History of Toyota at the Tokyo Motor Show: 1975-1993

Toyota has been an integral element of every Tokyo Motor Show from its inauguration in 1954, and will continue that record when the 45th edition opens to the public at the end of the month.

To build anticipation for that event, we are publishing four posts that explain which important new models, ideas and concept vehicles Toyota revealed at each show. This third post looks at the years from 1975 to 1993.

Read more: History of Toyota at the Tokyo Motor Show – 1954 to 1963
Read more: History of Toyota at the Tokyo Motor Show – 1964 to 1973

1975: 21st Tokyo Motor Show

The 1974 show was cancelled due to the international oil crisis, which led to the event becoming a semi-annual show from 1975 to 1999. A new pavilion was included that introduced the theme of the show, which this year was Life on Wheels.

Special-purpose vehicles were displayed for the first time, as well as export vessels such as the Toyota Maru cargo ship. Toyota also exhibited some commercial vehicles that serve social needs despite attracting little public attention. These included a moving library, bathing car, and an observation vehicle with advertising panels.

Theme Life on Wheels
Venue Harumi Fairgrounds
Date 31 October – 10 November 1975
Visitors 981,400
Vehicles exhibited 165
Toyota exhibits Toyota MP-1 concept, Toyota Century Gas Turbine Hybrid concept, Corolla Sprinter liftback (above)

1977: 22nd Tokyo Motor Show

This year Toyota presented the latest results of its technological research and development. Centre of the passenger car booth was the F110 luxury saloon, an unusually coloured concept featuring a unique two-box silhouette with an ultra-short nose, long cabin and novel asymmetric, sliding doors.

Among the other exhibits was the CAL-1 concept, a leisure-oriented preview of the forthcoming Celica XX, albeit with a modified rear section. Its transformation of the rear section into a pick-up style bed with rumble seats delighted the visitors.

Theme Everybody’s Car, Everybody’s World
Venue Harumi Fairgrounds
Date 28 October – 7 November 1975
Visitors 992,100
Vehicles exhibited 203
Toyota exhibits Toyota F110 luxury saloon concept, Toyota CAL-1 concept, Experimental Aluminium Car concept (above), Crown Airport Limousine concept
Toyota theme Pioneering New Dimensions In Technology

1979: 23rd Tokyo Motor Show

The exhibitors displayed advanced technologies to conserve energy and natural resources. The Toyota corner was divided into passenger and commercial sections, the former consisting of production cars and technical zones, while the latter displayed logistics, social, leisure and show car zones.

Among these, the Family Wagon concept became Japan’s first MPV-style car, popularising the concept of spacious one-box cars for passenger use.

Theme Vehicles Connecting the World
Venue Harumi Fairgrounds
Date 1-12 November 1979
Visitors 1,003,100
Vehicles exhibited 184
Toyota exhibits Toyota CX-80 city car concept, Hilux RM-4D, Family Wagon concept, Sports 800 Gas Turbine Hybrid concept
Toyota theme Toyota Opens the New Age

1981: 24th Tokyo Motor Show

To improve on the last Tokyo Motor Show where Toyota’s exhibits had been relatively few in numbers, we developed ambitious projects to attract the keen attention of visitors.

While the past few years had been rather low-key due to factors such as the ongoing oil crisis, slowing economic growth and stringent regulations, its atmosphere brightened in the early Eighties. This was largely due to increasing numbers of overseas visitors and the abundance of advanced technologies showcased by domestic companies.

Theme Reliable Vehicles for Better Living
Venue Harumi Fairgrounds
Date 30 October – 10 November 1981
Visitors 1,114,200
Vehicles exhibited 209
Toyota exhibits F-120 front-wheel drive saloon concept, EX-11 experimental concept car, RV-5 recreational concept, AL-1 small bus concept, SV-2 sporty concept, DV-1 concept, Quick Delivery concept
Toyota theme New Technologies and the Age of Toyota

1983: 25th Tokyo Motor Show

A total of 28 foreign exhibitors from six different countries participated this year, adding to the international nature of the show. Under the theme New Dreams Brought by New Technologies, Toyota showcased six passenger cars and five commercial vehicles, as well as technical demonstrations of four drivetrain configurations – front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive, mid-engine – and ten engines.

Theme The Advanced Auto – Brightening Our Horizons
Venue Harumi Fairgrounds
Date 28 October – 8 November 1983
Visitors 1,200,400
Vehicles exhibited 224
Toyota exhibits FX-1 sporty concept, SV-3 mid-engine concept, TAC3 three-person commuter concept, CQ-1 communications concept
Toyota theme New Dreams Brought by New Technologies

1985: 26th Tokyo Motor Show

As the Tokyo Motor Show became increasingly popular internationally, dedicated press days for domestic and international media were introduced. The exhibitors responded by significantly enhancing the level of sophistication of their show cars and presentations. Running prototypes were unveiled, giving visitors a glimpse of the near future.

