Tokyo Auto Salon 2015 Part 2: Enter the Function

Tokyo Auto Salon is known for its presentation. As we have seen in Part 1 of our coverage, it is hard to beat this event when it comes to flashy gear, girls, and cars that can make hairs on the back of your neck stand as you completely lose your mind

Although those wild creations manage to impress the significant portion of the crowd, this is not what real car guys visit Tokyo Auto Salon for. 

motoring fans gather from all across the world to see this:

Power,

Performance,

and latest innovations and products from world renowned tuning houses.

From the latest and greatest,

to the classics - there are plenty of new products for all generations of vehicles.

What makes Tokyo Auto Salon a true one of a kind of show is the amount of effort put into the demo cars.  Throughout entire history of the exhibition tuning houses from all across Japan have put some of the most unique rides up on display and it is in their honor the "Tuning Legends" hall has been setup for 2015 event. Historically acclaimed cars that perhaps turned more heads than others have been shown off on this floor.

Along with some of the new additions, which have enough potential or brand recognition to make an impact on entire tuning world. The wide bodied S30 by StarRoad undeniably has such effect.

As does the Rocky Auto Hakosuka GTR

as with all their projects, Rocky Auto went through every detail to preserve, and at the same time enhance the classic bad-ass look of the KPGC-10; as well as give it modern feel and performance.  We will return to these cars at Nostalgic 2 Days, but for now,

let's concentrate on something more recent.  It is common to see new engines dropped in old bodies, but it takes lots of guts to do this the other way around, but this is exactly what guys at Mercury Auto did here ...
  
 ....by swapping the VQ35 out of this 350Z in favor of Toyota's 2JZ out of Toyota Supra.  Definitely not something you see every day.

Remember how they drag-raced JDM cars in original Fast and Furious?  This drag spec R32 Skyline GTR validates that effort, because if a 9 second quarter mile is not fast, I don't know what is.

From tuning legends, to latest and greatest...

This year we have witnessed an increased variety of cars being treated to significant performance upgrades of different variety as well as some brand new options that were unheard of before.

Nissan GTR R35 is undoubtedly enjoying its last years of production, but as lessons of automotive history have portrayed it to us, the car is in no danger of aging or losing its value, which only ensures that after market world is guaranteed to thrive from the sheer potential of this car for quite some time.

The customizable options for this car are limitless as we saw in Valenti's booth, where their demo car takes accent in aesthetics and luxury.

Air suspension is done by AirRex, while Libery Walk kit in Nissan's traditional Vibrant Red, combined with Valenti's own lighting options make the car that much more unique in every aspect.

On the other hand, the identical Libery Walk kit we see here is all about function, as this RWD converted R35 will be driven by Robbie Nishida in this year's Formula D competition.  Having witnessed how an R35 can perform in drift competition, I am almost certain that entry of this machine into the tournament should make every fan excited.

On a more subtle side of things, this street tuned R35 must be a joy to own.  While simple engine and turbo tune-up gives the car additional 130 HP, the color combination and beautiful Work wheels make that car that much more appealing.  The rumble from the VR38DETT is emphasized by Top Secret's in-house developed titanium exhaust setup. 

The bright orange Abflug R35 is the one we have come across at various meets several times, so it was educational to finally see it on display and examine what was hiding under the hood.

The engine has been Stage1 tuned by PentRoof, which features modified cold air intake, remapped turbo, and valve timing.  The car is also equipped with PentRoof titanium exhaust and full customizable suspension kit. 

For those favoring the more traditional, almost sleeper-like approach to tuning, Kansai Service has the answer.  They have presented 2 versions of R35 in their booth. We start with the street performance setup, where Kansai implemented HKS GT600 upgrade package centered around reinforced light weight piping and ignition components.

This setup allows engine to breathe more freely, thus increase mid to high range performance, while custom suspension and Kansai's own titanium exhaust complete the undoubtedly entertaining ownership experience.

