Want to Become a Mechanic? Get An Inside Look at the 2016 Tokyo Auto Salon

The Tokyo Auto Salon is different from other auto shows. The annual event focuses on custom and tuned cars, performance, and technology. As a result, attendees see fewer commercial vehicles and more unique and wonderful cars on display, with businesses from all areas of the industry showing off their dazzling custom designs, souped-up hot rods, and elaborate chop jobs.

This show is a chance for Japan’s major automakers to showcase some of their wilder, more ambitious concept cars, and this year’s event featured a number of innovative designs, with Toyota, Mazda and Nissan among those eager to impress.

For auto mechanic students, there was plenty to be excited about. Here are just a few of the best autos the event had to offer.

Toyota’s FT-1: Why Auto Pros Hope This Car Makes it to Production

The FT-1‘s dramatic, curved body design includes a retractable rear wing for additional downforce, as well as exterior inlets and vents for airflow management. The front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout allows the cockpit to be situated further back to improve weight distribution, and the wraparound windshield design was inspired by the legendary 2000GT.

Students pursuing an auto mechanic apprenticeship will be disappointed to learn that Toyota has left the engine specs of the car to our imaginations. However, with some critics calling it the best Toyota design ever and rumors circulating that the concept will eventually become a next-generation of the legendary Supra, expect something impressive if the car ever becomes a reality.

Toyota S-FR: An Automotive Mechanic’s Guide to the Miata’s New Challenger

This Toyota concept, which was on display at the show, might be a bit closer to production. The S-FR is the company’s vision for a compact, affordable sportscar that can compete with the Mazda’s beloved MX-5 Miata.

With its main rival often cited as one the best cars ever produced, the S-FR faces quite a challenge. It certainly looks the part, with a sporty lightweight design, and the rumored 130hp, 1.5 liter four-cylinder engine should ensure it provides a drive that’s similar to the Miata. Reports have also suggested that Toyota is planning to make this car significantly cheaper than its competitor, with a price of around $17,500.

The S-FR was designed to compete with the Mazda MX-5 Miata.
The S-FR was designed to compete with the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Mazda RX-Vision: Are Auto Mechanic Students Seeing A Rotary Revival?

Automotive mechanic students probably won’t come across many rotary engines during their training. The system, which uses a triangular rotor instead of pistons, provides better power-to-weight ratio than traditional engines, but is often unreliable and inefficient, and few automakers use it today.

Mazda, however, has long been a champion of rotary engines, most notably in its now-defunct RX series The fittingly named RX-Vision Concept, which was on display at the Auto Salon, has led to talk of a rotary revival. The car’s stunning design recalls the style of previous RX models, and the company is developing a next-generation SkyActiv-R rotary engine for the car. Whether it can conform to modern emissions standards—which are what ultimately led to the RX-8 ceasing production—is another matter.

Check out the RX-Vision here:


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