2019 Tokyo Motor Show Archive

  • Tokyo 2019: Honda Freed facelift gets minor changes

    The facelifted second-generation Honda Freed was revealed ahead of the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, and as such it was no surprise to see the refreshed mini-MPV on display at the show, which ended today.

    There aren’t many changes to the Freed, which sits on the same platform as the Jazz. The front end gets a rework, with the “Solid Wing Face” crossbar that links the headlights now slimmer, styled along the lines as that seen on the new Jazz. The car also gets a new bonnet and front bumper, which features a redesigned lower insert.

    Like the new fourth-gen Jazz, which was the big ticket item at the show, the Freed also gets a new Crosstar variant, which dresses it up with a quasi-crossover look. Fresh bits include a new grille, black plastic-clad side skirts and silver-coloured skid plates, roof rails and door mirror covers and door handles. Two-tone 16-inch alloy wheels complete the styling makeover.

    New colour options for the compact MPV include Premium Crystal Orange Metallic II, Silver Mist Green, Platinum White Pearl, Super Platinum Grey and Midnight Blue Beam.

    The Freed continues to be offered in six- or seven-seater guise and also as a five-seater, the latter badged as the Freed+. Interior revisions are minor, the changes made up of new fabric seat designs and decorative trim pieces in walnut for the standard variants and plywood in the case of the Crosstar.

    As is the case with the Jazz, the Freed now comes equipped with the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance systems as standard across the entire model range. The pedal misapplication prevention system has also been updated, and now also works in reverse.

    Elsewhere, a step downshift control feature, which adds engine braking on downhill slopes when the brake pedal is depressed beyond a certain point, has also been incorporated.

    No powertrain revisions, the petrol Freed continuing on with a L15B 1.5 litre direct-injected i-VTEC four-cylinder mill, which offers 132 PS at 6,600 rpm and 155 Nm of torque at 4,600 rpm. Paired with a CVT, it’s available in front- or all-wheel drive configuration.

    Unlike the upcoming Jazz, the hybrid Freed continues to utilise the familiar 1.5 litre Atkinson-cycle i-VTEC engine, electric motor and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission combination. The mill itself offers 110 PS and 134 Nm, and with the motor, total system output is 137 PS and 170 Nm.

     
     
  • Tokyo 2019: Copen GR Sport, Gazoo’s lil’ kei roadster

    Daihatsu’s four concept cars for the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show were cute, and the New Compact SUV (which we now know is called Rocky) was huge news for us as it’s the basis for Perodua’s upcoming D55L B-SUV, but if I could bring home something it’ll be this – the Copen GR Sport.

    Unchanged from the concept shown at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, the production Copen GR Sport is based on the Daihatsu Copen. It’s the first sports car in the “GR” series, tweaked by Toyota Gazoo Racing but made by Daihatsu, which is of course a subsidiary of the big T. This JDM special will be sold by both Toyota and Daihatsu in its home market.

    With no scope for extra performance (kei cars are limited by regulations), the Gazoo team focused on body rigidity and suspension tuning.

    They added a front brace to the convertible, and changed the design of the centre brace. The suspension spring rates were optimised to match (coil springs in red), and the Copen GR Sport gets unique shock absorbers that deliver a “smooth ride with supple movement”. Also exclusive is the electric power steering tuning.

    As mentioned, the production Copen GR Sport looks identical to the TAS 2019 showcar, and it wears the “Functional Matrix” grille reserved for GR cars.

    The face looks more simple and purposeful than the standard Copen Robe front, and is dominated by a big lower grille flanked by square fog lamps. The distinctive LED “tails” of the standard Copen headlamps have been chopped off. Toyota says that the new front bumper improves aerodynamics.

    The rear end has a large black bumper section, which integrates a diffuser and two downward-pointing exhaust tips. And of course, who can miss those matte grey 16-inch BBS forged multi-spoke alloys and the Copen’s Active Top folding metal roof. The LED headlamps and LED rear combi lights have darkened housings. GR badges reside on the front, rear and sides.

    The branded hardware continues inside, where you’ll find Recaro seats and a leather-wrapped Momo steering wheel, both with GR logos. That same badge can be found in the exclusive meter panel, which gets a red needle and red illumination. The snug cabin’s theme is black, and the spartan dashboard gets a mixture of gloss black and carbon-style trim.

