Tokyo Auto ShowMazda Motor Corp. will be showing a new concept vehicle, the Senku, and the new Mazda MPV minivan, as well as other concept and production models at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show this month.

On Oct.19, Mazda will unveil the Senku at its press conference. The Senku, which it calls a “4-seat rotary sports car for adults,” is Japanese for “pioneer.”

The auto maker wants to now shift its focus from younger buyers to “mature drivers” with Senku, which has a longer-than-average wheelbase; minimal overhangs and zero ornamentation; “flying wing” power sliding doors; and, through the use of large tires, a “floating” appearance, Mazda says.

The concept is powered by a next-generation 13B DI direct-injection gasoline rotary engine with an electric motor, says Mazda.

By placing the engine between the front and rear axles, the Senku is able to achieve “high power output and lower fuel consumption, along with the ideal 50:50 front/rear weight distribution and a low center of gravity, characteristic of Mazda sports cars,” the auto maker says.

Mazda Senku concept.

Tokyo also marks the world debut of the Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid concept, which incorporates an engine that can run on both hydrogen and gasoline and is supplemented by an electric motor.

A spacious interior is achieved by placing the hydrogen rotary engine and hybrid motor transverse to the front of the car in a “FF” (front-engine, front-wheel-drive) layout, says Mazda. The vehicle’s battery is placed under the second-row seats and the hydrogen tank is next to the third-row seat.

The MX-Crossport cross/utility vehicle concept, shown in January at the North American International Auto Show, will make its Japanese debut at the show. The vehicle is the basis for the upcoming Mazda CX-7 production CUV, set for an early 2006 U.S. launch.

Production models debuting at Tokyo include the new MPV minivan, on sale in Japan this month. Mazda says it has the roominess of a conventional minivan but with “taut, athletic lines.”

The new MPV is powered by Mazda’s direct-injection MZR 2.3 DISI Turbo engine, the same mill employed in the new Mazdaspeed6 performance sedan.

The new 2.3L’s performance is similar to that of a 3.5L-4L V-6 engine, says Mazda, and features innovations, such as a smart idling stop system, which eliminates an electric starter motor for “quicker, quieter and more reliable starts.”

The Tribute Hybrid, Mazda’s version of Ford Motor Co.’s Escape Hybrid small SUV, will be another production model debuting at Tokyo.

The RX-8 Hydrogen RE is set to make its world premiere at the show, as well. Mazda plans to lease the vehicle on a commercial basis in the future.

cschweinsberg@primediabusiness.com