2015 Tokyo Motor Show: Top Performance Cars

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHigh Performance in Tokyo
For most people, cars are simply a way of getting from point A to point B, but there are those of us who try to find the twisty, serpentine, fun-to-drive roads, believing the journey is just as important as the destination (if not more so). At the 44th Tokyo Motor Show, we saw a lot of point A to point B cars — but on the flipside were 15 high-performance rides that would make any drive a blast. Granted, some of these are still true concepts so a little imagination may be needed when it comes to actual performance, but they certainly play the part. Let’s look at our favorite actual (and virtual) performance cars from the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePorsche 911 Carrera 4
Porsche has been slowly rolling out the latest version of the iconic 911 sports car. Here in Tokyo the automaker debuted the all-wheel-drive version — the Carrera 4. Available as coupe or convertible and in normal or S trim, the Carrera 4 accounts for about one-third of total 911 sales worldwide.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePorsche 911 Carrera 4
The new Carrera 4 gets the latest flat-six engine, and all are now turbocharged. Power is rated at 370 horses in the standard Carrera 4, with 420 horsepower in the 4S. Able to sprint to 62 mph in just 4.1 seconds (or 3.8 seconds in the 4S), the all-wheel drive variants are quicker than their rear-wheel-drive siblings.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBMW M4 GTS
The BMW M4 GTS comes from a long line of special, high-performance 3 Series models from BMW, including the 1995 M3 GT, 2003 M3 CSL and 2010 M3 GTS. This special-edition M4 will be limited to just 700 units and celebrates the 30th anniversary of the BMW M3 (the M4 is the new name for the 2-door M3).

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBMW M4 GTS
Part of what makes this M4 special is what lurks under the hood — the already powerful inline 6-cylinder turbocharged engine incorporates BMW’s water-injection technology, which increases horsepower to 500 and torque to 442 lb-ft. The M4 GTS is also more agile than the standard M4, making it perfect for road or track.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru WRX STI S207
The WRX STI is already a high-performance sedan, but this special S207 version kicks things up a notch. The impressive turbocharged engine gets tuned by STI to increase power to around 325 horses. Handling improves via a quicker steering ratio and the addition of a flexible tower bar, front suspension with adjustable damping and front-rear Active Torque Vectoring.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru WRX STI S207
Stopping power in the S207 also improves over the standard STI, with high-performance Brembo brakes and specially designed 255/35R19 tires. A large rear spoiler helps keep the car stable and completes the high-performance styling. Only 400 of these limited-editions STIs will be built, and we’re sorry to report that Subaru doesn’t have plans to bring any S207s to the U.S.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMazda RX-Vision
Although this sexy concept would certainly turn heads if it ever hit the streets, Mazda has no plans to build this one-of-a-kind sports car. With its low, wide stance, short overhangs and sleek roofline, the RX is clearly a true sports car, emphasizing the front-engine rear-wheel-drive architecture. Styling is reminiscent of past Mazda sports cars, but incorporates design language that could translate to a future model.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMazda RX-Vision
Under the hood of the RX-Vision sits a next-generation rotary powerplant called the SKYACTIV-R. And this is where you need to use your imagination — no details have been released about the engine. We trust that if Mazda were to build it, power would match the RX’s sporty looks.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePorsche Macan GTS
The German automaker has always stayed true to its roots, emphasizing the “sport” in its sport-utility vehicles. That emphasis gets turned up a notch with the Macan GTS. The GTS stands out in the Macan lineup with its combination of high-gloss bodywork and matte-finish accents in the rocker areas, as well as carbon fiber trim, a lowered ride height and special 20-inch matte-black wheels.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperiencePorsche Macan GTS
As expected, the GTS is much more machine than its visceral good looks. The chassis has been reengineered and brakes reinforced. The GTS has tighter, sportier suspension than the rest of the Macan lineup, and the 3.0-liter biturbo V6 engine gets teamed with Porsche’s PDK transmission. With 360 horsepower on tap, the Macan GTS hits 60 mph in about five seconds.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHonda Civic Type R
Honda had a simple goal when designing the Civic Type R — produce the fastest front-wheel-drive production car, as well as one that provides “a driving feel like none other, both on the circuit and on the road.”

