Toyota Unveils Hot New Sports Concepts at 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon
- Toyota rolled out 10 new sports concepts at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon, including the first showing of a Mark X sedan with a lightweight carbon-fiber roof.
- A wild "Platinum" edition of the 86 rear-drive sports coupe (America's Scion FR-S) with a turbocharged and supercharged engine took center stage.
- Tuner editions of the Toyota Vitz (Yaris) and Aqua (Prius C) compacts also debuted.
TOKYO — Toyota rolled out 10 new sports concepts at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon, including the first showing of a Mark X sedan with a lightweight carbon-fiber roof.
The Toyota Mark X is a domestic midsize V6 rear-drive sedan that appears as an auto salon concept with a new and unique carbon-fiber roof. While Toyota used carbon fiber extensively for the Lexus LFA supercoupe, this is the first time it has experimented with it publicly since the LFA ended production.
The idea of the carbon-fiber roof is to cut body weight and lower the car's center of gravity and thus improve handling and performance. BMW and Subaru are two that have already used such a roof, suggesting that Toyota may well feel bound to follow.
At Japan's premier aftermarket show, Toyota had a spectacular stand crammed with special editions of the 86, Japan's version of the Scion FR-S rear-drive sport coupe.
For many, heading the list was the GRMN Sports FR Concept Platinum, a rather clumsy name for an ice cool new FR-S circuit racer concept with a turbocharged and supercharged engine.
Then, there were four rebodied 86 concepts: the x style Cb, the 86 Modellista Concept, the TRD Griffon Concept and Italianate-looking TOM's NO86V concept. Depending on show reaction, some of these, with luck, might well venture further than the show floor.
Also under the GRMN banner was the Vitz Turbo concept, broadly a 1.5-liter turbo version of America's Yaris hatch, complete with tuned suspension, special wheels, interior and brakes. Again, this is being set up for circuit use.
The Aqua, a Japanese cousin to the U.S. Toyota Prius C hybrid, also got the dress-up treatment. The Aqua G Sports Concept at the show features exclusive bumpers, grille and alloy wheels, along with unique sports interior, suspension and strengthened body.
While Toyota is normally strongly focused toward the environment in Japan with cars like the Prius, the Tokyo auto salon is one weekend a year when it lets go of the leash and goes unashamedly racy and sporty.
Edmunds says: Credit to Toyota for such a big and impressive display at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon.