same common architecture as the Lexus concepts (above) and the FT-Se (below), but emphasises tight packaging and driving feel. It also introduces the new Arene operating software, which will allow the car’s dynamics to change according to the driver’s preference, and evolve with software updates over time.
The FT-3e paves the way for a radical electric coupé SUV, prioritising a low centre of gravity and a long range. The firm said reducing the height of the battery is a key consideration because this allows for a lower, more aerodynamic design that reduces drag. In today’s Toyota bZ4X, the battery is around 150mm tall, but this will be reduced to 120mm for this model. It has also been designed as a “lifestyle partner”, with on-board software that will allow the driver to vary the car’s dynamic character – prioritising ride comfort over sharp handling, for example – with information about the local area.
Toyota IMV 0
This new concept based on Toyota’s adaptable IMV platform previews the breadth of customisation set to become possible with the firm’s next-generation Hilux pick-up truck.
It can transform into vehicles as varied as a motorhome, a mountain-rescue ambulance, a street-food stall and an off-roader.
Toyota is featuring several IMV 0-based attractions on its show stand, including a café and a gacha-toy stall.
Toyota Land Cruiser Se
Toyota’s terrain-beating SUV is in line to be radically reinvented for the electric age, as previewed by this concept that will be shown at Tokyo. Named the Land Cruiser Se, it’s a striking three-row 4×4 with a great emphasis on aerodynamic efficiency, and visual cues that bring it into line with Toyota’s new-age design language.
It shares its creased haunches, kinked window line and contrasting lower trim with the “lifestyle”-oriented FT-3E SUV concept, and will likely share its energy-dense battery pack for a 621-mile range. We are yet to see further specification details beyond its dimensions, which are 5150mm in length, 1990mm in width and 1705mm in height, with a wheelbase of 3050mm.
Yamaha’s take on the increasingly popular electric tricycle is powered by an electric motor, and features a novel rear-wheel steering system that’s intended to provide “unfiltered joy” in urban environments.
The firm said: “Modern mobility is shifting toward automated driving, but that’s precisely why Yamaha Motor is going back to basics.
Additional reporting by Jonathan Bryce