Poor Tokyo is staring across the Sea of Japan and the East Sea, sulking at all the attention being paid to Shanghai just across the water. Tokyo's traditional concept-crazy motor show has dwindled to resemble a shadow of its former glitzy self.
In 2009 notable manufacturers simply forgot to show up, instead buying up expensive square metres of show floors in Dubai, Los Angeles, and Chicago. And to think that together with Geneva, Frankfurt, Paris, and Detroit, Tokyo used to be one of the Big Five.
But the biennial motoring bonanza is fighting back, with a host of world debuts lined up for the 2011 iteration headlined by the ridiculously lauded and anticipated Toyota FT-86, and as of right now, this new Mazda Takeri concept.
Mazda has been the star pupil of the Far Eastern school of design lately, eclipsing even Peter Schreyer's best efforts with Kia. While the others are stagnant — notably Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota — and the rest just plain mad — Nissan Juke, raise your hand — Mazda's been indulging our eyes in beautiful sheetmetal draping its concepts for a number of years now. Off the top of our heads, there is the Kiyora, Minagi, the beastly Furai and of course, the stunning Shinari.
And now there is another concept to drool over, even if it merely represents the company's next volume-selling family saloon. The Takeri, making its global premiere on November 30 in Tokyo, is powered by Mazda's new Skyactiv high-compression diesel and economy-stretching transmissions.
Exploiting the brand's new design language, Kodo, or Soul of Motion, and taking inspiration directly from the Shinari (our favourite concept car of 2010) the Takeri brings along a fresh and truly attention-grabbing take on the most boring segment of all. Park this next to a Camry and which would you take?
But, of course Mazda has a bit of a habit of producing stunning concepts and then forgetting all about them. Only the CX-5 crossover is going into production still carrying cues of Kodo but not nearly as many as the Takeri's aggressive and layered front end, sliced profile and curvaceous rear.
Mazda also added its first regenerative braking system to the Takeri that converts kinetic energy to electricity during deceleration, stores it in capacitors and then powers the vehicle's electrical equipment. Combined with its new lightweight structure, aerodynamics and chassis technologies, Mazda hopes the Takeri will take this crucial segment by storm.
Of course in order to do that, Mazda has to stop mesmerising us with amazing concepts and start putting something into showrooms.