New Toyota GR HV Sports and Tj Cruiser Concepts – 2017 Tokyo Motor Show Preview

By Steve & Tamami Laser; with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan

Update: attended the Tokyo Motor Show press days. Click or tap on this link for our story that includes photos and videos from the Toyota display.

Toyota is offering a sneak preview of some exciting new concept vehicles at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Let’s take a quick look at two that make our hearts race.

GR HV Sports

At first glance, the new GR HV Sports looks like a larger Toyota 86. However, this rear-drive two-seater is longer and wider while also featuring a hybrid powertrain. Toyota says the design is reminiscent of Gazoo Racing’s TS050 Hybrid WEC racer while a targa top brings to mind the classic Sports 800 (Yotahachi) and Supra.

Update: Here’s a photo of the concept that we made at the Tokyo Motor Show. See our story at this link.

Design cues include stacked rows of LED headlights, big alloy wheels, a rear diffuser and centrally mounted exhaust. While Toyota’s previous sporty concepts were painted bright red (FT-1) and yellow (SF-R), this one is dressed in stealthy matte black.

On the inside, the driver can select “P-R-N-D-M” from the auto transmission using “racing-style” buttons mounted on the center panel and use the floor shifter with its H-style gate to shift manually. Push-button ignition is located on top of the shift knob for fun (the red cap swings opens to reveal a James-Bond like hidden switch).

We don’t have powertrain specs, yet GR HV is said to employ the Toyota Hybrid System-Racing (THS-R) design infused with technology from the TS050 (could it be a 2.4-liter V6 turbo and 8MJ hybrid?) while the battery is mounted near the center of the car. We can’t wait to hear more about the GR HV Sports at the show.

Tj Cruiser

While the GR HV aims to satisfy the cravings of sports car enthusiasts, the Tj Cruiser targets folks with active outdoor lifestyles. The name brings to mind the beloved FJ Cruiser that’s still in production in Japan (it’s going away soon). Yet this new concept is smaller and more van-like.

Riding on the TNGA platform that also underpins the Toyota C-HR and FT-4X concept, the “T” in Tj stands for “Toolbox” and the “j” stands for “joy.” The square, funky design pays dividends inside the cabin where it translates into maximum utility space for toting gear.

We like the look of the dash with a horizontal design that emphasizes width. Displays are positioned on top like the Prius (which also uses the TNGA platform). Toyota says the Tj is designed to run with a 2.0-liter sized gas engine and hybrid system sending power to the front or all four wheels.

Van-like sliding doors offer easy entry for folks or stuff like surfboards. With the front passenger seat and left side of the split-rear seat folded down, items up to three meters long can fit inside. A big swing-open tailgate can be used to load bikes or camping gear. We look forward to seeing the new Tj at the show.

News source and photos (as noted) courtesy Toyota Motor Corp.

Story and photo (as noted) © 2017