    The 660cc turbo KF engine has the regulation 64 PS/92 Nm, and is mated to either a CVT with paddle shifters or a five-speed manual gearbox with LSD, as seen here. In Japan, the auto is priced at 2.38 million yen (RM92,088) while the manual goes for 2.435 million yen (RM94,221). Eight exterior colours are available.

    GALLERY: Copen GR Sport at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show


    GALLERY: Copen GR Sport official images

     
     
  • Tokyo 2019: Daihatsu WakuWaku, WaiWai, IcoIco dan TsumuTsumu – model konsep comel dan funky

    Seperti mana yang pernah diuar-uarkan sebelum ini, Daihatsu telah pun mempertontonkan empat model konsepnya di Tokyo Motor Show 2019 yang telah pun membuka tirainya hari ini. Paling menarik, selain menampilkan rekaan yang funky dan comel, nama bagi setiap model konsep tersebut pun comel juga. Model konsep yang diperagakan di pentas TMS 2019 ini ialah crossover-Kei WakuWaku, MPV enam-tempat duduk WaiWai, kereta autonomous IcoIco dan trak kecil TsumuTsumu.

    Model konsep yang paling menarik perhatian sudah pasti crossover-kei atau pun SUV mini hatchback Waku Waku dengan konsep berkotak tetapi memiliki imej ranggi dan lasak. Ia berdimensi 3,700 mm panjang, 1,475 mm lebar dan 1,630 mm tinggi. WakuWaku ditampilkan dengan kemasan yang bersifat sporty pada ruang roda plastik berwarna gelap, bampar dengan tona perak bersama kemasan jingga pada panel dalaman pintu, perehat badan pada tempat duduk dan juga lantai but.

    Selain itu, Waku Waku yang bersesuaian dengan gaya hidup moden, dengan rekaan bahagian bumbungnya yang boleh dibuka sekaligus memberikan ruang storan yang lebih besar. Manakala kemasan jingga turut ditampilkan pada bahagian rim, bampar hadapan dan belakang.

    Menjengah bahagian kabinnya, kemasan hitam dengan jingga metalik menjadi pilihan. Ia turut ditampilkan dengan papan instrumen digital dengan dereten meter yang kelihatan seperti analog. Manakala skrin tengah pula bukan sekadar berfungsi sebagai unit infotainmen dan sistem navigasi, bahkan turut menempatkan kawalan sistem pendingin hawa.

    Bagi WaiWai pula, walau pun ia merupakan model konsep MPV mini enam tempat-duduk namun ia masih kelihatan seperti model kompak. Kedua-dua sisinya ditampilkan dengan pintu gelangsar di belakang, tanpa tiang yang memisahkan pintu hadapan dan belakang bagi bertujuan memudahkan akses untuk masuk/keluar kabin. Selain itu, bumbungnya pula ditampilkan dengan kanvas yang boleh dibuka/ditutup secara gelangsar.

    Walau pun hadir dengan tiga barisan tempat duduk namun rekaannya yang agak ‘nipis’ membuatkan ruang penumpang lebih luas, malah ia boleh dilipat bagi memberikan ruang kargo yang lebih besar. Menariknya, ia turut menampilkan konsep skrin sepanjang papan pemuka, namun segala butang kawalan disatukan dengan panel yang bersambung pada kolum stereng.

    Daihatsu turut memperkenalkan model konsep pemanduan autonomus kecil, Ico Ico, sekali pandang macam bas mini pun ada. Ia direka sebagai pengangkutan masyarakat dan sangat sesuai dipandu merentasi jalan dan ruang yang kecil. Dengan kapasiti empat-tempat duduk, Ico Ico yang hanya selebar 1,475 mm ini turut dilengkapi dengan pelantar (ramp) yang boleh disimpan semula, sangat sesuai untuk membawa naik barang mahupun bagi akses kerusi roda untuk orang kurang upaya.

    Selain dari boleh bergerak tanpa pemandu, Ico Ico turut mempunyai robot kecerdasan buatan (A.I) bernama Nippote yang bertindak sebagai pembantu termasuk boleh melayan penumpang di dalamnya.

