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The future of mobility in focus: Japan Mobility Show 2023

This year's Japan Mobility Show, which took place from October 28th to November 5th, 2023, is one of the most important car shows in the world. In 2019 it still operated under the name Tokyo Motor Show. After no trade fair was held during the Corona years, the 2023 appearance is a significant step for the Japanese automotive industry towards more mobility and especially more electromobility. The Japan Mobility Show has this together with the German IAA Mobility Show, which also puts mobility as a whole and e-mobility more in the foreground.

What was there to discover in Tokyo this year? Visitors to the trade fair were able to try out and get to know new products and technologies from well-known, large brands as well as startups from all over the world.

Japanese car manufacturers are increasingly stepping up their electric pace

Leading Japanese car manufacturers such as Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Subaru presented new concepts that promise a future electric generation of car models, although they have so far been hesitant about pure electric vehicles.

Nissan impressed with the “Hyper Force” study, a preview of the next Nissan GT-R, with the two driving modes “GT” and “R” standing for “Grand Touring” and “Racing”. The Nissan GT-R R35, which has been produced since 2007 and has no longer been available for sale in Germany since last year, is said to have the purely electric R36 as its successor. The vehicle promises an output of 1000 kW (approx. 1360 hp) and its aerodynamics were developed in collaboration with Nismo's racing department. By using carbon parts, the R36 is said to be significantly lighter than its predecessor. The market launch is planned for 2028 at the earliest.

Mazda gave hope for the return of the RX-9 and presented an appealing insight with the “Iconic SP” study. With a low center of gravity and compact dimensions of 4.18 meters long, 1.85 m wide and 1.15 m high, the study is reminiscent of the popular RX-7 FD. The drive, whose concept is similar to that of the MX-30 R-EV, combines a twin-disc rotary engine with an electric motor and promises 370 hp.

Toyota surprised with the FT-Se, an electric sports car that, thanks to the Gazoo Racing logo on the rear, evokes memories of the typical mid-engine shape of the legendary MR2, which disappeared from the German market in 2005. Details on the technical specifications are not yet revealed, but a new, lighter, smaller and more powerful battery architecture has been announced for 2026, promising a range of 1000 kilometers and ultra-fast charging from 0 to 80 percent in under 20 minutes.

Subaru presented the "Sport Mobility Concept", a two-door coupé study that is reminiscent of the SVX of the 90s with its narrow headlights and large, independent window area. Little is known about the electric concept, but the characteristic all-wheel drive remains.

Honda, on the other hand, made no secrets about the "Prelude Concept", a preview of the electric Prelude. With a sporty design, small rear spoiler and Brembo brakes, this model promises an exciting comeback of the model from the 90s. However, Honda has so far remained tight-lipped about technical details.

Various familiar names and abbreviations such as GT-R, MR2, Copen and SVX are resurfacing as manufacturers present new interpretations of their classic models at the Japan Mobility Show. Not all of these concepts are expected to enter series production, but they provide a glimpse into the possible design direction that companies like Toyota and Mazda could follow.

Transformation of the automotive industry is in full swing

The automotive industry worldwide is undergoing a profound transformation process towards electromobility and user-oriented software, which was made visible by both this year's Japan Mobility Show and the IAA Mobility. This change opens up new opportunities for innovative manufacturers who are able to impress both in terms of technology and price. Overall, both trade fairs make it clear that the automotive industry is facing major changes that can no longer be stopped. Those who can successfully shape this change will have a significant impact on the future of mobility.

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