2013 Toyota JPN Taxi Concept
New models due to land amid $2 billion investment for Tokyo games
Just like the 1996 Summer Olympics were brought to you by Coca-Cola and the 1980 Olympics were brought to you by Leonid Brezhnev, the 2020 summer games in Tokyo will be sponsored by Toyota.
The automaker is investing an eye-watering $2 billion in the upcoming games, a number that looks even more impressive when shown in Japanese yen: 248,765,000,000 and some loose change. And Toyota plans to launch no fewer than eight new vehicles specifically aimed at demonstrating its transportation-related prowess, according to a report from Australia’s Motoring.
What vehicles does Toyota plan to roll out that will be used directly to support the games?
We’ve already seen one of them and a handful of people in California are already driving them, we presume. The Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell sedan will be facelifted in 2018 to be ready for the games. Motoring reports that there will be a Lexus model using the Mirai powertrain by that point in time, and that it will go on sale by 2017. The Lexus model is expected to be the LS, essentially featuring a larger and more powerful version of the Mirai innards.
The Toyota Prius will also be renewed by the time the games roll around, with the new model slated to make its debut at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show in October.
Further down the line, Toyota will debut a hydrogen fuel cell version of the Toyota Crown, a large luxury sedan sold mostly in Japan and positioned alongside the Lexus LS. That vehicle is expected to debut in 2019.
Another large sedan will also make an appearance before the games; the Toyota Century personal luxury limo. Historically a Japan-only model, the Century will likely use a 5.0-liter V8 gas-electric hybrid powertrain, but the company is expected to make around 60 of these flagship sedans.
Lastly, there will be the people-carriers, most of which will be confined to the Asia-Pacific market. Toyota has already shown what one of these will look like at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show where the company elaborated on its plans to sponsor the games: The JPN Taxi Concept. A couple of other JDM-only Toyota minivans are also expected to make an appearance.
Beyond that, we expect to see a lot of robots doing weird things, perhaps tapdancing, as well as UNI-CUBs for everyone.