The 1983 Tokyo Motor Show opened its doors to the public on this day of that year, presenting the theme “Vehicles: Past, Present, and Future.” Toyota displayed 51 vehicles in total that year, which was the shows 25th anniversary. Among them were three concept cars that showcased studies in driver control, styling and material usage. They were the FX-1, TAC3 and SV-3, each influenced numerous models in the coming years.
The FX-1 offered a glimpse into the future with a digital color dash that displayed speed, RPM, fuel level and more. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the vehicle was its nearly 2,000 cc, twin cam 24-valve inline six engine equipped with dual turbos and computer controlled valve timing. At low speeds the computer control system was able to shut off half the cylinders to save fuel. Though that engine didn’t see production at the time, variations of this technology are present in modern vehicles, and a version of the engine became the base for the G-family Toyota engines.
The experimental TAC3 was a three passenger, open top 4×4, which the company characterized as “An active car for active people.” It had a center-ride cockpit with a 1+2 seating arrangement and featured a fully waterproof interior. The vehicle was an effective study in ride comfort, mobility and overall driving pleasure.
Perhaps making the biggest splash of the three concepts was the SV-3, a “new type of sports car, resulting from Toyota’s search for an expression of the ideal automobile for personal use.” The two-seater reflected the need for comfort and function and aimed to capture the full potential of high-performance motoring. Powered by a twin cam, 16 valve engine placed behind the seats, making it a mid-engine vehicle, the SV-3 offered greater agility, more stable cornering and superior roadholding capabilities, according to Toyota. This is the vehicle that would become the MR2, which launched in 1984.