It's showtime again and no show delivers the weird and whacky more dramatically than Japan's big auto event. Simon Hacker reports.

TOKYO: From the land of the rising sump, we've been sizing up some of the juiciest and fruitiest hardware for a whistle-stop line-up of machinery we would be interested in getting to know better... as well as one or two bright ideas we might prefer to politely decline. Here's our top six picks - and let us know your own best and worst. But don't forget the usual motor show health warning: the gap between concept and production can be wider than it appears.


This is yet another special-edition variant of Toyota's GT86 sports car, the GR HV Sports Concept. The targa-topped design is powered by a petrol engine combined with a hybrid unit featuring tech from the manufacturer's TS050 Le Mans prototype. Best gimmick? A fighter jet-inspired ignition switch, embedded in the top of the gearstick!


If you thought Yamaha was all about two wheels, it's promising to do four better. Feast your eyes on the Yamaha Concept. We don't know much about it as yet except it's sketched out by McLaren F1 designer Gordon Murray and is a compact mid-engined machine. Yamadabadoo?


What will the next Subaru WRX look like? Well, you don't have to squint too much at this to see the answer: the Viziv concept will sport the familiar boxer engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive. This car is the platform for Subaru's eyesight driver assistance programme, but the car's overall design drops heavy clues for a performance production model in the wings. Subaru, bring it on.


Hold on, could it be that Toyota is waking up to the bizarre idea of building a 4x4 SUV that doesn't make your eyes bleed? Inspired by an everyday toolbox, the chunky TJ Cruiser is being readied for European markets (hold that Brexit bill, Mrs May!) and could perhaps offer the maker a chance to get a grip on some of the space left by Land Rover's defunct Defender. TJ, by the way, stands for Toolbox Joy. Yes indeed.


The Evo is dead... long live the Evo. Before you get too excited, if the Evo badge is coming back it's going to be on the rump of this: an electric version of Mitsubishi's intended rival to Nissan's Joke, sorry, Juke. SUV coupes, however, are hot news in global car sales, so this is understandable. And all is not lost: Mitsubishi IS planning a new Evo, but it won't be before 2022 at best and is no more than a fag-packet doodle as yet.


And finally, a car that makes Bentley's Bentayga look handsome. Meet Toyota's Century, Japan's ultimate, limited-run executive mothership. The first version was introduced in 1967; it's now debut time for Mk III, with a V8 hybrid engine. Destined for senior politicians and royalty in Japan, the Century is hand-built in limited numbers... so you may be relieved to only see it here.