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Toyota to debut fuel-cell, fun concepts in Tokyo

Tue, 05 Nov 2013

Toyota will reveal a handful of next-generation vehicles at the Tokyo motor show later this month. One is powered by a fuel cell, one is a hybrid and the others are crazy people-movers that may or may not catch the public's eye.

The highlight of the display is the Toyota FCV concept, or fuel cell vehicle. The FCV should launch in 2015, according to Toyota, with a driving range of about 310 miles, and a refueling time of only three minutes.

Toyota says the FCV concept takes inspiration from a catamaran, and evokes flowing water. The cool blue sedan looks similar to the new Camry, with a few more flowing lines around the rear. (It looks nothing like a catamaran. –ED.)

The FCV is powered by Toyota's lightweight fuel-cell stack fueled by two high-pressure hydrogen tanks. Toyota says the new fuel-cell stack boasts a power output density more than twice that of the company's current stack. It's also equipped with a high-efficiency boost converter, which makes it possible to reduce the size of the motor, leading to a reduced cost. Our only question is when are we going nuclear?

Check out our drive review of the Toyota FCV here.

Toyota FV for Tokyo

The Toyota FV2, which is also getting its world premiere, isn't so much a vehicle, but more of a personal pod. The FV stands for “fun vehicle.” It doesn't have a steering wheel; instead it reacts to the driver as he shifts his bodyweight. It also connects with other vehicles in the area and the traffic infrastructure.

According to Toyota, the FV2 is designed to provide the driver with a similar relationship as rider has with a horse. Toyota says the FV2 uses voice recognition to determine the driver's mood, and uses that assessment to suggest destinations that will help the driver improve his mood, medicinal dispensaries perhaps.

The JPN Taxi is a frumpy little vehicle that could herald the next Asian hack. The car's height makes for an easy step in, while the flat floor ensures ease of use, according to Toyota. The concept runs on liquefied petroleum gas, and the engine is optimized for stop and go taxi driving patterns.

The Voxy and Noah concepts are both next-generation minivans. Like the JPN Taxi, they feature low floors and high roofs. The seven-seat vehicles have sliding captain's chairs in the second row, enabling a variety of seating arrangements. The vans will have either a 2.0-liter gasoline four or a 1.8-liter with a hybrid system. Toyota goes on to talk about “emotional space,” alluring impressions and an overwhelming sense of presence. We fell asleep at that point, and moved on to the Aqua G.

Toyota Aqua G sports concept for Tokyo

The Aqua G Sports concept uses a hybrid motor which has been tuned by Gazoo Racing. It looks like a sportier version of the Prius V to us, and it will hit the Japanese market in late November.

Finally, something we can all get behind: the Toyota FT-86 Open Concept, which is exactly what you think it is. The company says the concept was created to explore future sports car variations of the FT-86/Subaru BRZ. The top is electronically activated, adding weight unfortunately, while the body is painted in a color called Flash Red. We expect this concept to go into production sooner rather than later.

We’ll be in Japan at the end of this month to check out all these concepts at the Tokyo motor show. Come back to our dedicated page for more info and concepts.

By Jake Lingeman