By Steve & Tamami Laser; with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan
The Tokyo Auto Salon is one of our favorite car shows in Japan. While the organizers had planned to stage the 2021 edition of the annual show at Makuhari Messe, due to concerns over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Tokyo Auto Salon Association (TASA) decided to cancel the live expo, and make it a virtual event.
Live stream Auto Salon TV and Virtual Auto Salon went online from Jan. 15-17 (JST) and can be accessed via the highlighted links. TASA says that approximately 280 exhibitors showed their cars and services in their own virtual “booths.” Access to the Virtual Auto Salon is planned to be maintained online through the end of Nov. 2021.
Here’s a quick look at two new concepts that Honda debuted online.
Honda Fit e:HEV CROSSTAR Custom Concept
The Honda Fit e:HEV CROSSTAR Custom (above) is based on the all-new Fit that was introduced in Japan last year. Honda has customized CROSSTAR to further accentuate its “SUV” image and express an urban outdoor lifestyle. We can see a new lower front fascia, larger wheels and tires, and “Honda Design” logo on the side trim.
Update: The above “Designer’s Voice” video, from the Honda YouTube channel in Japan, offers a closer look at the new Fit e:HEV CROSSTAR Custom concept, hosted by Takahiro Yamasaki, from Honda R&D. (video: Honda)
Honda N-VAN Custom “3rd Place Van” Concept
Another customized Honda that made its debut online is based on the N-VAN. Honda says the new N-VAN Custom “3rd Place Van” concept is modified to seamlessly connect to work and hobbies, such as a café, or a camper for holidays.
Update: Norimichi Araki and Tomoya Sato, from Honda R&D, discuss the new N-VAN Custom “3rd Place Van,” in the video above from the Honda YouTube channel in Japan. (video: Honda)
2021 Honda Fit Accessories from Honda Access
The fourth-generation Fit production models that went on sale in Japan last year were redesigned inside and out. Since its introduction in Japan in 2001, Honda has sold more than 7.5 million units worldwide.
For 2021, Honda continues to offer the Fit in five models for the Japan market: BASIC, HOME, NESS, CROSSTAR and LUXE. Each features unique themes, available equipment and trim.
Fit showcases high-efficiency e:HEV technology, with an available 1.5-liter DOHC i-VTEC gas engine, two-motor hybrid, and electric CVT, plus a choice of front or 4-wheel drive. Fit CROSSTAR is shown above dressed with accessories from Honda Access.
The Fit CROSSTAR features crossover-inspired styling cues, including a unique front grille, lower body and fender trim, special alloy wheels, water-repellent seating surfaces and integrated roof rails.
This video, from the Honda Access YouTube channel in Japan, highlights genuine Honda accessories offered for the new Fit CROSSTAR. (video: Honda Access)
Customers can dress up and personalize their Fit in Japan with Honda Access. The roster of accessories for Fit CROSSTAR includes lower front and rear garnish with bright silver accents, roof crossbars, LED fog lights, and decals for the body side and tailgate.
A variety of optional navigation systems for Fit includes the 9-inch Gathers Premium Internavi, and 8-inch Basic Internavi, both compatible with Honda Connect. Also available is an ETC 2.0 onboard unit, front camera system, drive recorder, and rear recording camera.
N-VAN Offers Endless Possibilities for Customization
When the N-VAN joined Honda’s mini-vehicle lineup two years ago, its flexible design targeted the commercial and business user markets.
Based on the second-generation Honda N-BOX, unique design cues include an available raised roof, while the B-pillar on the passenger (left) side is removed for easier loading and unloading. It also opens up possibilities to use N-VAN as a mobile storefront.
Thanks to the N-VAN’s low floor, the seats are designed to maximize space inside the cabin. A “dive-down” device for the front passenger’s seat and rear seats provides generous space for cargo that stretches from the dashboard to the tailgate.
This additional video from Honda Access shows how the custom-designed N-VAN Trip Van concept can be used for surfing trips across Japan. (video: Honda Access)
With its roomy, flexible interior, N-VAN brings benefits for the personal use market. Honda Access displayed the Trip Van concept at a previous Tokyo Auto Salon. Fitted with a customized exterior and interior, Trip Van promotes the surfing lifestyle.
The Honda N-VAN is powered by 660cc DOHC naturally aspirated and turbocharged 3-cylinder engines, optimized to deliver greater torque at lower speeds to handle heavier loads. It can be teamed with a Continuously Variable or 6-speed manual transmission with front or 4-wheel drive.
Fore more Fit and N-VAN information visit the Honda consumer website in Japan
For more virtual show information visit the Tokyo Auto Salon website
Note: Select vehicles shown in this story are concepts and are not for sale. Production Fit and N-VAN models and accessories for the Japan market in this story, including features and specifications, are subject to change without notice. Tokyo Auto Salon TV and Virtual Auto Salon online scheduling is subject to change without notice
News source, photos and videos courtesy of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Honda Access Corp. Additional news source and logos courtesy of the Tokyo Auto Salon Association (TASA)
Story (commentary) © 2021 CarNichiWa.com