The Tokyo Motor Show was a subdued affair this year compared to the glittering gallery of automotive excess it was in past years. But it still offered eye candy and intriguing ideas. Here are a few standouts.
Subaru showcases its strategy for an environmentally friendly powertrain employing a hybrid system teamed with a high-performance, clean-burning gasoline engine.
Drivetrain: 2 electric motors; 2.0-liter, direct fuel-injection, turbo boxer engine
Who designed it: Subaru design team under Osamu Namba
What's cool: It has an electric motor on each axle for all-wheel hybrid drive.
Will it be built? Maybe. Subaru wants a hybrid by 2015.
Nissan is banking on mass production of this electric vehicle to catapult it ahead of Toyota and Honda in the race for zero-emissions cars.
Drivetrain: Electric motor and lithium ion battery
Who designed it: Masato Inoue, chief designer in Nissan's Exploratory Design Department
What's cool: It can drive 100 miles on a full charge and recharges in 8 hours.
Will it be built? Yes. It goes on sale next year.
Mitsubishi extends its electrified drivetrain technology to the crossover segment with a rugged plug-in hybrid powered by lithium ion batteries.
Drivetrain: 2 electric motors, 1.6-liter DOHC engine
Who designed it: Styling Director Kazuo Yano
What's cool: Interior is styled after airplane cockpit to improve driver concentration.
Will it be built? Maybe, but Mitsubishi isn't saying when.
Mazda packages its next-generation Sky-G internal combustion engine in a sleek, futuristic compact city commuter car.
Drivetrain: 1.3-liter, 4-cylinder, direct-injection Sky-G gasoline engine with stop-start
What's cool: The car uses regenerative braking to boost fuel economy.
Will it be built? The Sky-G engine will be rolled out in 2011; the body is anyone's guess.
This is Toyota's vision for a moderately priced sporty car to fill the performance void in its lineup, after the retirements of the Celica, Supra and MR2.
Drivetrain: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder boxer engine
Who designed it: Tatsuya Sonoda
What's cool: Cooperation between Toyota and Subaru leads to a sporty small car.
Will it be built? Probably, for 2011
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