    Model konsep keempat yang diperkenalkan menerusi TMS 2019 ialah trak-kei TsumuTsumu yang direka dengan dua-tempat duduk dan diposisikan betul-betul di atas tayar hadapan sekaligus memberikan ruang kargo yang lebih luas. Ruang belakang trak kecil ini direka bagi membolehkan ia tampil dengan pelbagai konfigurasi bagi pelbagai aplikasi perniagaan yang berbeza.

    Papan pemukanya pula cukup sporty dengan kehadiran papan instrumen digital yang lebar, bersama tuil gear yang diletakkan disebelahnya. Ia dilengkapi roda stereng dengan jejari yang hanya menampung bahagian kanan dan bawah, sementara di sebelah kiri diletakkan suis putar.

    Bukan itu sahaja, ruang kargo boleh digelangsarkan ke belakang, manakala di atasnya mempunyai platform yang membolehkan dron disimpan, berlepas dan mendarat. Selain itu, kedua-dua tempat duduk boleh dilipat untuk dijadikan meja, manakala perehat badan yang juga nipis membolehkan bahagian belakangnya dijadikan sebagai ruang storan tambahan. Panel dinding pada kabin ini juga dihasilkan seperti pintu yang dibuka terbalik, memberikan akses yang lebih mudah, serta turut diberikan rak penyimpanan bagi meletakkan lebih banyak lagi barangan.

    Mengenai penjana kuasa bagi keempat-empat model konsep ini, Daihatsu masih tidak mendedahkan sebarang perincian. Bahkan tidak memberitahu ada kebarangkalian besar kesemua waima salah satu daripadanya bakal diproduksi kelak. Kena nantikan langkah Daihatsu yang seterusnya, tapi kalau untuk pasaran Jepun, memang tak mustahil, ia menjadi model produksi.

    GALERI: Model konsep Daihatsu Waku Waku

    GALERI: Model konsep Daihatsu Wai Wai

    GALERI: Model konsep Daihatcu Ico Ico

    GALERI: Model konsep Daihatsu Tsumu Tsumu

     
     
  • Tokyo 2019: Subaru WRX STI EJ20 Final Edition on display – limited to 555 units; 308 PS and 422 Nm

    Subaru fans will be familiar with the EJ20, as the 2.0 litre turbocharged boxer-four engine has been an integral part of the brand’s history, most notably in their Impreza WRX line-up of vehicles. With production of the race-winning engine set to be concluded by the end of March 2020, the Japanese carmaker has introduced a special edition model to commemorate 30 years of the famed boxer unit.

    Thankfully, we managed to capture a few photos of the WRX STI EJ20 Final Edition at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show (alongside the Levorg Prototype), and it looks just as good up close as it did in press photos.

    There are obvious nods to the company’s involvement in the World Rally Championship here, as the car comes as standard with a set of gold-painted BBS 19-inch forged aluminium wheels, and is limited to just 555 cars that points towards the sponsorship deal between the Subaru World Rally Team and State Express 555.

    Other goodies include Brembo brakes, side garnishes bearing an STI emblem as well as red accents on the front and rear bumpers, with the latter also sporting air outlets aft of the wheels (like on the S207). On the inside, there’s an STI engine start button, a suede-wrapped steering wheel, matte carbon trim and a set of sports seats. Pay an extra 330,000 yen (RM12,674) for the “Full Package,” and you’ll get a set of Recaros instead, on top of an Advanced Safety Package.

    Pop the hood, and you’ll see an “EJ20 Final Edition” plaque that identifies the special edition model, along with the famous EJ20 itself. According to Subaru, the engine’s connecting rods, pistons and crankshaft are all mass-balanced, while the standard six-speed manual is paired with an upgraded clutch and flywheel. All in all, the engine churns out 308 PS at 6,400 rpm and 422 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm, with drive going to all four wheels via the company’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.

    The Final Edition will be sold in Japan via a lottery system, and those lucky enough to secure a unit will need to pony up the base price of 4.521 million yen (RM173,648).

     
     
  • VIDEO: Nissan Ariya and IMk concepts on display at Tokyo Motor Show – previews new EV styling direction

    At this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan presented two interesting concepts, the Ariya and IMk, with both said to preview a new design direction for the Japanese carmaker, which follows the theme of “Timeless Japanese Futurism.”

