2015 Tokyo Motor Show: CarSifu goes to Japan

By CARSIFU | 27 October 2015

TOKYO: The opening of the 44th Tokyo Motor Show is imminent.

And CarSifu has despatched two of its guys over to Tokyo to cover Toyota, Honda and the show in general. Editor Hong Boon How is with the Toyota group while Thomas Huong is focusing on Honda.

Along the way, there will be side trips organised separately by the two car makers.

Huong has just reported in from Twin Ring Motegi, with two off-the-cuff videos on the Honda BR-V, the S660 convertible and Jade RS MPV, which began selling in Japan earlier this year.

Motegi is 145km northeast of Tokyo and is about 2 hours 30mins drive from the capital. Twin Ring Motegi, surrounded by forests, is so called because it comprises two racing courses: Super Speedway, an American-style oval course, and Road Course, with a European layout.

Below is Huong's report on location at Motegi ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show (Oct 30-Nov 8) coverage.

Honda pre-Tokyo Motor Show report
CarSifu had a brief drive experience of the Honda Jade RS MPV or multi-purpose vehicle, S660 two door/two seater compact convertible and a prototype of the BR-V. Each car was driven on two short laps at open air test pads near the Twin Ring Motegi, Japan.

The Jade RS has a 1.5L VTEC turbo, direct injection, dual VTC engine with 150 PS @ 5,500rpm and 203Nm @ 1,600 to 5,000rpm. This is mated to a six speed CVT.

Our Jade RS test drive unit came with automatic engine start-stop and touchscreen display, and  feels quite premium. We liked its quick and responsive acceleration, and good handling in the bends as it rides on 215/50 R17 tyres.

Jade RS.
Jade RS.

As for the S660, it is powered by a rear mounted 660cc turbo engine that has 64 PS @ 6,000rpm and 104Nm of torque @ 2,600rpm. With a CVT gearbox, it has a fuel economy rated at 24.2km per litre based on Japan's JC08 mode.

The S660 has a fun-to-drive character, with its compact dimensions, as we discovered. It's very perky in acceleration, too.

With 165/55 R15 tyres in front and bigger 195/45 R16 rear tyres, the S660 has a planted feel when we tackled corners aggressively.

The S660.
The S660.

Meanwhile, the BR-V has a 1.5L i-VTEC engine with 120 PS @ 6,600rpm and 145Nm @ 4,600rpm. This is mated to a CVT gearbox.

The BR-V had a concept shown at the recent Jakarta Motor Show, and we briefly test drove the prototype in Motegi, which is likely very close to the production model.

The BR-V, first unveiled in Indonesia, and now available for a drive in Motegi, Japan.
The BR-V, first unveiled in Indonesia, and now available for a drive in Motegi, Japan.

The seven-seater BR-V is another Honda car that has a very spacious cabin, with practical second and third row seats that can be flipped up to create more storage space.

Honda executives say the BR-V will be launched in Asean in the near future and with this model, Honda has a SUV product for large families who want a vehicle with higher ground clearance and not priced at premium level.