The 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon will be upon us in January. That means lots of great new-vehicle announcements and some wacky concepts, too. Mitsubishi has revealed some of those from the latter which we present to you here. Sometimes the aftermarket vehicle culture in Japan doesn’t exactly jibe with western tastes. However, that makes it just that much more interesting. At first glance, some of these Tokyo Auto Salon concepts will leave you scratching your head. But once you read what’s behind them it will make more sense. Here goes:
Delica D:5 Concept
Yeah, this is a concept that may not be translating well. Here’s what was behind the creation of this van not available in the US. Teruo Ito is a Japanese director, producer, and writer. His front end rework was driven by the desire to give the Delica an animal-like face. He wanted it to be “like a dog or a member of a family.” To achieve that he worked with Mitsubishi to create a front end with round headlights that look like eyes. In fact, the concept name is loosely translated to mean “D:5 eye.” The color is Light Army Green and the interior coordinates in an olive tartan pattern used throughout. This is a face only a mother could love.
eK Cross Wild Beast
The eK is one of those cool little Kei cars. Japan relaxes taxes on cars of a certain size and engine CC’s that are called “Kei cars.” The Cross Wild Beast is intended to convey a “playful outdoor image” with its modifications. Those mods include the “X” graphics, black contrasting paint and cladding, rocker panels, roof rack with a basket, and all-terrain tires. To guide your viewing pleasure the eK directs you to “Play the Nature” on different parts of the car. Inside all-weather floor mats abound.
Outlander PHEV NERV
A vehicle we do get in the US is the Mitsubishi Outlander. This Japanese version of the Outlander is a concept called “PHEV NERV.” From the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime, NERV is a paramilitary organization that takes on creatures called Angels. The warriors need the protection of the Outlander PHEV from the imaginary Gehirun Corporation. Sitting atop the Outlander is a Kymeta u7 planar satellite antenna that picks up Japanese TV and streaming service, and also Michibiki emergency broadcast and GPS services. The Outlander rides on Crimson Lycan wheels wrapped with Toyo Open Country tires.
Eclipse Cross Weekend Explore
The Weekend Explore is an overlander that can be raised or lowered by a smartphone app. Inside a web portal suggests destinations and activities once you get there. The Weathernews service provides weather info for where you’re going. So, this is an all-in-one vehicle that tells you where to go, what to do, and pertinent info once it takes you there.
Delica D:5 All Blacks Concept
This Delica was used by the New Zealand national rugby team “All Blacks” during the Rugby World Cup which was hosted in Japan in 2019. The Black Pearl paint is accented with All Blacks logos. It rolls on Advan Racing RZII wheels and Yokohama Geolander tires. Mitsubishi also has an All Blacks version for its Eclipse Cross and Outlander PHEV. Unfortunately, the team only placed third in 2019.