How does one go about covering an event like Tokyo Auto Salon? Year after year, I tend to ask myself this very question while staring at a blank screen which seems like for hours and a glass of whisky ( for motivation of course)
This year was especially hectic with more meetings than made sense, larger crowds than last year, multitasking other projects, and to top it all off, my body decided that TAS weekend was the optimal time to shut the hell down
Regardless of these excuses, it’s my job to show everyone the craziness of Tokyo Auto Salon through my lens. So let’s begin!
As you may have already seen, there really wasn’t any ‘groundbreaking’ designs or revolutionary parts released this year.
A dominant trend of stance and widebody everything could easily be felt, and the selection of cars just wasn’t as diverse as it was in the past.
Japanese manufacturers recent lack of supporting the aftermarket world with fresh production cars that we as enthusiast lust after has widely been announced the culprit of this phenomenon
Well, besides the S660. I’ll get back to that in a different post.
Does all this mean TAS was less exciting than the previous ones I have attended? Not exactly
You see, the whole thing with TAS (to me at least anyways) isn’t necessary about the brand new parts or groundbreaking kits.
It’s more about seeing what tuners, both big and small, can do to express their uniqueness, their passion, their very essence into their cars and then reveal them to the world to admire, hate, and discuss among peers.
It’s like going a museum – an open mind is absolutely critical to really enjoy TAS the way it’s meant to be
Because there is A LOT of.. ‘TAS culture’ going on here
Anyways! Back to cars!
I’m sure everyone by now has seen the latest creation to come from the mad man Kazuhiko “Smokey” Nagata. I’ll go a little bit more in depth about Top Secrets R32 to R35 conversion in a separate post so stay tuned for that!
There was another Top Secret car that caught my attention – This R35 sporting a healthy addition of carbon fiber bits to the front, the red accent light built into the headlamps, and those crazy Lamborghini doors!
An interesting platform for Sphere Lights to show off their line up of LED headlight and fog lights – A Mitsuoka Orochi. Can you believe an NSX was turned into this? Thats right – the Orochi is based off of the NSX platform.
Since we are on the subject of ‘interesting things’, this car sofa definitely wasn’t something I was expecting to see. It was quite comfortable I must admit
With four wheeling become more and more popular here in Japan, companies like Tweaked Automotive found TAS to be a great platform to showcase their specialty in modifying Land Rover Defenders
See what I mean? I’ve always wanted to do an off road feature with a pack of Suzuki Jimnys. Should get to work on that huh..
Own a very expensive hypercar and always afraid of wrecking the front lip on crack in the pavement? Then check out Roberuta and their aftermarket lifting system. May cost a ton but I’m sure its totally worth it! (I don’t own a hyper car so I can’t confirm or deny this)
We all knew it was only a matter of time before it happened – a widebody kit for the BNR32 GT-R
The Pandem-aerokit has caused a lot of uproar from enthusiast stating that you should never alter the styling of the BNR32 GT-R. Do it on one of those ‘lesser’ R32’s. I’m not sure if it is the matte paint or the overall stance look with those extra meaty tires but I kinda dig it.
Speaking of wideboy kits – Aimgain always brings a wide variety of stanced out and widebody everything (including a new NSX), but it was this R35 GT-R that stood out the most. Probably because it had the most going on with the purple widebody kit, body completely laid out, and those Savini Black di Forza BM 15 wheels
Since we are on the topic of wheels, Tokyo Auto Salon is the perfect venue for wheel companies to show off their entire lineup and their new releases
Based out of Florida, XO Luxury was enjoying TAS for the first time and brought along their exclusive luxury brand wheels
Always present at TAS, WORK Wheels had a massive booth built to showcase their entire lineage of wheels, including their brand new Equip 40
The Equip 40 pays homage to Team Equip, WORK’s racing department that was created back in 1982. It’s simplistic yet beautiful design falls right in line with the spirit of WORK. I absolutely love them!
Heyyy what do we have here!!!Thanks for the love WORK!
Not exactly wheels related but close enough. Liberty Walk was selling 245/525R14 tires at TAS to those who dare to live the LW lifestyle. The cost of these massive tires? 54,000円 (close to 500 USD) .. FOR 1!
For reference, my phone is slightly smaller than the Iphone 7plus
Besides selling ridiculously dimension tires, Liberty Walk brought their highly anticipated 650S (among a few other toys). Out of their entire lineup, I must admit that I rather enjoy what Kato Wataru has done to this Mclaren
R31 House absolutely killed it with this R31 wagon. The boxy wagon is rocking a slightly aggressive fitment with those Work Misters and minimalistic amount of aero
Inside the shaved engine bay lies a RB20 with one of the sexiest looking headers I’ve seen.
While roaming through TAS, I always make it a point to visit the automotive colleges. Normally working with a much tighter budget than the tuning shops, the students have to make due with what they have and put their ingenuity to the test which means you always bound to see something rather special. Nihon Automotive College (NATS) was one of the colleges that annually presents at TAS and this year was no exception, bringing a lineup of customized vehicles such as this De Tomaso Pantera which didn’t start life as a De Tomaso Pantera. Can you figure out what it actually is?
I didn’t know this before hand, but a good friend of mines Hirona-San, owner of the Freakin Works Toyota Celica, is actually a student and worked on this project. Stay tuned for a small featured post about it!
If you have about 500,000円 (little under 5,000USD) to blow on a simulator, then you need to take a look at picking up a T3R simulator rig.
If you have watched our little teaser video that Cory Sparks of Visual Kimono created, you can see me racing around Fuji Speedway in a Ferrari 458 GT3. Although the sensitivity was turned down so that everyone could at least attempt to try, the system was still very responsive. With the virtual reality goggles on – man it was a whole new and exciting experience. Now only if I had 5 grand to just spend on a simulator….
The best movie theater seats in the business?
As stated before, if you’re on the hunts for parts TAS is the perfect place to pick up whatever you need. From beautifully crafted exhaust systems
Engine internals for your GT86/FRS/BRZ (among other engines as well of course)
To entire engines. It can all be found here
Oh and turbos! Because lets face it, who doesn’t love turbos?
Some of the manufactures brought along their GT3 race machines to TAS #becauseracecar and this RC F had to be my favorite one. I remember seeing an example of the GT3 at Tokyo Motor Show last year but seeing the machine in naked carbon fiber is just sublime.
I could go on and on but I think this post is already long enough wouldn’t you agree?
So what I will do in the next couple of days is release smaller articles highlighting a few cars that I particularly liked at Tokyo Auto Salon such as the Honda S660, Nismo R32-R35, Hirona-San and his fellow students creation at NATS, and a few others!