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHonda Civic Type R
The 2.0-liter VTEC Turbo engine produces more than 300 horsepower, making this the most powerful Civic Type R ever. And with an aggressive-looking grille with a wide front splitter, side skirts, lightweight 19-inch wheels, a large rear spoiler and quad exhaust pipes, it definitely looks the part. And, yes, this Civic Type R is coming to America.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo
Easily one of the most outrageous sports cars on display at this year’s Tokyo show, the Nissan CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo was first shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. For Tokyo Nissan gave the GT a new matte red finish. The prominent fenders are fitted like wings around the 2+2 passenger cabin.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceNissan CONCEPT 2020 Vision Gran Turismo
Power for this concept comes from a high-performance AWD hybrid system utilizing a twin-turbo V6 engine combined with three electric motors for instant acceleration. Unfortunately, we can clearly see that the only roads this GT will ever travel are virtual — it is available to drive only in Gran Turismo 6 on Sony PlayStation3.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experiencekode9 Production Model
Ken Okuyama Design (KOD) provides consulting services to a number of industries, as well as coachbuilding services with multiple one-off projects, but at this year’s Tokyo show the company showed its latest creation, the kode9 Production Model.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experiencekode9 Production Model
This unique lightweight coupe features a sloping hood with broad fenders that flow into the doors. The deck behind the cabin flows smoothly to the taillights, broken only by the rear fin. A high-definition camera is mounted in the fin in lieu of a rear window. A 1.8-liter supercharged engine provides power; however, customers may select their own engine.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRadical RXC Turbo
Never did a car fit its name better than this Radical. The RXC turbo is an extreme sports car that offers impressive performance both on the track and the street. Yes, the RXC is street legal — even in America. Power comes from a modified Ford EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 engine tuned to put out 454 horsepower.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceRadical RXC Turbo
The RXC’s 454 horsepower may not seem like much in the world of exotic sports cars, but the Radical weighs around 2,000 pounds (about 700 pounds less than a Honda Civic) — which is why it can reach 60 mph in around 2.6 seconds and has a top speed of 185 mph.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceYamaha Sports Ride Concept
The company best known for building motorcycles introduced a car at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. The Sports Ride Concept looks like a baby supercar and features a lightweight, rigid chassis with optimized weight distribution. The concept fulfills the idea of building a sports car with the direct-connection experience so elemental to motorcycles.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceYamaha Sports Ride Concept
High-quality materials are evident in the 2-seat cabin that Yamaha says would be for everyday use. No powertrain details were discussed; naturally, we’d expect a small, lightweight high-output powertrain were Yamaha to decide to go further with this concept.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHino500 Dakar Racer
Trucks that race in the Dakar Rally take performance to a whole different level. This Hino 500 — known as the “Little Monster” — takes on trucks much larger with great success. Featuring massive tires, outrageous suspension setups and with front and rear locking differentials, it seems that no obstacle would be too big for this truck.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceHino500 Dakar Racer
Power comes from a 6-cylinder diesel engine putting out more than 600 horses and a whopping 1663 lb-ft of torque at just 1200 rpm. The Dakar Rally offers some extreme terrain, but this truck can still exceed 100 mph — that would be a sight, and an even wilder ride.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAudi RS6 Avant
We see this high-performance wagon at all the international auto shows, and every time we do it reaffirms our desire for one. The RS6 Avant sits low — hunkered down on its 20-inch twin-spoke alloy wheels with the larger fender flares, indicating the great power at all four wheels. Under the hood lurks a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 engine putting out 605 horsepower and more than 500 lb-ft of torque.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAudi RS6 Avant
That much grunt under the hood, putting power to all four wheels with Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel drive system gets the RS6 Avant to 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds, with a top speed of almost 190 mph. With an elegant interior and useful space inside, this is the ultimate family hauler. Unfortunately the RS6 is not sold in America, and Audi has no plans to change that.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceAcura NSX
Ten years after the original NSX was discontinued, an all-new NSX is coming to market. The 2017 NSX hybrid powerplant consists of a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine teamed with a 9-speed dual-clutch transmission and direct-drive electric motor powering the rear wheels. Two additional electric motors power the front wheels. The result: 573 horsepower and a unique all-wheel drive system providing instant torque and traction.

© Mike MeredithAcura NSX
Like the original, this NSX is also designed to handle extremely well, aided by the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive and a low center of gravity. This new NSX provides considerably more performance than the original, as it should, but not without a price. The 2017 NSX is expected to cost in excess of $150,000 — a big jump from the $89,000 price of a new 2005 NSX.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBMW Alpina B6 Biturbo Cabrio Edition 50
Since 1965 Alpina has been creating high-performance special versions of BMW automobiles, and here in Tokyo the company is celebrating its 50th anniversary. In honor of this momentous occasion, a limited run of just 50 Alpina B6 Biturbo Cabrios will be sold.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceBMW Alpina B6 Biturbo Cabrio Edition 50
This elegant convertible features lightweight forged wheels, a titanium exhaust, high-performance brakes and a revised 4.4-liter V8 engine producing 600 horsepower. This special convertible can reach 62 mph in just 4.2 seconds.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-AMG GT3
Mercedes-Benz showed its latest race car in Tokyo: the Mercedes-AMG GT3, which is being sold to customer teams to compete in the FIA GT3 series. Based on the Mercedes-AMG GT production car, the performance improvements for racing include a wider body, larger air inlets, fender louvers, a rear diffuser and a large rear wing. The main structure is an aluminum spaceframe, and the body is primarily carbon fiber.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMercedes-AMG GT3
Power comes from a 6.3-liter AMG V8 engine with a sequential 6-speed racing transmission mounted at the rear axle. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 succeeds the SLS AMG GT3, which earned 187 wins since 2010. The first customer cars are expected to be delivered by the end of 2015 for the 2016 season.

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4 Comments

  1. Carlton Reid

    I guess the days of the family cars are coming to an end. Most of these car are built for two people only.

  2. Barry Stern

    Hi Perry,

    You’re mom forwarded your Tokyo Motor Show article. Great cars and comments.

    What I didn’t see is my next personal conveyance. As an official “old guy”, I was hoping to see something that would favor my declining judgment and reflexes. Specifically, A walker with a “Clarabelle Aooogah” horn, colorful streamers from the handle bars, and a Kem card clacking across the spokes that sound just like a Kem card clacking against the spokes.

    I’m envious. You go to Tokyo, and I wind up in Tucson. We had sushi last night. Does that count?

    Best at ya,
    Barry

  3. Theodore M

    Love the Cars but what’s up with all these goofy “Wings” on the back of everything? Reminds me of the 60’s “Fins” on all those cars. Looks tacky.

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