Their track configured R35 is a completely different story.  Race-car stance is achieved through Kansai customized HKS HyperMax IV suspension kit and Yokohama Advan GT 20x12J with aggressive +20 offset wheels wrapped in 290mm wide Yokohama Advan slick tires.

Engine setup has a long list of upgrades, with HKS T1000 turbo and 4.0L stoker kit, Kansai have also bored it to 4.1 capacity. Engine internals have been treated with upgraded camshaft and thin metal gasket. Combined with full race-spec exhaust setup this R35 has been clocked at 1000HP at 7300RPM with incredible 120KG of torque at mid-range point. 

All in all, there were plenty of tuned GTR's out there, but this RevYou version caught my attention perhaps for its custom metallic blue color resembling a blend of Bayside Blue of R34 and the rare Championship Blue of R33.  The blend of aerodynamic and visual upgrades from various companies includes Top Secret front bumper and grille, original dry carbon bonnet, doors, trunk lid and rear spoiler, as well as Varis wide fenders.

The list of upgrades on this car was even more impressive than the aesthetics, as the car is equipped with numerous cooling and airflow enhancing options.  Another example in how to get the most out of stock parts with moderate boost increase and titanium high flow exhaust system being key upgrades.

GTR purists would be happy to know that there were plenty of older skylines to check out as well.  We have came across this rare red R34 previously, but given the weather conditions during our past encounter, this time around was equally more productive as it was educational as I was able to find out a great deal more about this car.

The RB26 motor has been treated with HKS 2800cc stroker and GT2530 turbo kit as well as Vcam step one setup, also supplied by HKS.  The Tomei Titanium exhaust adds the necessary high flow system to combine for 600HP.

There were plenty of other Nissan cars that once more prove the brand's influence in the Japanese car culture.  The SuperStreet 370z by Garage Rikisaku that we saw at Nismo Fest was also displayed here at Tokyo Auto Salon, proudly showing off its matte blue paint.   Most of the upgrades are done on the outside with car lowered on new Rays ZE40 rims and sporting ings+ body kit as well as custom dry carbon roof.

Speaking of matte colors, this modern looking wide body S15 by Moze literally blew me away.  The spot on excellent style and execution makes me wish once more that Nissan would  have never discontinued the Silvia line, but rather redesigned it to look just like this one.

Of course Tokyo Auto Salon is not "Nissan Auto Salon" as there is an army of 86's and BRZ's with occasional FRS's seeking just as much attention.

As we have seen in the past the amount of options for these little sport coupes are endless, however with so many cars coming out of production line with large percentage of which going straight to tuners it is becoming quite obvious that various shops will cross the boundaries of standard thinking when customizing their demo cars,

The 86 from Mercury Auto also looks familiar as we came across this interesting car at the Gazoo festival late last year.  On that day it was hard to find much information about it,

apart from the fact that the FA20 engine has been treated with extra air from HKS supercharger to produce total of 300 HP this car remained a mystery. This time, however I was able to speak with the manager who told me more about the build and purpose of the car.  As looks may suggest this is a street car build for balance of performance and comfort.  Re-timed ignition and carbon prop-shaft help with quicker engine response making this car absolute joy to drive.

Given that it's a street car, it is obvious that behind the scissor doors we are treated to standard but very functional 86 cabin.  There are more plans for this little car and I will be covering it in greater detail in near future.

The world of Hachiroku is growing, and every time you think you've seen it all, there is always something new and original.

But then there is this: something so out of this world insane, it deserves an exhibition hall of its own (largely because of the noise this little car is capable of making)

The sound should indeed be something special as the FA20 made place for the Synergy Power V8!  The 2.4 capacity Synergy branded V8 has been designed and developed by New Zealand's Prototipo. The two Kawasaki ZX12R cylinder heads combine for a base of the design with all other parts, including the individual 46 mm throttle bodies are manufactured in-house.  The Engine is capable of revving to 13000 RPM and produces moderate 300 HP. 