    The Ariya takes the shape of a crossover, and features a more contemporary take on the company’s signature V-motion grille that is flanked by ultra-slim, four-element LED headlamps. Other highlights include a Suisei Blue paint finish, 21-inch aluminium wheels, a rear light blade and a minimalist interior that continues the minimalism approach.

    According to Nissan, the Ariya is built on an all-new electric vehicle platform with a dual-motor drive configuration for all-wheel drive. While the company is coy with the specifics, it says that the powertrain provides optimum traction on slippery surfaces thanks to the knowledge gained from the development of the GT-R’s ATTESA E-TS torque split and Patrol’s Intelligent 4×4 systems.

    On the other hand, the IMk sports a boxier look that is reminiscent of kei cars that are popular in Japan, with the dimensions to match. Finished in Akagane paint scheme, the EV show car’s numerous lines seen on the grille, bumpers, wheels, tyres, windows, tailights, roof and rear spoiler are a nod to the flowing patterns of mizuhiki, a thin twine made of Japanese rice paper.

    Inside, the IMk continues to pay homage to Japanese craftsmanship with wood slats in the lower door section that points towards the wood joinery technique of kigumi. There are also modern touches here like bench-style seats with a dimpled texture and a bezel-less prism display for important driving information.

    It’s certainly interesting to see the direction that Nissan is taking with its future models, and if you want to see more of both concepts beyond just static photos, we’ve prepared a brief video with live footage from the floors of this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. Enjoy, and share your thoughts about the two Nissan concepts in the comments below.

    GALLERY: Nissan Ariya Concept

    GALLERY: Nissan iMK Concept

     
     
  • Tokyo 2019: Subaru Levorg Prototype officially debuts with new 1.8 litre turbocharged boxer-four engine

    After being teased and leaked, the Subaru Levorg Prototype has finally made its debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. While it may have “Prototype” in its name, this is very much close to being production ready, with a market launch set to take place in Japan in the second half of 2020.

    The all-new Levorg was first previewed by the Viziv Tourer Concept during last year’s Geneva Motor Show, and just like recent models in the carmaker’s stable (XV, Ascent, Impreza and Forester). now rides on the Subaru Global Platform that offers significantly higher body rigidity than the outgoing, first-generation model.

    Not that you’ll identify the second-generation Levorg at first glance, as it has a close resemblance to its predecessor. Subaru says that while its “Dynamic x Solid” design philosophy was fundamental when it came to styling the new Levorg, it also applied the design concept “Bolder” that “highlights the value and character of each Subaru model.”

    Bolder is indeed the proper term in this context, as it won’t take long for you to spot the more aggressive look that the wagon carries, starting with the pointier front end here that is emphasised by a larger, hexagonal-shaped grille, which features a chrome strip that spans its width.

    Said strip flows seamlessly into creases that cut into the reshaped (and kinked) headlamps, which are joined by prominent scalloped sections that accommodate the fog lamps and decorative “inlets.” It also seems like every feature on the Levorg’s face is highlighted, as the lower intake also gets its dedicated crease and subtle lip. Like the previous Levorg, there’s a bonnet scoop to feed air to the turbocharged engine lurking underneath, which we’ll get to in a second.

    From the three-quarter view, you’ll spot squared-off wheel arches instead of rounded ones found on the current model, while the doors also have a more prominent crease at their base as well as a character line that flows through the door handles. As teased previously, the Levorg Prototype sports strong haunches that end just above the C-shaped taillights, which are now slimmer.

    As for the rear, the revisions aren’t as drastic as the front, with triangular, blacked-out reflector housings in the corners of the bumper, which also gets a tidier lower apron. The tailgate spoiler also gets additional trimming on its edges to help smoothen out the vehicle’s lines further. There are no interior photos as the heavily tinted windows suggest, and we’ll only know more about life inside when the production version is revealed in full.

    However, the Japanese carmaker is more than happy to disclose some technical and equipment details, starting with a new 1.8 litre turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder boxer engine that features what the company refers to lean-burn technology. No output figures have been revealed as of yet, but as per Subaru DNA, expect it to be mated to a Lineartronic CVT and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.

    In its previous generation, the Levorg was available with a FA20F 2.0 litre engine, which also came with turbocharging and direct fuel injection to make 300 PS and 400 Nm of torque. A second engine was the FB16 DIT, which was a 1.6 litre turbocharged mill making 170 PS and 250 Nm – this is the unit we got in our market.

