The Tokyo Motor Show isn’t like a lot of car shows around the world. It’s truly dominated by domestic (i.e., Japanese) brands. There are zero American carmakers here, and the Germans are a token presence. Argue geopolitics all you want; the lack of a foreign stake is probably a net negative for the world “caring” about this car show.
Save that the world does buy a lot of Japanese cars, and the single biggest brand bought is Toyota. So it’s fitting that this show was full up with their designs. Toyota has a long history of major showmanship throughout the history of this event. For instance, in 1969 they showed off the EX-1 Concept, a car that would later become the Celica.
And, no, circa 2017, they didn’t show the next-generation Celica sports car here as many journalists hoped, but they, and several other Japanese brands, did show off a lot of cool cars you may or may not see in some guise on the world’s roads soon—or possibly never.
Car show means it’s as much about dreams and theater as reality. Regardless, here are a few of our favorites and what they might mean to the future of what you drive or are driven in.