Here's our list of five concepts cars showcased at Toyko that make perfect sense for India. Not in the form they are now, of course, but in terms of what they could become. And here's why...
Honda Sports Urban EV
If this is the future of cars to come, I couldn't be happier. Just look at the way it is so beautifully proportioned and with such a lovely retro aura. Ramsey would be proud. Sure, the concept is all electric, but in two years, the world might actually see an IC production version of the car. And if that comes with a FR layout as the design suggests, it would be a home run. Imagine an affordable, long-hooded, rear wheel drive, manual sportscar; it's the stuff of dreams!
Four wheel drive, great wheel articulation, a small wheelbase, lightweight, and sturdily built - what more could an enthusiast ask for from an off-roader. And, the e-Surviour seems to have its creature comforts and basic ergonomics sorted too. Sure, we'd like the road-going (or is that off-road) version to have a hard roof. But even without it, it would make for such a lovely recreational vehicle. Again, the millennials would bite into it like Bugs Bunny chomping down a carrot. And of course, it looks cool. If I were the future Thar, I'd be very worried looking at the e-Survivor, especially the badge.
Daihatsu DN Trec
Now this compact SUV looks promising. We don't know if it's under 4 metres, but it sure looks like it. Moreover, even though Daihatsu isn't coming to India very soon, this could very well be sold as a Toyota in India. With affordable pricing and of course, regular doors instead of suicide ones, and more road-going tyres, it can take the fight to Brezza. It will do what the Etios failed to achieve - get big numbers for the maker and give us Indians a small Toyota to cherish.
Daihatsu DN Compagno
Unlike the Trec, the Compagno wouldn't have it that easy in India. Again, it would have to come as a Toyota. But with the compact or affordable class of sedans not doing very well, except for the Maruti Dzire, it would need to have a solid USP. That USP will be its styling. The Trec comes across as a heady blend of retro and quirkiness which the millennials would lap up. That coupe roofline and polarising face has youth written all over it.
We have all seen SUV-coupes; the BMW X6 and Audi's own Q8 are good examples. The Elaine, however, is different. It's more like a coupe-sportscar but with an SUV twist. It looks gorgeous. It's got outdoors and sportiness written all over it. Now, this is something I would personally root for given the ground clearance and its sporty demeanour. But even as a car for road use, you could take it to the track, through all your favourite twisties, or even on a road trip to Ladakh, and you would have a great time on all counts.