    Another new piece of tech here is Subaru’s next-generation EyeSight system, which features a renewed stereo camera setup with a wider viewing angle. Additionally, the system is now supported by four radar sensors on the front and rear bumpers, which allows it to have a 360-degree sense around the vehicle. The EyeSight’s pre-collision braking function has also been expanded to cover crossing and turning at an intersection with low visibility.

    That’s not all, as the car also comes equipped with a locator that precisely detects the vehicle’s position by utilising information from GPS and Michibiki (Quasi-Zenith Satellite System). Working in combination with high-definition map data, the Levorg can recognise the shape of road ahead, automatically reducing its speed before going into a curve, and assists drivers with hands-free driving in traffic.

    Lastly, Advanced Automatic Collision Notification is a new first for Subaru in Japan, and it is essentially an SOS service that automatically sends an alert to an operator and emergency services when a big impact from a collision is detected.



     
     
  • Tokyo 2019: Mitsubishi MI-Tech Concept is a buggy-style plug-in hybrid with gas turbine engine/generator

    Joining the long list of debuts at the ongoing Tokyo Motor Show is the Mitsubishi MI-Tech Concept, a buggy-style plug-in hybrid that the brand’s renown fun streak has not been totally lost. Not only does the show car sport an unusual body style, but the powertrain choice also runs against the grain.

    The electric portion is sophisticated in operation, with electric motors located at each wheel enabling what Mitsubishi calls Dual-Motor Active Yaw Control (AYC) on each axle. With high response and highly accurate control of acceleration and braking force, the system is claimed to provide a drastic improvement in handling and traction, varying power distribution to each wheel as needed and also allowing for 180-degree spins by counter-rotating the left and right tyres.

    But it’s the other portion of the powertrain that challenges convention, and here Mitsubishi has ditched a regular internal combustion engine in favour of a lightweight, compact gas turbine engine-generator. The company touts a high power output for the turbine’s size and weight, clean exhaust and its flexibility to run on a variety of fuels, such as diesel, kerosene and alcohol.


    Design-wise, the MI-Tech persists with Mitsubishi’s Dynamic Shield design, with the addition of T-shaped head- and tail lights, a satin-plated front grille with copper inserts and aluminium skid plates at both ends. There are also raised black fender flares and side steps carved into the body side. The turbines are clearly seen atop the buttresses along the rear deck.

    Inside, there’s a simple horizontal dashboard, again with copper accents that can also be found on the steering wheel. You’ll also find keyboard-style switches, the operation of which is aided by a hand rest sprouting over the gearlever. Relevant vehicular information is displayed on a small screen ahead of the steering wheel, as well as an augmented reality (AR) windscreen.

    The MI-Tech is also equipped with MI-Pilot, Mitsubishi’s next-generation driver assistance technology, which the company says provides support not only on highways and regular roads, but also unpaved roads.

     
     
  • Tokyo 2019: Daihatsu previews new compact SUV – is this an early look at Perodua’s D55L B-segment SUV?

    At this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, Daihatsu is previewing an upcoming compact SUV, which could be an early look at the much rumoured Perodua D55L B-segment SUV – a smaller five-seat, B-segment cousin to the Aruz.

    The information board on site doesn’t list any names, but reports indicate that the model, which rides on the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) platform, could be called the Rocky. However, we do get a useful list of specifications, including the vehicle’s dimensions as well as the powertrain used.

    Starting with the former, the 980-kg Daihatsu SUV measures 3,995 mm long, 1,695 mm wide, 1,620 mm tall, and has a 2,525 mm wheelbase. This makes it larger than the current Myvi, which has a length of 3,895 mm, width of 1,735 mm, height of 1515 mm and a wheelbase spanning 2,500 mm.

    Design-wise, the unnamed SUV has a rather imposing look to it, with a large, hexagonal-shaped grille that is flanked by angular headlamps with “eyebrow-style” DRLs and triangular fog lamp enclosures – the latter houses the fog lamps, front parking sensors and a vertical LED strip. The shape of the headlamps and grille also results in the fitment of a shapely bonnet that tapers towards the latter.

    Viewed from the side, we find black body cladding around 17-inch wheels (195/60 series) that is appropriate to create the SUV look and a “floating roof” look that sees the C-pillars being body-coloured as opposed to black like on the A- and B-pillars. There are even small window sections aft of the C-pillar, which are kept separate from the rear window by vertical trim pieces that lead to a tailgate spoiler.

