Tracking Tokyo’s top performers

Mazda Motor @Tokyo Motor Show

Interestingly, the single biggest click-magnet of the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show was the BMW X2. We shouldn’t be surprised. Crossovers of all shapes and sizes dominate the American marketplace, and the X2 is clearly the most attractive of BMW’s even-numbered, coupe-influenced X models. Plus, it’s headed for production, with sales starting in the spring of 2018.

Sequels are almost never better than the original — just ask my younger brother. So it should come as no surprise that the follow-up to Honda’s scene-stealing charmer, the Urban EV from the Frankfurt show, didn’t light up the dojo in Tokyo. Yes, the back half is nicely done despite a blind spot the size of Vermont, but the odd proportions of the squished front end look like a cartoon. Overall, the car is too damn cute; it looks like a hand-held vacuum I’m getting my aunt for Christmas. Extra demerits to Honda brass for playing up this car’s “beautility.” Even Pat Sajak knows that’s not a word.

And truth is, Japanese cars still account for a lot of car sales, especially in Australia where 29 per cent of cars sold here this year are made in the Land of the Rising Sun. And that’s not including vehicles from Japanese brands built in other countries, such as the monstrous-selling, Thailand- built Toyota HiLux.

Admittedly, there were more concepts this year than production model debuts — but it’s clear some of these show cars will be direct ancestors to road-going cars in the future.

Mazda Motor @Tokyo Motor Show

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