The Tokyo Motor Show will certainly be an interesting one this year, with the two Toyota hybrid concepts going in two completely different directions.
Toyota is entering new territory with two electrified concepts for a sleek sporty coupe and a big boxy crossover. The automaker revealed the GR HV Sports concept and the Tj Cruiser crossover concept during a Friday preview of its plans for the auto expo this month.
Toyota noted that both vehicles are purely concepts and there is no plan for production.
When it comes to the sporty concept, the GR HV Sports concept draws heavily from the 86 sporty coupe, although it comes with a couple of twists.
Firstly, it comes with a vertical array of LED headlamps, air vents in the hood and a centre mounted, hexagonally-shaped single exhaust pipe. In addition, it gets a Targa top in homage to such venerable convertible forerunners as the Toyota Sports 800 and the Supra. According to Toyota, the matte black finish expresses "aggressiveness."
The GR in the name stands for Gazoo Racing, Toyota Motor Corp.'s global motorsports arm, and the HV stands for hybrid – the segment pioneered by the brand's flagship Prius.
However, under the good, the GR HV Sports doesn't really resemble its hatchback cousin. Instead, the concept brings Toyota Hybrid System-Racing – the electrified drivetrain technology used in the TS050 racer Toyota enters in Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship.
The battery for this concept car is mounted near the centre of the car in order to improve performance handling.
Adding to the fun, there is also the ability to switch between 6-speed manual and automatic transmission modes. Drivers of the rear-wheel-drive, two-seater choose automatic gear positions from a display of buttons on the centre console, providing racing car ambience.
The push-button ignition rests atop the tip of the shift lever – similar to the machine gun trigger in an old James Bond spy car!
"Drivers can delight in the performance of THS-R in a genuine sports car," said Toyota, "while experiencing a sense of freedom thanks to the Targa top."
Practically, Toyota says it will explore a new crossover genre with the Tj Cruiser – a monolithic concept that merges the spaciousness of a cargo van with the feel of an SUV.
The "T" in the name stands for toolbox (appropriate given the concepts boxy dimensions and look) and the "j" stands for the joy that riders get from venturing to different dimensions.
"The Tj Cruiser was designed for drivers with lifestyles where work and play dovetail seamlessly," Toyota added. "The Tj CRUISER symbolizes a new genre."
In addition, the concept is envisioned with a hybrid drivetrain, but with a more pedestrian system mounted to a 2.0-litre class engine. It would ride on the company's next-generation TNGA modularized platform.
The rear doors slide open like a van, while the interior emphasizes creative cargo space and seat manipulation to accommodate everything from bicycles to surfboards.
Both the front and the rear passenger seats fold completely flat, with their seat back equipped with tie-down points.