EVERY GOOD CAR show features cool concept cars. Some of them are pre-production versions of vehicles automakers are working on, but the really fun ones are fanciful, even wild, visions of the future of mobility. And few concepts are quite as fun as those that roll out at the Tokyo Motor Show.
We’re in an age where autonomous driving is upon us, the shift from internal combustion to batteries is at hand, and connectivity is as important to consumers as performance. “Mobility” is the new buzz word as automakers ponder this new world. These trends provide fertile ground for designers, and concept vehicles free them from annoying constraints like safety regulations, aerodynamics, manufacturability, and common sense. It is a chance to dream, and to let imaginations run wild. Sometimes, some of the things they come up with actually ends up in showrooms.
We’ve selected 10 of the most fascinating, beguiling, persuasive, and nonsensical concepts from the Tokyo show. Most have no chance of reaching the public, but taken together, they offer a fascinating glimpse at what we may be driving—or what may be driving us—before too long.