    Moving towards the rear, you’ll find relatively slim taillights that are linked by another black trim piece running across the tailgate, which sports the Daihatsu badge just above the tailgate release button. If the rear lighting setup has an air of familiarity to them – think Myvi – the lower apron reinforces that belief further thanks to the decorative “vents” and low-mounted number plate. Just to note, the red car you see here is the sportier trim level with red interior accents, while the white car is the standard trim.

    Inside the five-seater, the dashboard is dominated by a free-standing touchscreen infotainment system that sits above the centre air vents. Curiously, the corner vents are placed slightly higher than expected but this is deliberate to make room for cupholders, which should help keep that fizzy drink chilled.

    Below said centre vents are the switchgear for the automatic air-conditioning system and start button, while the two-tier centre console houses the gear selector, power outlets, heated seat controls, stowage areas and the handbrake. Other cues include a steering wheel that is festooned with buttons, and a digital instrument cluster display.

    Powering the Daihatsu SUV is a turbocharged and intercooled three-cylinder petrol engine, with the 996-cc mill serving up 98 PS at 6,000 rpm and 140 Nm of torque from 2,400 to 4,000 rpm, and this is mated to a CVT driving the front wheels.

    While it may not have a name, the SUV is so before you is pretty much production ready as is, although there’s no indicated date on when it will be launched. For now, Perodua has not confirmed if this will indeed turn into a model that we’ll be able to buy, but it certainly looks promising. We previously sighted a development model going up Genting Highlands earlier this month, which appeared to be a test mule wearing a stretched Axia body.

    Prior to that, the national carmaker showcased the X-Concept during the 2018 Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show, and if this indeed becomes Perodua’s B-segment SUV, it will most likely get a unique front end inspired by said concept.

     
     
  • Tokyo 2019: Mazda MX-30 – brand’s first EV debuts with 141 hp, 264 Nm, 209 km EV range, suicide doors!

    This is the Mazda MX-30, and it is the company’s first, mass-production electric vehicle as well as the third addition to its new-generation model line-up, which currently includes the latest Mazda 3 and CX-30.

    In terms of dimensions, the MX-30 is almost the same size as the CX-30, measuring 4,395 mm long, 1,795 mm wide, 1,570 mm tall, and with a wheelbase spanning 2,655 mm. The EV actually sits on the same SkyActiv-Vehicle Architecture used for the Mazda 3 and CX-30, albeit with increased ring structures around the battery and floor for increased stiffness. The underfloor-mounted lithium-ion battery is also the reason why the EV is 30 mm taller than the CX-30.

    Mazda refers to its EV powertrain as e-SkyActiv, and on the MX-30, consists of an electric motor driving the front wheels rated at 141 hp (105 kW) and 264 Nm of torque. The EV also gets an enhanced version of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control system dubbed e-GVC Plus, which “leverages the torque characteristics of the electric motor to optimise the front-rear load shift under an even wider range of usage scenario.”

    The 35.5 kWh battery powering the e-motor uses prismatic cells and supports both AC and DC charging, with the former capable of accepting a maximum input of 6.6 kW via a Type 2 connection. Meanwhile, DC charging is accomplished via a CCS connection, and with a 50-kW input, a depleted battery can reach an 80% state of charge in around 30 to 40 minutes.

    According to a report by Autocar UK, the MX-30 has an EV range of around 209 km, which might be less than some rivals, but Mazda says this exceeds 50-km average daily drive of European customers. If range anxiety is still a concern, a range-extender variant featuring a rotary engine will arrive later on.

    We now arrive at what will likely be the most controversial aspect of the MX-30, its design. Notable cues on the vehicle’s face include a recessed grille that creates a chasm on the front end, with the headlamps tucked within. Further down, the lower apron sports a vertical bar to divide the intake into two, with slim fog lamps occupying the corners.

    With the electric motor taking up less room at the front, the EV sports a low and rather long bonnet at the front, which leads to a coupe-esque roofline that is gently raked towards the rear. A two-tone paintjob and an off-coloured trim bearing the Mazda script help to highlight this design element even further, while black body cladding over 18-inch wheels reinforces the crossover look.

