Monday, December 14, 2015


Gaijin-Garage flew over to Japan in October for the 44th Tokyo Motor Show for the Japan launch of the Production version NSX and of course the latest Civic Type R of which only 750 units will be sold in Japan.

For those of you who have never been to a Japanese Convention / Show / Expo, they certainly take it to the next level. The photo above is only the 'gateway' entrance into the 'Tokyo Big Sight' complex, the 'Lobby' that you walk through is bigger than most Motor Shows - certainly in Australia at least !

We went on the Press-Day with no waiting lines out the front, straight through the ID checkpoint and after registering at the Press Desk we headed straight for the Honda Display which wasn't too hard to find...

The theme for Honda's booth was 'Go Beyond Imagination'

The 2nd Generation 'FCX', Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Zero Emissions vehicle was officially graced with the 'CLARITY' name at the Motor Show. While the Technology is nothing short of amazing, the new styling takes cues from the latest Honda styling 'phase' but fails to move the car away from the stereotypical 'Prius' styling that seems to be locked to the Insight and now Clarity.

In Japan, with tax credits on top of obvious savings on fuel costs, Hybrids are super popular in Japan with the Fit Hybrid selling about 10 to 1 of the gasoline-engine-only Fit RS.
The new Odyssey Hybrid looked great in white, I swear it has been slightly lowered and the face-lifted CR-Z was making an appearance also.

The E500 'Battery Inverter Power Source' features retro styling reminiscent of Honda Generators from the 60's and offer the consumer just what they need - the ability to customize the look of their power supply.

While we're on the topic of batteries, here's the new 'EV Cub' Concept Scooter running an electric engine while staying faithful to the traditional Cub styling we all know and love.

Also 100% Battery-powered is the Honda MBEV, a fun looking off-tarmac vehicle that has almost all the features of a car on it's well-appointed interior. The Battery Packs were briefcase-sized units that were easy to remove and replace allowing for non stop fun - until you run out of Battery packs.

The 2 and 4 CONCEPT has already stirred up a lot of interest since photos were released online and when you get the chance to stand next to it you can really appreciate the raw appeal of the concept. Weighing in at just 405kg and powered by the RC213V engine with a redline of 14,000RPM.

For a concept study, the level of engineering is astounding and check out those Lobster Welds !!

Beautiful from every angle, thanks to a design competition from Global Honda Design Studios.

Not a new release but one of my personal favorites from the current Honda line-up, the N-BOX.

Sharing the same 660cc base engine as the N-Box, the S660 had a good presence at the show with a stunning flat gunmetal-grey 'Motor Show Special Collection' version alongside of a gleaming yellow production model.

YACHIYO are a manufacturer of high-tech composite products. They had an Orange-Wrapped S660 with matching orange and grey interior - to show off their Carbon Fibre S660 Engine-Cover that weighs only a fraction of the original.

With Mobility being the key theme of the show, Honda had a number of relevant vehicles on display with the 'Wander Stand' looking like it was straight out of a sci-fi movie.

With an aging population in Japan, the senior citizens are to be well looked after in terms of mobility and transportation. Hopefully by the time I need one of these, they are in production - sure beats a 'Gopher' any day ! The 'Wander-Walker' has a very small footprint and pivoting wheels that allow the vehicle to basically pivot on the spot requiring only as much space as the vehicle's length to turn 360 degrees.

Of course the Stepwgn SPADA is a great looking people-mover.. and Honda even had one setup to cater for wheelchair bound passengers with ease.

Near the entrance to the main Hall were a lot of OEM Manufacturers' Displays from Exedy, Ohlins and Nissin, through to Companies that only manufacture Wheel Bearings, CVT's etc. All very interesting and we had some demonstrations from the reps etc.

The NISSIN booth was near the entry so one of the first displays we saw. Gaijin-Garage were joined by Noriko San from Spoon and we were very happy to see the New SPOON Monoblock Caliper (For small cars, 262mm Rotor) on display.

The NISSIN booth also featured a MUGEN ELECTRIC Race Bike that was ridden by John McGuinness and absolutely dominant in the TT-Zero class at the 2015 Isle of Mann race
In the NISSIN Booth, Team MUGEN Electric Motorcycle that dominated the 2015 Isle of Mann TT-Zero Class.

For those of us into the 2-wheeled Hondas.. I shot some pics of these babies but please forgive my lack of technical narration as I am a 4-wheeler person.
Giorno Scooter
2015 MotoGP Repsol Honda RC213V
The GROM 50 SCRAMBLER Concepts ONE and TWO (below) were 'reflections of an alternative lifestyle' - or something like that - but whatever they were thinking, we love it. The 3rd version is a Race version we assume :)

An old favourite - the MONKEY - with a new model on display..

