Friday, November 22, 2013

Small Car Highlights from Tokyo and LA Auto Shows

Auto show season is upon us. The two that are going on right now are the Tokyo Motor Show and LA Auto Show. I am, unfortunately, at neither. However, that doesn't mean I've been oblivious to some of the cool small car concepts and production vehicles that have appeared. Here are a few that have caught my eye.

Daihatsu Kopen Concept
Diahatsu Kopen Concept

The Kopen (or Copen) is a tiny two-seat convertible. Past iterations have looked a lot like miniature Audi TTs. However, the above-pictured Kopen Concept from the Tokyo show look much less Audi. No mention of a powerplant or anything, but it is eye catching.

Honda S660 Concept
Honda S660 Concept
This one falls into the "please please please please please build it and bring it to North America" category. This tiny two-seat Honda, which will likely not come to this side of the pond, will be powered by a turbocharged 1.0-liter engine making 100 horsepower and have a retractable roof.

Nissan Sentra Nismo Concept
Nissan Sentra Nismo Concept

Moving back to this side of the ocean, Nissan is showing off its Sentra NISMO concept at the LA show. Powered by an amped-up version of the Nissan Juke engine (1.6-liter turbocharged four cylinder making 240 hp), Nissan has taken is not-so-exciting Sentra and made it into something special. Kudos for not calling it an SE-R, by the way. As we mentioned in our 2013 Sentra review, the new Sentra is very improved, and if they offer it with the turbo powerplant, it might just be great.

Nissan Juke Nismo RS
Nissan Juke Nismo RS

Since we're on the Nissan subject, Nissan showed off its Juke Nismo RS at LA, too. It takes the already tarted-up Juke Nismo and adds 18 more horsepower, 26 ft/lbs more torque (total of 215 hp and 210 ft/lbs of torque), a limited-slip differential, and Recaro seats among other goodies. That's the good news. The bad news is you still can't get the AWD version with a manual—it's a CVT or nothing. You can, however, get a FWD and manual. We'll post up our 2013 Juke Nismo review in the coming weeks.

2015 Subaru WRX
2015 Subaru WRX sliding

Here's the nex-generation Subaru Impreza WRX. Powered by a 2.0-liter direct-injection boxer engine, the car makes 268 hp (up three from the last gen) and 258 ft/lbs or torque, up 14 ft/lbs. It'll be available with either a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT, which seem odd, but I'm sure Subaru will be able to sell more units if they offer it up with an automatic, too. They say 0-60 times will be in the mid five-second range, and of course it'll have AWD. We own a 2013 model and love it. The '15 looks much more bland, but it'll likely drive fantastically.

Toyota Aqua Convertible Concept
Toyota Aqua Convertible Concept
In Japan, the Prius c is called the Aqua, and Toyota brought a fun drop-top convertible concept to the Tokyo Motor Show. While the Prius c isn't the epitome of excitement, this tiny topless Toyota looks great and would undoubtedly a be a good time. You can read more about it at Autoblog.

Daihatsu FC凸DECK
As if I had to tell you this came from the Tokyo show, the Daihatsu FC凸DECK is a cabover thing powered by a fuel cell. It's crazy concepts like this that make me look forward to the Tokyo Motor show every couple of years. It's crazy, it's kooky, and it's totally Japanese. So cool, so unlikely to make production, and so wonderful.


Foxtrot685 said...

Nissan doesn't know if this thing is a 1.6L or a 1.8L. Nissan has said its both. This is a quote from the official press release:

"While production 2014 Sentras combine responsive acceleration with excellent fuel efficiency from a 130-horsepower 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine, the Sentra NISMO Concept borrows technology from the new JUKE NISMO RS's DOHC 16-valve, turbocharged, intercooled, sequential Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) equipped 4-cylinder, enlarged to 1.8 liters. The NISMO-tuned engine produces an estimated 240+ horsepower and more than 240 lb-ft of torque – enough to show its taillights to ordinary sedans."

On the Nissan USA website, it says it uses a 1.6L. Make up your minds, NISSAN!!!

murphyseanm said...

I really like the new Sentra, but the 130hp base is under powered. The NISMO is really the Sentra I would love to buy, but they would have to offer it in CVT for me. Even if the car was hitting just 215HP like the Juke RS it would still have the car at a really great power spot.