    One of the most interesting aspects from this view are the MX-30’s doors, which hark back to the rear suicide doors on the RX-8. The company call these “freestyle doors,” and access to the rear is only possible by first opening the front doors.

    Looking at the rear of the vehicle, we find circular taillights that are reminiscent of those found on the CX-30, albeit with shorter trailing “tails” that cut into the shapely tailgate. These meet with up with additional trim pieces that originate from the C-pillar, which form a “hoop” over the rear window with the tailgate spoiler. Being an EV, there are no exhaust outlets here, with the lower section of the bumper largely featureless aside from the reflectors and reverse cameras.

    Inside, the MX-30 features a floating centre console – likely due to the positioning of the battery – that houses the Commander Control interface for the Mazda Connect infotainment system as well as a stubby gear lever. You’ll also spot a seven-inch touchscreen display to control the car’s climate controls, which is a first for the brand.

    This is placed just below the centre air vents and start button, with the top dash largely devoid of items aside from a sunken space for the infotainment display. Other items include a steering wheel that is similar to those used in current Mazda models, and a digital instrument cluster.

    If you see cork trim in certain parts of the cabin, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Dubbed as Heritage Cork, the material is made from cork left over from the production of bottle stops, and is one of the company’s initiatives to be kinder to the environment, with a vegan alternative to leather being another for the MX-30.

    Sales of the EV will start in the United Kingdom in 2021, with pricing said to be below 30,000 British pounds, inclusive of incentives offered there.


     
     
  • Tokyo 2019: Nissan Ariya Concept officially debuts

    The Nissan Ariya Concept has made its debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, which marks the start of a new era for the company as it seeks to redefine its philosophy and introduce a new design direction.

    Built on an all-new electric vehicle platform, the Ariya features a dual-motor drive configuration for all-wheel drive, although the company did not disclose detailed specifications of the powertrain, merely noting that CHAdeMO DC quick charging is supported.

    However, it stated that layout provides “excellent cornering performance and traction on slippery surfaces,” with knowledge gained from the development of the GT-R’s ATTESA E-TS torque split and Patrol’s Intelligent 4×4 systems.

    When it came to styling the Ariya, Nissan followed the theme of “Timeless Japanese Futurism,” and created a rather attractive-looking crossover, finished here in Suisei Blue. The front is highlighted by a covered and patterned front grille, which is emphasised by light guides for a more contemporary take on the company’s V-motion signature.

    Above this “front shield” are ultra-slim, four-element LED headlamps that are linked by black trim to create a more seamless look, while vertical slits are found on the corners of the bumper, acting as inlets. Meanwhile, the lower apron accommodates a wide intake that is marked out by silver trim located just above it, and wide front fenders add to the visual presence.

    In profile, the Ariya sports 21-inch five-spoke aluminium wheels and a low, swooping roofline that leads into a steeply-raked C-pillars and a top-mounted spoiler. Things get a lot more angular at the rear, as the prominent haunches and tailgate form a sharp wedge that features a one-piece light blade that runs across the vehicle’s width.

    There are no exhaust pipes here given the use of an EV powertrain, so the bottom of the bumper gets a lip instead. For those who are curious about the size of the EV, the Ariya measures 4,600 mm long, 1,920 mm wide (excluding the door mirrors) and 1,630 mm tall – the company didn’t provide numbers for the wheelbase.

    The minimalism approach extends to the interior, with a dashboard that is largely uncluttered by buttons and switches. A 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display is joined by a secondary unit that acts as a digital instrument cluster, while the climate controls are ingrained into the lower section of the dash – this is repeated for the rear passengers.

    There’s also a full-width air vent sandwiched between the screens and climate controls, with other physical controls being a single knob to interface with the infotainment screen and the start button. Nissan claims an impressive of amount of interior space due to the Ariya’s skateboard-style EV powertrain – battery under the floor – and carefully selected the materials to create an inviting living space.

    It isn’t just style and an EV powertrain being showcased here, as the Ariya also gets Nissan’s ProPILOT 2.0 suite of driver assistance systems that includes navigated highway driving with hands-off single-lane driving capabilities as well as Remote Park. There’s also a range of connected services like Door to Door Navigation, a Virtual Personal Assistan and a Smart Route Planner.

     
     
 

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Last Updated 16 Nov 2019