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Recap: Japan Mobility Show

We're in Tokyo to cover the latest EV concepts from Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and more.

When it comes to EVs, Japanese automakers have been a little behind the curve. Nissan was an early EV pioneer with the Leaf, but we had to wait 13 years to get a second model, the Ariya. Toyota and Honda played around with early-gen tech, but we haven't seen a spec-for-spec competitor with the likes of Tesla, Chevy, Hyundai and VW until very recently. So this year's Japan Mobility Show, the first year of the rebranded Tokyo Motor Show, is a big deal. We expected to see new EV concepts from all of the Japanese manufacturers, but will these cars put these legendary brands back at the front of the pack? Let's review what we saw.


Toyota showed off more than 7(!) EV concepts in what might have been the biggest statement of the show. They've given us a sports car, a utility van, a pickup truck, a Land Cruiser, an off-road buggy, a crossover and a modular work truck. Let's take a look at each.

Toyota FT-3e Concept

The FT-3e concept is a crossover that's very light on details. What we can tell largely comes from what we can see, that this is a sleek family hauler with attractive proportions. To our eye it looks a bit like the Jaguar I-Pace, but we consider that a very complimentary comparison. Toyota says this next generation vehicle is, "creating a better world by connecting to society as a transfer medium for energy and data from the vehicle and its surroundings". We'll let you know when we figure out what that means practically.

Toyota FT-Se Concept

Now this is fun. The Toyota FT-Se, despite sharing a similar name to the crossover above, has very different intentions. We've heard the words "EV MR2" thrown around a lot while standing in proximity of this car, but honestly the FT-Se seems a bit too large to wear the MR2 nameplate. It reminds us a bit of the Lotus Evora GT in size and styling, which is a car that is adored and just so happens to sport a Toyota engine. This one is all electric though, despite its mid-engined proportions. This is the kind of EV that gets us particularly excited, and we're glad to see Toyota is thinking about fun.

Toyota KAYOIBAKO Concept

The Toyota KAYOIBAKO is named for a shipping container. This is a vehicle to move stuff, and Toyota offered a few ideas about what they could be. From delivery vehicle, wheelchair accessible transport, overland camper, and food truck - all seemed easy with this van's wide door apertures - making the van very easy load up and maneuver about.

Toyota IMV 0 concept

The IMV 0 is an all-electric modular truck that's built to be customized in any number of ways. Toyota had two version on display, one wearing an espresso shop and another a giant cubed video display, but the company released renderings showing uses as wide ranging as overloading off-roader, ambulance, tow truck, food truck and more.

Toyota EPU Concept

The Toyota EPU is a mid-sized fully electric truck that, to our eye, looked pretty close to production spec. This is a 4-door, 5 seater with a pass-through gate between the passenger compartment and the bed. We loved the look and the size of this truck, and think it will sell like crazy in the US where small to medium sized trucks are seeing a bit of a renaissance thanks to the success of the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. This one appears to be an instant winner if Toyota decides to build it (and bring it to the US).

Toyota Land Cruiser Se Concept

The Toyota Land Cruiser Se concept offered an alternative take on Toyota's iconic off-roader. This Land Cruiser strikes us as a little more valet and a little less overland adventure, pehaps targeting to the same crowd shuttling Land Rovers between the office and the golf course. Whether this model retains some of the legendary off-road capability that its name plate would suggest, we don't yet know. What we do know is it's a 7 seater, and it's quite large - longer in fact than the already-robust gasoline Land Cruiser. No word yet on when or if this one reaches production.

Toyota Space Mobility Concept

The Toyota Space Mobility Concept is an experiment to learn more about roving on the moon (and, we suppose, other planets too). Sadly, this is not something that you'll have the opportunity to park in your driveway, but that won't stop us from daydreaming about how much fun this thing must be - like a real life RC car.


Adding to Toyota's count, Lexus unveiled two concepts of their own; an SUV called LF-ZL that is said to be a "glimpse into the brand's future", and the LF-ZC, a rakish lift-back sedan said to be aiming for production in 2026.

Lexus LF-ZL Concept

The Lexus LF-ZL is "a glimpse into the brand's future". When we hear sentences like that, we presume the model isn't intended for production and will instead be used as an innovation and inspiration platform to inform other models. Lexus is being pretty vague about this one, pointing only to the innovative use of bamboo and interior lighting on the inside.