The other new powerplant for the upcoming 10th Generation Civic which will be a global model, the new 1.5L DOHC VTEC TURBO 'Earth Dreams' engine was also on display.
IF that's not enough power, how about Honda's HF120-TURBOFAN ?

The Maclaren-Honda MP4-3 was on display after it's debut season in the 2015 F1 Championship.. Although Honda may not have had great results through the year, we look forward to the 2016 season and hope to see Honda back in true form. The engineering of this car is truly astounding especially when you see the car in person ! Technology from this RA615H Power Unit has found it's way into the flagship NSX and has filtered down through Honda's other Hybrid vehicles.

Finally we get to see the new NSX in person... Like it's predecessor, it's a lot smaller in person than it appears in photos.. It is a truly beautiful car however personally I would prefer if they made the styling a little cleaner and more simple as I think the styling will date a lot faster than the original model. Powered by a Twin-Turbo 3.5L V6 with Direct Injection plus Torque-Vectoring 3 x electric motor Hybrid system and SH-AWD, the new NSX should certainly be faster than the original with a (Combined) output of 427Kw with 550Nm of Torque from 2,000 through to 6,000RPM.
The profile view of the NSX is stunning but I can't help think Audi R8... but then some angles are unmistakably 'ACURA'.

Carbon Ceramic Rotors anyone ?

Now what you've all been waiting for, the new Civic Type R !!
Since the announcement that Honda would import 750 units into Japan (and launch the car to the Japanese public at the Tokyo Motor Show), we have been super excited to see the car in the metal / carbon fibre.. And not just one, but two Type R's both in Championship White - the Traditional Type R colour.

In Japan, the FK2 is only available in the traditional Championship White and Nighthawk Black Pearl however there are rumors of a Limited Edition, Mugen-Only, Milano Red model release - reminiscent of the FD2 Type R Based Mugen Civic RR and 'Dynamite'.

Strangely they chose to display two identical models at the Motor Show while only a few kilometers away at Honda HQ, a fully-Loaded 'Modulo/Access' version sat all alone... maybe they took the wrong car ?

Profile shot of the FK2 Highlights the aggressive fender treatment and functional aero of the 5-Door Type R.

Under the hood is the new K20-Based powerplant - the 'K20C', now with Direct Injection and VTEC TURBO is rated at 228Kw/310PS @ 6,500RPM with maximum torque of 400Nm from 2500RPM through to 4500RPM and a redline that is going to be hard to get used to at only 7,000RPM - at least 1,000RPM shy of any previous Type R's. With the new FK2 Chassis weighing in at 1,380KG the Civic Type R will reach a top speed in excess of 270 Km/hr in factory trim.
The new King of the K-Series crop, the K20C, now features Honda's new Direct Injection Technology. Headswap ?

Hopefully we'll be seeing THIS soon >>
Spoon-Sports Japan are awaiting delivery of their Civic Type R for development and testing of the new K20C Powertrain.

From the Rear the wedge shape (reminiscent of the FN2) jumps out at you and the controversial Rear Wing looks quite good in person and is balanced by the other aggressive aero features.

What's this ? an actual functional rear diffuser ? not just a shape stamped into the rear bumper like most cars ! Functional Aero from the front Spoiler through to the Flat Undertray and rear Diffuser.

Continental 235/35ZR19 Tyres over 19"x 8.5" wheels doing a poor job of hiding the 350mm Rotors and Brembo Calipers.. FYi Spoon has a new 6-Piston Caliper for use with 350mm rotors on the way!

I was in the Driver's seat but without a wide-angle lens I couldn't get a great shot of the dash but The ignition was turned off so no light show anyway. I went over to the passenger side door to snap this photo but still not happy, I tried to tilt the front seat forward (ala FN2) and it wouldn't move.. there wasn't even a lever for the rear passengers to tilt the seat forward to get out... ohh.. hang on.. they don't need to tilt the seat because they have their own doors at the rear now (LOL!). Being used to Jumping in and out of 3-Door FN2's, after a moment I realised the new Type R was a 5-Door and all I had to do was open the rear door - once I found the (hidden) handle ;) In my embarrassment I didn't manage to get a great photo from the back seat anyway.

1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. 6.. 7.. 8?.. Please ?! This will take Type R veterans a while to get used to..

Now for the Non-Honda vehicles...
As we spent so much time at the Honda stand, we rushed through the rest of the show and managed to miss at least one of the four buildings - so we missed out on the Toyota, Lexus, Mitsubishi and Subaru stands :(

Suzuki had one of the largest displays of all manufacturers at the show with a number of Concept and New Release models.

