Oct 28, 2017

Cars & kit of Tokyo Motor Show 2017: Reimagining the wheel

The 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017 opened its doors to the general public today at Tokyo Big Sight, promising to take car enthusiasts “beyond the motor” as organizers ponder the evolution of the automobile. 

Tokyo’s biennial show has, for a long time, been seen by many in the motor industry as a forum based more around the conceptual rather than being rooted in models that one can actually get in and drive away. The 2017 edition of the Tokyo Motor Show continues in a similar vein with industry eyes set toward a future which looks to be electronic and AI driven. And well might the industry head in this direction as it evolves, willingly or reluctantly, to meet the demands of governments around the world pushing forward with regulations to curb emissions.

Despite the evolutionary questions and attempts to reimagine the automobile as being something more than the sum of its parts, what we have on display at Tokyo Big Sight is still rooted in the base idea of movement - people movers which get us from A to B. Thankfully, the organizers of the Tokyo Motor Show haven’t lost sight of this. As the show’s “statement” reads, “... the fact is that they (automobiles) move people - and not just in the physical sense.” The show’s logo (not to be confused with the “theme” logo) would seem to further reflect this awareness - a Spartan type character straining as they attempt to roll a heavy wheel. It’s the same logo as designed for the First All-Japan Motor show back in 1954. The adoption of the logo by the show in its current guise is described by organizers as a return to “roots”, and one can’t help but see the dichotomy here of an industry trying to please its core fan base of those who love the guttural roar of an engine with the demands of the rest of the world for something more along the lines of a gentle buzz.  

While the show’s theme points towards movement beyond the physical it’s the latter form that will bring the enthusiast through Big Sight’s doors, perhaps to be further moved by the 153 companies / organizations that have their motoring kit and services on show. Japan’s heavy-weight domestic manufacturers are here - Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu, Nissan, Mazda, Honda et al. Imports come from Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, and BMW.  

Some of the cars and kit that caught our eye at Tokyo Motor Show 2017

Lexus LS+ Concept

Tokyo Motor Show 2017 sees Lexus premier their LS+ Concept “concept” vehicle. This model is a development of the manufacturer's flagship LS series with engineers having automated driving tech pencilled in for the model for sometime 2020. Essentially, this is what the future of Lexus looks like.

Lexus RC F

2017 marks the ten-year anniversary for the Lexus F sports models. The RC F on display at Tokyo Motor Show is only for sale in Japan and despite not knowing much about what’s going on under the “hood”, the carbon fibre / reinforced plastic exterior certainly caught this visitor’s eye.

Subaru Viziv Performance Concept

A world premier for Subaru’s concept car, a potential peak into the future of the sports sedan which the Viziv series, over four years in the making, had been without until now. 


The Tokyo Motor Show 2017 sees Suzuki give a world premiere to their future compact SUV, an all-electric bit of kit which is has an electric motor in all for of its wheels.  


Another world premiere for the Tokyo Motor Show, the DN CAMPAGNO has it’s style rooted in that of the 1963 original. We quite fancied ourselves driving away in this concept car until learning that its target demographic is those of the more senior vintage. Still, maybe it will be ready for us when we reach such an age!

Honda Sports EV Concept

For this visitor at least, one of the most striking models on display at Tokyo Motor Show 2017. This petite coupe keeps the retro stylings of the Urban EV Concept and tears into the future with AI tech that automaker hopes will create the “driving feel as if the car becomes a part of the driver’s will.” Not word on if / when the Honda Sports EV Concept will become a reality.

Volkswagen Arteon

A Japan premiere for the troubled German manufacturer’s flagship motor. The new Arteon was given an airing at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year and is now on show for Japan audiences for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Porsche New Cayenne

Given an outing at last month’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the 2018 model of Porsche’s Cayenne series is also parked up in Tokyo.  

For those who like the more familiar models … 

Or the vintage ones … 

Mercedes-AMG Project ONE

V6 turbo and four engines contrast with a zero emission EV mode in the AMG Project ONE

BMW Concept Z4

Local interest in this model was high, even during press day. Understandably so given that Toyota will be employing tech from the Z4 in their new Supra model.  

Isuzu FD-SI

A delivery van, believe it or not.

Spreading out across Big Site's East and West Exhibition Halls here's the best of the rest of our Tokyo Motor Show 2017 images and show exhibits.


Japan automotive components manufacturer JTEKT have a Lexus LC 500 on display (above), cut up so as show goers can get a look at JTEKT’s latest power steering system.

Tokyo Motor Show Booths/Displays/Models

More from BMW


For something a little lighter, the Tomica Corner at Tokyo Motor Show got us feeling nostalgic for the days when we used to push our cars and make them fly!

The Tokyo Motor Show 2017 continues until November 5 (Sunday)

HoursMon - Sat: 10:00 - 20:00 / Sun: 10:00 - 18:00
Entrance1,800 yen adults (1,600 yen adv. tickets)
VenueTokyo Big Sight


Been to the Tokyo Motor Show 2017?  Going?  Let us know what you think of the event in the comments below or even create a blog post about the show.

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