4x4s and off-roaders: 2015 Tokyo Motor Show
Every motor show shows the way forward for tomorrow’s cars. So what did the Tokyo Motor Show reveal about tomorrow’s off-roaders?
FIRST UP, FANS of hardcore offroaders with low range, locking differentials and long-travel suspension are going to be disappointed. The Tokyo Motor Show didn’t reveal anything worthwhile on that front, although Land Rover did announce it was building an autonomous 4×4… Instead, Tokyo this year was all about hybrids and electric drive. Every manufacturer has some sort of concept SUV on its stand, and let’s just say that none are V8s.
Mitsubishi’s eX Concept
A compact SUV powered by a next-generation EV system, pure electric drive, one motor at the front and one at the rear, and a bundle of all-wheel drive tech. There’s more here.
Mitsubishi PHEV Rally Car
Now we’re talking….it’s only a replica, but out of everything at the show this would be my pick for the 4×4 I’d most want to drive.
Land Rover’s shock announcement
Well, it’s not really a shock if you follow what Land Rover have been doing, but it will still upset people. Dr Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, has announced Land Rover is working on the world’s first fully autonomous 4×4. On one hand, for those of us that love driving off-road this is terrible news, but on the other hand, it is a brilliant development for safety and all-terrain capability. Technology moves forwards, ready or not, and if anyone is going to create a vehicle capable of going bush without it’s owner having to have a hand in what the vehicle is doing, it would be Land Rover.
Here’s the Jaguar F-PACE, a sports SUV. We had a look inside and it is definitely an up-market vehicle. The rims are 22-inches, so it’s not going to be an off-roader in the Land Rover sense, but you can expect it to use Land Rover’s 4×4 technology so it should be superb on slippery surfaces like snow, and probably a bit of a gravel-road weapon too. The interior is all top-end and you can definitely spot the Land Rover influence. Spare looks to be full-size which is an unexpected bonus. Styling is not bad, but it’s not the heart-stopper that is the F-TYPE.
Subaru’s VIZIV is a hybrid 4×4 concept for the future that Subaru says holds true to its values of “enjoyment and peace of mind”. It says it’s aiming for partially autonomous cars by 2020 – and with its EyeSight technology has already made a fair start down that path. Subaru also said in Tokyo that it wanted to be synonymous with safety. The name VIZIV is derived from “Vision for Innovation.” Watch out, Volvo…
Suzuki all-wheel drive system
Suzuki’s rear electronic coupling unit, part of its all-wheel drive system. Computer controlled, automatically feeds torque to rear wheels as required.
Porsche Cayenne Plug-In Hybrid
Yes, it’s not a hardcore off-roader, but the Cayenne is a lot more capable off-road than you might think. It’s of interest here because there’s yet another hybrid variant, and this one is special because it is plug-in. Most hybrids cannot be recharged in any way other than via their internal combustion engine, or via regenerative braking.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon & renegade
Nothing new here, but Jeep had a Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (long-wheel base) on display with some rather suspect rims and recovery points. There were a couple of models draped over the bonnet wearing what they imagined was bush gear, but I got them out of the way for the photo.
Jeep Renegade. Stand by for a full off-road test in November.
And finally, a LandCruiser!
This looks the goods. Shortie Cruiser, nicely finished, but no details available. Might this herald the comeback of the middie? Don’t get your hopes up…
Robert Pepper travelled to the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show as a guest of Mitsubishi Motors Australia.