A new IGNIS chassis is to be released this year  and Suzuki had a number of different varients.

YAMAHA MOTOR PRODUCTS ORCHESTRA had their first car since their almost-made-it-to-production 'OX99-11' in the 1990's. Featuring a Carbon Fibre monocoque, the car was very beautiful however a little behind-the-times in terms of styling. The SPORTS RIDE CONCEPT...

YXZ1000R Buggy powered by 998cc 3-Cyl engine.
Retro 'Cafe-Racer' style, New for 2015.
Yamaha PES2.. Not sure on specs but looks like its out of the movie TRON.
With the Automotive Industry being so huge in Japan, there were also large vehicles on display from various manufacturers. HINO had a Fuel Cell Bus Concept which we though was a great Idea with Zero Emissions in highly populated urban areas ! Inside the Bus was remarkably simple and clean yet practical and very comfortable at the same time.

ISUZU had a new Bus also, not as fancy but it featured a lightweight 4-cylinder engine for maximum fuel efficiency. 

Based on Arcade Skill-Testers perhaps, the SUPER-GREAT V-SPIDER by FUSO (Mitsubishi) 
- the ultimate Swiss Army Knife on Wheels!! 

HINO RANGER - Dakar Rally Support Truck

Toyota LANDCRUISER-XJ700 Concept would break  lot of hearts I think..

After leaving the Main Hall, we head down some motorised travelators for what seems like miles before we go through another checkpoint into another Hall. The purpose of this detour was to go through some vehicles under the 'Smart Mobility City' main theme for the 44th Motor Show.
COMS CONNECT with swiveling Driver's seat for easy access. The rear of this vehicle was a direct-to-satellite receiver.
There were Demonstrations and even Test-Drives available however I was not impressed with myself for leaving my International Driver's License at the Hotel so unfortunately I was not able to test any of these rad little buggies but we did get to try the NINE-BOT personal mobility device.

As an added bonus to this detour, we came across the TOMICA Display Booth !

One of the cars from the INTER-PROTO Series was on display, this one also driven by Takuya Kurosawa who also contributed race-driving duties for Team Spoon in the 2015 Super Taikyu Season. These cars are specifically made developed 'Gentleman Racer' cars powered by a mid-mounted Naturally Aspirated V6 engine, running a tube frame chassis and composite bodyshell but devoid of any unsportsmanlike technology such as ABS or Traction Control (!!) - it was a pleasure to finally see one in real life as they are an amazing looking car.

Back to the Main hall, Mercedes Benz had an interesting display with their take on automated-drive technology with their 'VISION TOKYO' Concept.

ADC technology means you dont even need to face forward and can enjoy any number of activities on your daily commute.

The Latest AMG A-Class was on display looking super-crisp !

A new G350 was a stark contrast to the other concept cars on display featuring the latest in 1970's military styling.

MERCEDES AMG Petronas F1 Car on display next to the AMG GT-R Coupe...

AMG GT-R Race version... Needs no words.

AMG GT-S Road-going version... Impressive in it's own right but i'll take the Race version thanks.

And a matching AMG Motorcycle - Wuuuuuuut !!! To answer your questions, I don't know LOL.

Still on 2 wheels, Kawasaki Launched their new NINJA ZX-10R at the show also... that Header !

Mazda caught my eye with their Miata-Cup Race Car but then I caught a glimpse of the magnificent 'RX-VISION' Concept Car. This was one of the big un-veils at the Motor Show and it drew a huge crowd even on the Press-Day. Even my photos do not do justice to the pure beauty of this car. With the debut of this car also confirming the continuance of Mazda's Rotary Sports Car program and further development of the 'SKY-ACTIV' Rotary engine.
Words nor pictures serve justice to the beauty of the RX VISION. Completely impractical but we love it.

The Mazda Roadster is now available in a 'NR-A' spec which is a base-grade designed for Motorsport use similar to Honda's 'Body-in-White' race variants of the past.

Most European Manufacturers had something on display but I think we missed the hall with most of the Euro cars, they tend to save their new model releases for the European Motor Shows anyway but we spotted the ALFA '4C' Spider was there in all of it's Carbon Fibre goodness.

The first NISSAN we came across was this new NV200 TAXI.. hrm... not very exciting.. but then around the corner we got a glimpse into the future.. with their automated driving 'TEATRO' Concept Car that seems to be the love-child of an iPhone and a Nightclub, and then the IDS which is a very good looking car (below) however needs no driver if required.

The 'GRIP-Z' Concept is perhaps a hint at the direction of the upcoming 'Z' (370Z) replacement. If you take your hand and cover the wheels and imagine this body on the ground, you probably have the next Z looking back at you.

