2022 Tokyo Auto Salon - A Round-up

BY Vivek Max R

I wonder if you know, how they live in Tokyo, if you seen it, then you mean it, then you know you have to go...

... but if you couldn't go, here's a quick look at the noteworthy and the "what were they thinking bro?"


So Honda has unveiled a camo-wrapped Civic Type R, complete with video clips of it charging around Suzuka Circuit, and we here at Burnpavement are happy that it appears to look more subdued than the incumbent FK8R, with its plethora of fake vents and aero devices.

The outgoing model features a 2-litre turbo inline-4 engine pumping out 315hp. We hope the next variant takes things up to around 340hp.

Unwrapping later this year will tell the full story.


Over on Subaru's stand, the eye-catching STI Electric-Record-Attempt or E-RA concept electric race car was unveiled. While combating global warming, Subaru also hopes to clock 6 minutes 40 seconds around the Nürburgring from 2023 onwards.

With a newly adopted proprietary 4-motor 4-wheel torque vectoring technology that sends 1088hp to the road powered by a 60kWh lithium battery pack, it will be interesting to see what lap times Subaru manage to set around The Green Hell.

Meanwhile, the 2.4-litre turbo boxer-4 275hp JDM WRX S4 was seen tarted up with STI bits such as the cherry red lower lips and an STI wing and shown as the WRX S4 STI performance concept.

If this is Subaru Technica International's way of dropping hints as to what the next proper WRX STI could look like, we approve. Let's just hope that the eyesore-inducing black plasticky bits become less pronounced in favour of some painted items, despite what Subaru says about aerodynamic improvements.

We also hope that with the new FA24DIT engine, and with STI breathing its expertise upon it, the world gets to see at least 350hp out of the box. If things stay at 300hp, it will be very disappointing indeed, as European rivals are all playing the same ballpark now. But, Subaru has had a history of disappointing horsepower numbers with previous EJ25 STIs, so we're not holding our breath.

At least enthusiasts get to celebrate the soldiering-on of the STI where the Evo has been well and truly dead for years now.

With the same engine and horsepower as the S4, and also tarted up with STI aero bits, the Levorg STI Performance concept was shown.

Word via the grapevine is that the new Levorg is likely to be called WRX Sportwagon in the land Down Under. We think that the alternative naming-scheme, if true, should extend beyond Australia to the rest of the world. Why?

Because "Grovel! U R A BUS!" is Subaru Levorg backwards.


Toyota Gazoo Racing, or TGR, unveiled its sleek and stunning GR GT3 concept. It looks like it's race-ready, and may possibly replace the Lexus RC-F GT3.

Which then begs the question - is this Toyota's way at hinting at a new supercar? Something that sits above the Supra and replaces the halo Lexus LFA? The GT3 category is a production-based series, so time will tell what Toyota has up its sleeve.

TGR also brought out the 500-unit limited-run GRMN Yaris, which is a JDM-only model. Toyota says the GRMN Yaris "is a fully tuned model of the GR Yaris that has gone through rigorous refinement with professional drivers," where almost 20kg of weight has been shaved and overall width and height have been increased and reduced by 10mm respectively for better performance and handling.

A close-ratio gearbox with mechanical LSD has been fitted for an even more hair-raising turn of speed. The same 1.6-litre inline-3 turbo engine as the regular GR Yaris keeps the standard 268hp, but torque rises 20Nm to 390Nm.

Sales of the GRMN Yaris will be done via a lottery, and sold through GR Garages in Japan, although we won't be surprised if a few units turn up on our shores courtesy of enterprising parallel importers and commanding premium prices.


Over at Nissan, the JDM Fairlady Z was unveiled after its world premiere in August 2021. After a seriously long run of 15 years with the 370Z, we're certainly looking forward to the new Z making waves.

Featuring a 3-litre V6 twin-turbo engine putting down 400hp, the new Z should be a hoot to behold and drive. How many other front-engined, rear-wheel drive , manual transmission coupes occupy our market? Not many. That's why we enthusiasts at Burnpavement welcome the new Z with open arms, IF it makes it to Singapore.

Ariya is Nissan's first fully electric crossover, and was introduced for pre-order for the Japan market.

Nissan estimates that the Ariya will have a range of up to 610km, and cossets its occupants like a luxurious lounge. Arya is also said to feature semi-autonomous driving. Two battery capacities, 63kWh and 87kWh, are available with either a single-motor two-wheel drive or dual-motor all-wheel drive configurations.

Does anyone fancy an overland expedition to Nepal and Bhutan? Ah, well, Nissan has you covered there with the appropriately-named Caravan Mountain Base concept, featuring a roof-mounted foldout solar panel with more solar panels along the side, a slim work station, utility-driven walls and a digital fireplace. A tough texture finishes the rugged look.

We don't think any Sherpas will be falling over themselves to get the Caravan Mountain Base concept, but it might appeal to the rough and ready city-dweller.

Which then brings us on to the
"What were they thinking bro?"
segment. Since each picture tells a thousand words:

Subaru Solterra STI Concept

Subaru Solterra STI Concept

Sol = Sun. Terra = Earth. We get it. Subaru's on a drive to go green. The standard Solterra looks relatively okay. Tarting it up with STI bits and painting it Sickly Smurf makes it look... well... see for yourself.

Lexus NX PHEV Offroad and ROV concepts

Lexus NX PHEV Offroad and ROV concepts

Dunno why off-road vehicles would best represent a "carbon-neutral society" "while living in harmony with nature" as Toyota calls it. Sure, the NX PHEV OFFROAD Concept, based on the NX 450h+, features a hydrogen engine that emits nothing but pure water vapour - clean and green - but how does off-roading help?

Mitsubishi Outlander Wild Adventure Style

Mitsubishi Outlander Wild Adventure Style

Mitsubishi K-EV concept X Style

Mitsubishi K-EV concept X Style

Sure, the drive to go fully electric is commendable, especially with a kei-car, but seriously, what's up with those headlights? Looks like both the K-EV concept X Style and the Outlander Wild Adventure Style were pre-crashed before being exhibited.

Maybe with one exception ...

Mitsubishi Vision Ralliart Concept

Mitsubishi Vision Ralliart Concept

... mmmmm. But hmmmm. Ralliart was held in high regard back in the day. What's the Vision's vision then? Mitsubishi says it has 22-inch rims and 6-piston brake-calipers and talks about "high driving performance," but glaringly provided few other technical details.

And to make matters worse, ...

Eclipse Cross Ralliart Style

Eclipse Cross Ralliart Style

... Mitsubishi also showed the Outlander Ralliart Style and Eclipse Cross Ralliart Style and says both "offer a sense of excitement to customers who seek their own unique driving and styling." Really? Is Ralliart relegated to offering bodykits, mudflaps and stickers? Is that what Mitsubishi truly want Ralliart to be?

Thank goodness for STI. We'll take our Solterra in Sickly Smurf with cherry-pink garnishing please.