2011 Honda Small Sports EV Concept
As thousands of members of the press decend on Tokyo ready for the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show to open on Wednesday, Green Car Reports brings you a preview of the electric and plug-in cars we're expecting to see at the show.
From tiny micro-commuter concepts to electric sports cars the line-up is particularly diverse, with each manufacturer covering several niches.
Honda's electric car range kicks off with the large AC-X concept, a plug-in hybrid vehicle with clear styling links to the hydrogen fuel cell FC-X Clarity. Like several of the Japanese makers, Honda is also downsizing with the Micro Commuter concept, a fully enclosed concept to rival the Renault Twizy. Like the Twizy, the Micro Commuter has four outboard wheels and a narrow, two-seat tandem body. Finally, Honda will be previewing the Small Sports EV concept. We don't know many details yet but it looks like being an electric interpretation of the much-missed S2000 sports car.
2011 Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II
It won't all be electric city cars at Tokyo - Mitsubishi's PX-MiEV II is the company's vision of a plug-in hybrid SUV, perhaps as a future direction for the Outlander. In early testing the PX-MiEV II has managed the equivalent of 100 mpg when both electric range and gas mileage are taken into account, over triple that of a regular gasoline car in that class. Also on display at Tokyo is an all-electric version of the Japan-only MINICAB commercial vehicle.
2011 Nissan Pivo 3 electric city car concept
Most anticipated Nissan concept at Tokyo is the Pivo 3 - a car we speculated could be a "mini-Leaf". Looking at its unusual styling it's hard to believe the Pivo 3 is the most restrained Pivo concept so far (the Pivo 2 could rotate in its own length and drive sideways...). It still has some quirky touches, like three-abreast seating and sliding doors, but the sharp styling definitely looks more production ready than previous Pivos.
2011 Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept teaser
Better known for its turbocharged rally refugees like the Impreza, Subaru is going green at Tokyo to bring us the Advanced Tourer Hybrid concept. As the name suggests it has a wagon-style body and is expected to use a parallel hybrid system not dissimilar to that found in Toyotas. It could hint at a hybrid future for models like the WRX and STI.
2011 Suzuki Regina Electric Car Concept
Suzuki will be bringing a trio of small, green vehicles to Tokyo. The Regina is green in color as well as ethos, utilizing a small gasoline engine capable of 72.3 mpg in a light weight, aerodynamic body. The Suzuki Swift extended-range EV is more conventional in style, based on the regular Swift sold overseas. It can do 12 to 18 miles on electric range alone, before a range-extending gasoline engine kicks in. Like Honda, Suzuki has a tandem, two-seat electric car on display, called the "Q". It's more cutesy than the Honda but follows the same principles.
2011 Toyota FCV-R Concept
Alongside the now confirmed-for-production Prius C hybrid, Toyota is also showing a range of concept vehicles. The FCV-R concept is a fuel-cell vehicle with hints of Prius in the styling and a claimed 435-mile range. The Toyota FT-EVIII is more conventional, based on the iQ minicar soon to be sold as the Scion iQ. Range is around 65 miles on the Japanese test cycle. We're short on details for the Fun-Vii concept, but Toyota is promising "a future where people, cars and society are linked" - so expect plenty of connected technology to make city life as easy as possible.
For further details and all the news from the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, keep checking our dedicated show pagethrough the week.