Tokyo Motor Show Green Cars: Concepts & Production Models


Nissan IDS concept, 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Nissan IDS concept, 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

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Auto-show season continues with the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, which featured a number of notable green-car debuts.

Tokyo usually boasts a few significant world launches from the local carmakers, mixed with more esoteric models designed primarily with Japan in mind.

Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles seemed to be prominent this year, with the introduction of the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, as well as luxury fuel-cell concepts from Lexus and Mercedes-Benz.

DON'T MISS: 2018 Honda Plug-In Hybrid To Offer 40-Mile Range, Use Fuel-Cell Vehicle's Platform

Electric cars and hybrids were represented as well, and "autonomous driving" was a phrase repeated often in the press materials this year.

Without further ado, here are the significant green concept cars and production models from the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

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Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

The production version of Honda's hydrogen-powered car will be called the Clarity Fuel Cell.

With styling and design language that were previewed by two previous concepts, it will go on sale in Japan early next year, and the U.S. sometime after that.

The Clarity Fuel Cell is a mid-size sedan with seating for five, with both the fuel-cell stack and electric motor housed in the area under the hood. Hydrogen storage tanks are situated under the rear seat and between the rear wheels.

ALSO SEE: Mitsubishi eX All-Electric SUV Concept To Debut At Tokyo Motor Show

The electric drive motor powered by the fuel cell is rated at 174 horsepower, and Honda projects a range of 435 miles on the Japanese testing cycle.

Expect that to be closer to 300 miles on the U.S. EPA cycle.

There have also been reports that Honda will use the Clarity's underpinnings for previously-announced battery-electric and plug-in hybrid models, both of which should appear by 2018.

Lexus LF-FC concept, 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Lexus LF-FC concept, 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

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Lexus LF-FC concept

The LF-FC is a large hydrogen fuel-cell luxury sedan that may preview the next-generation Lexus LS.

Its powertrain components are spread throughout the chassis, with the fuel-cell stack at the back, and hydrogen tanks farther forward. Lexus says this improves weight distribution.

MORE: Lexus Fuel Cell Car Likely To Be Based on New LS Luxury Sedan

All of that is housed in a "four-door coupe" body that should still yield a fairly spacious cabin.

It's possible Lexus will offer a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain option on the next LS, but Toyota's luxury brand hasn't confirmed anything yet.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo Concept

Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo Concept

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Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo concept

Perhaps trying to play off Japan's preoccupation with vans, Mercedes brought an autonomous fuel-cell van concept to Tokyo.

The Vision Tokyo concept echoes the radical F 015 unveiled earlier this year in technology and styling, with self-driving capabilities but a somewhat blunter and more bulbous shape.

For propulsion, the concept actually relies on both a fuel-cell stack and a lithium-ion battery pack, which can be charged by plugging in.

Mercedes says the Vision Tokyo can travel 120 miles using only the battery pack, and 600 miles on both battery and fuel-cell power.

Mitsubishi eX concept, 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Mitsubishi eX concept, 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

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Mitsubishi eX concept

Mitsubishi has emphasized plug-in hybrid crossovers lately, but its Tokyo Motor Show concept features an all-electric powertrain.

The eX uses one electric motor to power each axle, with energy supplied by a 45-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

Total system output is 187 horsepower, and Mitsubishi says the range is 248 miles on the Japanese testing cycle.

This small crossover likely previews the styling of the next Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, which will debut next month at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Nissan IDS concept, 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

Nissan IDS concept, 2015 Tokyo Motor Show

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Nissan IDS concept

Over the next few years, Nissan will unveil a redesigned second-generation Leaf electric car and an autonomous production vehicle. The IDS concept may offer some hints at both.

It is capable of fully-autonomous driving, but still offers the option of manual control. It can also learn an owner's driving style and imitate it.

The powertrain includes a 60-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack--much larger than either of the two packs offered on the current Leaf, but targeting a range of 200 miles.

The styling may or may not be a preview of the next-generation electric car; it incorporates Nissan's latest design language into a somewhat similar five-door hatchback shape.


 
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