Nissan ARIYA concept - Tokyo Auto Show
Nissan ARIYA concept - Tokyo Auto Show

ALL roads lead to an electric future, or at least that’s what it seems like with Nissan and Lexus both revealing EV concept vehicles at the Tokyo Motor Show, while Mazda also unveiled its first ever mass production electric vehicle, the MX-30.

For Nissan, the Ariya Concept represents the dawn of a new era, as the car maker looks to redefine its brand philosophy. The Ariya crossover EV features twin electric motors, powerful acceleration, and award winning driver assistance technology.

A spacious, premium cabin with high tech features and a body that conveys the pure, clean nature of electric cars, the Ariya includes a bold electrified V-motion signature ‘shield’ grille and striking rear light blade, and short overhangs.

Highlighting the vehicle’s exterior profile are five blade, 21-inch aluminum wheels and custom tyres, while a low, sleek roof line allows the vehicle to slice through the air. It’s steeply raked C-pillar is also a departure from traditional SUVs.

Its Suisei Blue paint scheme creates a dual appearance, depending on the distance viewed. From afar, the deep blue colour takes on a matte like finish. Upon closer inspection, large embedded glass flakes produce billions of light refractions.

Inside, the minimalist dashboard is uncluttered by the buttons and switches found in conventional vehicles. The only physical controls are the start button, a single knob to operate the 12.3-inch display monitor, and the climate controls.

The instrument panel transitions flawlessly into the doors and interior elements, to be out of sight when not in use. The Ariya Concept’s supportive, comfortable seats feature a super-thin frame, providing even more free interior space and enhanced visibility.

The perforated leather front and rear seats are positioned to ensure that everyone has a great view of the surroundings and offer a sensation reminiscent of floating on a magic carpet. A brilliant copper fabric under the perforation adds beauty and depth.

Throughout the cabin, interior materials were carefully selected to give an impression of solidness, technology and utility. Fine black synthetic leather covers the instrument panel and inner door panels.

A different grade of synthetic leather with a textured grain lines the A-pillar and ceiling. This provides a subtle yet effective visual contrast. Satin copper-coloured aluminium accents are incorporated into the instrument panel, seats and steering wheel.

The interior feels more like a lounge than a conventional vehicle, and although it’s a concept vehicle, the crossover EV’s bold styling and unconventional interior and exterior elements could make it into production in the near future.

2020 Mazda MX-30
2020 Mazda MX-30

Japanese car maker Mazda has also revealed its first mass production electric vehicle in Tokyo, to be called the MX-30, with the new model offering a creative design and space that invites new ways of using a vehicle.

Under the Car-as-Art ethos, the styling of MX-30 aims to raise its artistic value and expand the expressive range of Mazda’s Kodo – Soul of Motion design language, and is based on a concept of ‘Human Modern’.

Spaces in and around the centre console give the cabin an open feel, and environmentally conscious materials such as cork and fabrics made from recycled materials are used in ways that bring out their natural appeal, creating a comfortable interior space.

In addition, the MX-30 features freestyle doors (centre opening double doors), and is powered by Mazda’s new electric-drive technology, e–Skyactiv, and combines outstanding response with smooth dynamic behaviour to achieve performance that drivers can enjoy.

The MX-30 is the second completely new model launched by Mazda this year, following the unveiling of the CX-30 in Geneva.

Lexus LF-30 Concept
Lexus LF-30 Concept

Lexus is set to follow suit, with its first full-electric production vehicle to be revealed in November, but has used the Tokyo show to showcase the LF-30, it’s advanced concept for battery-powered vehicles that deliver unmatched driver fulfillment.

The Lexus LF-30 electrified concept points to upcoming battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) that deliver a fundamental leap in performance, handling, control and driver enjoyment.

Its technology enables integrated control of the power train, steering, suspension and brakes to provide the ideal vehicle posture in each situation, including provision of front, rear and all-wheel drive as required.

The luxury lifestyle brand says it will further expand its electrified vehicle line-up early in the coming decade with the first Lexus plug-in hybrid and a new dedicated BEV platform, as well as hybrid and fuel-cell technologies.

In the case of the LF-30 show car, it fundamentally transforms the essence of luxury vehicles, delivering a tantalising peek towards 2030, with its futuristic look, newly designed cockpit, steer-by-wire system and autonomous driving technologies.

It is designed to deliver a dynamic experience unlike any currently available, with in-wheel electric motors and maximum outputs of 400kW and 700Nm, and a 0-100km/h acceleration time of just 3.8 seconds.

Evoking the original fun of driving a Lexus, and sure to wow the crowd in Tokyo, its technology includes new advanced posture control, drone support and other electrification technologies to further evolve driving pleasure.

The Lexus Electrified LF-30 draws on core technologies found in its self-charging hybrid-electric models, including battery management, power control modules, and electric motors. By 2025, Lexus will have electrified versions available for all models.

Should other manufacturers launch electric vehicles at the Tokyo Motor Show, we will update this story to include those details.

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