2023 Japan Mobility Show: Concepts Reveal Exciting Future of Sports Cars
The 2023 Japan Mobility Show was a scattershot of exciting new concept cars. But the surprising thing was that so many were sports cars, a category virtually abandoned by most automakers in the age of the EV. Some are just wild concepts without much hope of seeing production. But others seem awfully close to production ready. Let’s take a look at the exciting future of sports cars through the show’s concept reveals.
In this article:
Toyota FT-Se sports car
There were so many concepts from Toyota this year we won’t list them all. But we have to start out this treatise with its FT-Se, an EV sports car that looks closer to production than concept. Coming from Toyota’s GR performance division, it realizes the company’s quest for lightweight battery construction. There are digital screens everywhere in the cabin, signaling advanced technology inside and out.
Lexus LF-ZC concept
The LF-ZC stands for Lexus Future Zero-emissions Catalyst. We don’t know if you can call it a sports car at 209 inches long, but it shows more sporting proportions and design than anything before it. The LF-ZC drills down further with what Lexus calls its “Provocative Simplicity” design language. That means sharp breaks and flat surfaces directing your eyes to dance around the form. Lexus says this is close to production and that we’ll be seeing it in 2026. The luxury automaker is shooting for 745 miles of range from solid-state battery technology.
Honda Prelude concept
Quite unexpectedly, Honda came out with its Prelude concept, though it is a concept in name only. It appears to be ready for production. It will have hybrid power and is the first two-door sold by Honda since the Accord left in 2017.
Nissan Hyper Force sports car
Nissan was another automaker that brought to the Mobility Show a gang of concepts, including this outrageous Hyper Force. It is the spiritual successor to the GT-R but as an EV. Nissan says its NISMO racing arm had a hand in keeping the Hyper Force aerodynamic. With supposedly 1,314 hp with the help of solid-state batteries, Nissan is clearly thinking boldly. It is a pure concept, but it shows Nissan is back in business and looking far beyond where we are today.
Mazda Iconic SP concept
We can’t say enough good things about the Mazda Iconic SP. You can call it a hybrid rotary RX-7. Power comes from two rotary engines that charge the battery. While other automakers are going with the brutal hard edge and flat surface design language, Mazda is at the other end with curvy organic surfaces. But add some door handles and window cuts, and it could be a standout MX-5 Miata to Mazda’s future product line. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
Daihatsu Vision Copen sports car
Another sports car that looks ready for production is the Daihatsu Vision Copen. The size harkens back to small roadsters from the 1950s and 1960s. Think 1960s Nissan Fairlady 1600 and 2000 convertibles. For power, it has a 1.3-liter engine transmitting power to the rear wheels. This is as close to a traditional sports car as one can get in 2024.