Toyota also introduced a motorsports corner to present the TOM’S 85C endurance racer and the Celica Twin-Cam Turbo that won the Safari Rally.

Theme The Culture of Motoring: New Generation of Vehicles
Venue Harumi Fairgrounds
Date 31 October – 11 November 1985
Visitors 1,291,500
Vehicles exhibited 262
Toyota exhibits AXV eco concept, FXV four-wheel drive concept, Windy Cruiser open-air concept, Man-bow three-wheel concept, Amphi Tans21 concept, 1956 Toyopet Model RK truck
Toyota theme Fun to Drive

1987: 27th Tokyo Motor Show

Prior to this year’s show, Toyota invited automotive journalists to the Higashi-Fuji proving ground to test-drive the cars and concepts to be presented at the show. This gave the media an unprecedented taste of Toyota’s advances and demonstrated its tireless pursuit of technology.

At the show itself, the FXV-II concept attracted particular attention, thanks in part to the newly published coverage of this high-end vehicle.

Theme Enjoying Life on Wheels – Inspiring the Future of Man and Vehicle
Venue Harumi Fairgrounds
Date 29 October – 9 November 1987
Visitors 1,297,200
Vehicles exhibited 280
Toyota exhibits FXV-II coupe concept, AXV-II gull-wing concept, GTV grand tourer concept with gas turbine engine, EV-30 two-person electric vehicle
Toyota theme Fun to Drive

1989: 28th Tokyo Motor Show

A move from the Harumi Fairgrounds to the new Makuhari Messe facility resulted in record numbers of visitors and exhibitors. Under the New Challenge theme, Toyota exhibited a number of near production-ready show cars and advanced components developed with cutting-edge technologies.

These included the 4500GT concept, a next-generation grand tourer with ultra-high performance engine and suspension system, the gull-wing door Sera, and the RAV Four recreational four-wheel drive concept.

Advanced mechanical components included a new generation of LASRE engine, new engine and transmission prototypes, as well as cross-section models of the Celsior and Celica to demonstrate these technologies in situ. Toyota also exhibited the EV-40 at the Japan Electric Vehicle Association booth. All gave clear indications of Toyota’s product direction into the Nineties.

Theme Freedom of Mobility – A Taste of Real Life and Luxury
Venue Makuhari Messe
Date 26 October – 6 November 1989
Visitors 1,924,200
Vehicles exhibited 338
Toyota exhibits Toyota 4500GT concept, Sera, Previa, RAV Four concept, Dynavision, Land Cruiser, EV-40
Toyota theme Fun to Drive: Developing Prosperous Society through Auto Manufacturing – A New Challenge

1991: 29th Tokyo Motor Show

Despite an economic recession and stagnating car sales, the number of visitors to the 1991 Tokyo Motor Show exceeded two million for the first time. Reflecting the rising interest in environmental issues, compact, fuel-efficient cars were the focus of attention.

Toyota demonstrated its commitment to people-friendly car-making that harmonises with society and the environment. In the passenger car corner, Toyota presented the partially automated AXV-III saloon and the ultra-lightweight AXV-IV commuter concept. Five commercial vehicles were also showcased, including a high-spec ambulance, the stylish Fun Runner sport utility vehicle, and a Hiace limousine.

In the technical corner, Toyota presented a new high-pressure fuel injection diesel engine and a particulate trapping system to clean up the exhaust. Furthermore, a number of alternative energy vehicles were displayed, including the Townace EV and the RaRa II solar car equipped with high-performance batteries.

Theme Discovering a New Relationship: People, Cars and the Earth As One
Venue Makuhari Messe
Date 25 October – 8 November 1989
Visitors 2,018,500
Vehicles exhibited 336
Toyota exhibits AXV-III concept, AXV-IV concept, Avalon convertible concept, Estima limousine, RaRa II solar concept, ambulance, Fun Runner, Hiace limousine
Toyota theme What is the Essence of a Good Car?

1993: 30th Tokyo Motor Show

Japanese manufacturers competed to showcase near production-ready concept cars that focused on safety and environmental qualities, making the 30th show noteworthy from a technological perspective. To drive home the For Greater Harmony theme, Toyota exhibited a number of show cars that embodied futuristic proposals.

For example, the next-generation AXV-V tourer incorporated state-of-the-art traffic monitoring technologies, while environmental concerns were addressed with emission control and new energy conservation systems. Toyota also presented its vision of a comprehensive transport system that intelligently networked cars with their surrounding traffic infrastructures.

Theme Car Innovation in Free, Natural and Comfortable Ways
Venue Makuhari Messe
Date 22 October – 5 November 1963
Visitors 1,810,600
Vehicles exhibited 357
Toyota exhibits AXV-V concept, Raum, Raum-II, RAV4, Mega Cruiser, EV-50, Celica convertible
Toyota theme For Greater Harmony

Read more: History of Toyota at the Tokyo Motor Show – 1954 to 1963
Read more: History of Toyota at the Tokyo Motor Show – 1964 to 1973

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