The NISMO section had some nice cars on display with the NISMO NOTE, 370Z and GTR models.

NISMO GTR.. a truly incredible car but certainly not the star of the Nissan Stand at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show...

You would think with a NISMO GTR in the middle of the floor there might be some crowds ?
But no, the NISMO cars, Grip-Z and IDS etc were all on their own.... where was everyone ?!

Ohh wait a second, what's this over here?

...And then there was the Concept 2020 VISION GRAN TURISMO...

For those of you who aren't Gamers, this concept was developed by Nissan with Polyphony Digital to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Gran Turismo Driving Simulator on the PlayStation console. Many manufacturers have been working with Polyphony developing mind-bending futuristic concept cars (for use in the game!) but this is perhaps the first that has made the jump from the screen into reality. With 2020 not that far away now, this could actually be close to how the next GTR will be styled !
To be honest, I was not a fan of the flat paint and think a super high gloss finish would have done the car more justice but that is me trying to find something wrong with the car - it was definitely the most amazing car I've ever seen and to back this up, we hear Batman has one of these on order in Black ;)

On that note (!!) we will conclude our coverage of the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show - Thank you for taking the time to go through our review and photos and we apologise again for the cars we missed.

- Bede Grainger
  Rigid Collar Australia

  Official Spoon Sports Dealer
  Official Seeker Dealer
  Rigid Collar Official Dealer


CR-v9 said...

The comedy hour is back, and the king of comedy is also back, and his apprentices are trying hard too. The thing is that they bring the same materials, again and again. I can't laugh so much with the same old materials any more. I feel empathetic towards their pathetic efforts this time around. It's sad. It is really sad.
Although, the king of comedy did bring in their Joan of Arc, Dr. Judith Curry who believes we need philosophers to answer the climate change science questions. Because she is of, 'Oh, I'm not sure, I don't know, there're so many uncertainties (with the cosmic background quantum consciousness that controls our climate in the sky)'. Thing is that she has her side business of consulting and giving climate/weather reports. I'm not sure if I'd want to pay for the reports of 'Oh, I don't know, I'm not sure, there're so many unknowns' for, unless I'd just want to pay her regardless. She also recently gave Sen. Cruz a high grade on his understanding of global warming even though Cruz flatly denies the science behind global warming which Dr. Curry can't even deny. And also posted Sen. Inhofe's official statement in her personal blog even though he also flatly denies global warming based on his personal theological reasons. Maybe she herself believes in God/Allah that would not allow nature to harm us humans, deep down too.

CR-V9 said...

Ha ha hahaha ha, at TOV,

Well, if Honda still can't find the resources to develop a competitive platform for Acura after essentially replacing 2-3 of their current platforms with 1, then they are full of B.S.



Here you go again,

Hello, it's me again
I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet
To go over everything again
They say that time's supposed to heal ya
But I ain't done much healing, still waiting for a RWD sports sedan
Hello, can you hear me, RWD cars!
I'm in California dreaming about who we used to be
When we were younger and free
I've forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet
There's such a difference between us
And a million miles
* * * * *
* * *

There's a fire starting in my heart, Honda
Reaching a fever pitch, it's bringing me out the dark
Finally I can see you crystal clear
[Clean version:] Go 'head and sell me out and I'll lay your ship bare
[Explicit version:] Go 'head and sell me out and I'll lay your shit bare
See how I leave with every piece of you
Don't underestimate the things that I will do I'll never buy a honda again
There's a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch
And it's bringing me out the dark
The scars of your love remind me of us
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all, Honda
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
I can't help feeling
We could have had it all, Acura
(You're gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

cr-v9 said...

I'm snowed in today. Fricking snow!?!
Where is global warming? Where is global warming when we need one?
But ...


About RWD:

Automobile: Many enthusiasts, when they hear “performance,” they think rear-wheel drive. Is that something Acura needs to offer in its sedans and coupes?
DM: I don’t think so. I think we have technology, and we’re Honda Motor Company so we have amazing motors. I think in the day and age of the luxury brands, premium brands, the drivertrains kind of become, [they] could be anything. Could be electric, could be front-engine [with] rear-drive, could be front/front. Whatever it is, it’s just how you lay that out and maximize the experience of the customer. I might’ve 10 years ago said, “Yes, we have to do [rear drive],” but I don’t think so now.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahah oh my tummy hahahahahahaha

Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry ....
I feel your pain.

Don't underestimate the things that I will do I'll never buy a honda again, never ever never
There's a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch
And it's bringing me out the dark
The scars of your love remind me of us
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all, Honda!!
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless
I can't help feeling
We could have had it all, Acura!!!
(You're gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

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