Concept cars add magic to a motor show. As in previous years, the 28th Bangkok International Motor Show has a few to show off. The number of concepts is limited to three, mainly because the Frankfurt and Tokyo motor shows, the prime shows that Bangkok gets its concepts from, did not take place last year.
But there are still plenty of mouth-watering reasons for you to take a peek at the show, which runs until Sunday at the Bangkok International Trade Exhibition Centre (Bitec). The concepts on display are the Toyota Hybrid X, Mitsubishi i and Mitsubishi D5. Also on show is the Mazda CX-7, which is already on sale in foreign markets and was brought in by Mazda to judge customer reaction.
If you're on the sporty side, then take a look at the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR AMG Roadster at the AMG booth outside the main hall.
Toyota Hybrid X concept
The Hybrid X was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show last month. Hybrid X is a vision for future environmentally friendly motoring. It fits clearly within Toyota's environmental strategy of offering sustainable mobility for modern families.
Hybrid X further extends the use of Hybrid Synergy Drive. Analysts believe that the Hybrid X is the design direction of the next Prius hybrid.
Hybrid X is designed as a four-door, four-seat, open-space concept. It has the dimensions of a conventional family car with an overall length of 4,500mm and wheelbase of 2,800mm. The width is 1,850mm and height 1,440mm.
Access and innovation are features of the rear-hinged passenger doors, which open electronically at the touch of a button. Dynamic hints of driving performance are provided by the customised 20-inch alloy wheels with ultra-low-profile 225/40 R20 tyres.
The smooth, aerodynamic lines of the front are unbroken by headlamps, which are integrated into the dashboard and are now part of the interior of the car.
The driver can set the ambience within the car via an interface in order to control the four senses of sight, sound, touch and smell.
LED lighting systems within the car provide a variety of illuminations and change in harmony with different musical backgrounds.
A perfume diffuser fills the air with a gentle, relaxing aroma while the use of many different materials and textures on the interior surfaces provides variety of touch.
Mitsubishi i concept
Like small and funky cars? Then pray that Mitsubishi gets serious with this one and starts producing it for the Thai market. It is already being sold in the Japanese market.
The Mitsubishi i is built with large interior space, crash-worthiness and a fun driving experience in mind. The car
has a long wheelbase, with wheels at the very edges of the car with minimal overhangs.
The i has a "rear-midship" engine mounted just ahead of the rear axle, a highly unusual configuration in a small car, where front engine design has dominated.
The 3B20 three-cylinder power plant has an aluminium cylinder block and a displacement of 659cc and incorporates double overhead camshafts with MIVEC variable valve timing in the cylinder head.
In Japan, the i is available in both 2WD and 4WD formats.
Mitsubishi Thailand has been eyeing the small-car segment in the Kingdom. The i is possibly on display at Bitec to test customer reaction to the product.
Mitsubishi D5 concept
If you're thinking that Mitsubishi has the D5 on display to consider entering the van market, then you're far from the truth. The D5, a concept minivan for the next-generation Delica model, is on display just to let Thai consumers know about Mitsubishi's latest technologies.
The car promises high mobility, high functionality and classy living space, along with the Delica's all-terrain capabilities.
The 2006 Mitsubishi D5 is
derived from its advanced 4WD system. It offers a refined and rugged design with an assurance of high-end protective safety. Like the Mitsubishi Outlander, the D5 has an electronically controlled 4WD system. The power train mates a new 2.4-litre MIVEC engine to a Sport Mode six-speed CVT.
It also integrates active safety vehicle (ASV) technology that supports the driver in working the vehicle safely and lessens strain.
The Luxury LS 460 is a wonderfully comfaortable car fitted with all mod cons, althoough not necessarily the most fun vehicle to drive.