The Tokyo Motor Show 2005 reflected the growing tendency of Japanese manufacturers to be more concrete, less tempted by exercises of gratuitous extravagance. Auto & Design 156 analyses atmospheres, trends and novelties at this Show.

Robert Cumberford’s opinion is a reflection on this Japanese festival. He focuses on the air of widespread sobriety (compared to previous editions) that reigned there. “For the first time in the last twenty years, almost all the cars on show were rational, realisable and at least vaguely practical; surreal and totally frivolous prototypes were conspicuous by their absence. There were, however, a few delightfully senseless vehicles with no future (the electric Nissan Pivo with rotating spherical cabin was perhaps the most extreme) but there were not many of these, certainly not the plethora we were used to seeing at the Makuhari Messe”.

Silvia Baruffaldi trains her sights on Honda and Audi, both engaged in providing credible interpretations of the future of their respective ranges. The former, with three new exploratory models, the concept cars Sports 4, FCX and W.O.W., looked at three different segments and innovative solutions from the functional and technological points of view. The German brand, on the other hand, chose the Tokyo showcase to offer at least a partial preview of the next production TT, which is expected to be rolled out at Geneva 2006.

Still in and around the stands of the German Group, the Ecoracer, a small coupé-roadster-speedster vehicle with which Volkswagen aimed to spark the fantasy of Japanese visitors, attracted a great deal of attention. Marzia Gandini collected the reports of designers who worked on it so as to learn more about the features and significance of a model that is unusual for the Wolfsbürg brand.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 156

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