Lexus LF-ZC Concept

Meanwhile the LF-ZC looks a little more production-ready, and Lexus was more specific about the if and when - they intend to build it, and by 2026. We also know the LF-ZC will be all-wheel drive, steer-by-wire and prismatic battery packs. The latter will be interesting to keep an eye on, this model should have great range. The model also features a very striking interior, but this looked less production ready than the rest of the car. Time will tell how futuristic this LF-ZC is when it arrives.


Honda brought 3 vehicles, including the world premiere of an iconic nameplate: The Prelude.

Honda Prelude Concept

Details are extremely thin on the Prelude, but Honda says it's the first EV model to focus on the joy of driving. And it's a coupe! That feels pretty rare these days, and we're glad to see it. The exterior of the car looks very ready for production, but the windows were noticeably blacked out so we presume the interior is still in the works. No timing has been released, but we're keeping a close eye on this one.

Honda Sustaina-C and Honda Pocket Concepts

Honda also showed off its previously announced Sustaina-C and companion Pocket, the former of which is made of an acrylic resin designed to be recycled and reused.


Mazda's booth was filled with Miatas, and a small sleek sporty thing under a tarp. Could we be seeing the future of the MX-5? We're not sure, but we love what we see. This "Iconic SP" is a svelte sports car gives us RX-7 vibes but could also hint at the Miata's EV future. It even has pop-up headlights and wait for it... a rotary engine. That's right, this is a "Rotary Hybrid", using a gasoline rotary engine as a range extender to charge the batteries. In total, the car has 365 horsepower and it would fall into the small and quirky category of range extended EV, like the BMW i3 or Fisker Karma. While it looks like it could inspire the next Miata, it's a little too big currently - about 10 inches longer.

Mazda Iconic SP Concept


Nissan has given us 4 EV concepts in the past 4 weeks, and this week unveiled their 5th: The Hyper Force.

Nissan Hyper Force Concept

The Hyper Force is said to have 1,000 kW of power, making this GT-R-inspired high performance machine a supercar.

Nissan Hyper Punk Concept

Nissan also showed us the Hyper Punk, a small off-roader meant to be a mobile studio for "content creators and artists"

Nissan Hyper Tourer Concept

The Hyper Tourer is a minivan, but unlike any minivan you've ever seen. With origami creases and an inspiration of Japanese hospitality, the Hyper Tourer is an autonomous living room on wheels.

Nissan Hyper Adventure Concept

The Hyper Adventure Concept is an SUV optimized for the outdoors, with smart tech features like V2X, allowing your onboard EV battery to power all of your adventure devices. The back seat of this one also rotates, creating a tailgating area for camping and the like.

Nissan Hyper Urban Concept

The Hyper Urban is designed to integrate with your urban life, including smart home and vehicle-to-home features.


Subaru hit us with a new concept car, and then a "one more thing" that was a bit shocking. First they gave us the Sport Mobility Concept, a chunky EV sports coupe that looks a bit rugged in a cyber-punk kind of way, but then they hit us with a giant manned personal drone with automotive features like headlights and a passenger compartment. It's called the Air Mobility Concept, and we did not see it coming. Details are very slim on both vehicles.

Subaru Sport Mobility Concept
Subaru Air Mobility Concept


Those of us in the states sometimes forget that Mitsubishi has one of the most compelling PHEV models on offer. Today, they gave us something totally different.

Mitsubishi D:X Concept

The D:X is a behemoth plug-in hybrid overloading adventure vehicle (and perhaps hinting at the styling of their future Delica vans). With flexible seating, off-road ground clearance and wide-aperture doors, this unique PHEV looks like a moon rover for planet Earth.


While Infiniti wasn't represented at the show, they did drop some news. Their first EV will be an executive sedan called the Qe. Details are still thin, but we have this image to share and we'll keep you posted as we learn more.

Infiniti Qe Concept

That's it! While the show featured many, many more vehicles from the likes of Suzuki, Daihatsu, Kawasaki, Yamaha and more, we tried to focus on passenger vehicles only, and those with a chance of making it to North America. Time will tell how many of these vehicles reach production and reach our shores, but we'll be sure to keep you posted as new info becomes available.


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