No matter how good all other hachiroku products there are out there, for a moment they seem no longer relevant as I will do my best to find out more about the JUN demo car as well as find out what it sounds like.

Therefore best thing to do is to move on, move on to something more traditional and in-your-face JDM, such as this 1000 HP JZX100 designed by Weld Auto, same garage as the one behind the gorgeous FRS we saw last year.

The 2JZ unit in this drift car has been treated to a number of upgrades, including the increase of displacement to 3.1L, single turbo conversion, and custom exhaust combining for 900HP.  The target is 950 and there is a very good reason for it: Mr Atsushi Ito - chairman of Weld has announced that the car will be entering Formula Drift Japan competition this year!  Great effort and best of luck!

There were plenty of interesting Rotary machines as well.  This track monster was created by Car Shop Glow in collaboration with Stardust Japan.  The striking aero kit is there for a purpose as the goal of this FD35 is to shave off seconds of Tsukuba Time attack.

The twin rotor twin turbo setup gets the power to 530HP. Original V-mount setup, along with Trust intercooler and Turbo setup contribute to the incredible power of this machine. 

But if there was one FD to rule them all, that would be Mad Mike's Mad Bull right here.  The unique matte black color with Red Bull livery make this car instantly recognizable, especially with perfectly matched  Rays 57FXX-pro wheels contributing to the aggressive appearance of the car.

Perhaps Mad Mike wasn't too happy with his original RX-7 lacking in top end power during his performance in Japan, so he proceeded with adding 2 turbo's to the original 4-rotor setup to combine for 1200 HP.  I feel sorry for rear tires... And I want to see this thing demolish the tarmac in Japan.  This year's Formula Drift Japan is set to give D1 the run for their money!

Mazda did manage to grab their fair share of attention during this show, and when they displayed the new MX-5 (or simply Roadster for JDM market) the reaction was extremely positive.

The introduction of a cup car MX-5 also contributed to such positive reception.  All is left for Mazda to do is to release this into production. 

From incoming to outgoing.  It is remarkably sad to see the Mitsubishi Evo X go.  Just a thought that it it was designed back in 2007, and with not even smallest sign of age eight years down the line this makes this car even more special.

Mitsubishi has showcased the Mitsubishi Evo X "Final Concept" as a token of appreciation to the fans and maybe a sign of brighter future in the form of this black on black murdered out 400HP boy racer dropped via HKS Hypermax suspension on beautiful set of Volk Racing G25 19 inch wheels.

Yes, 400HP! Mitsubishi, with collaboration with HKS took it to the drawing board to make sure they exit the performance car market with a bang; the mighty 4-pot has been treated with 2.2L HKS capacity upgrade kit, head gasket, camshaft, intake and turbo kit.  Customizable ECU only means that you can tweak boost and timing to your liking in search for that perfect torque/power balance.

While Mitsubishi is saying goodbye to the enthusiast customer base, Subaru says "thank you very much" as the Fuji Heavy Industries brand introduced the Levorg, new Legacy, and the mighty WRX Sti to world in the span of 2014.  Tuners are just getting used to the new models so I guess we will see a lot new project cars spawn up throughout 2015.

Blitz wasted no time, however and came up with something completely out of this world.  While most of the engine components are still in development stage with specs not being released to public, we can take a look at Blitz aerodynamic kit that will transform the WRX into a race-spec machine.

While Subraru's Levorg, which shares the platform and engine with the WRX has received positive reviews,  a lot of enthusiasts complained about unexciting driving experience caused by soft suspension, quiet exhaust, and overwhelmingly dull CVT transmission.  Subaru was listening and let Sti have a go at creating a perfect Levorg that would cure all the ills.  The 6MT Sti Levorg is something that fans of old school Legacies would desire, but whether it will make it to production in any way shape of form, remains to be seen.

At the same time numerous shops and tuning houses are working for the essential visual updates to make the sports wagon from Subaru something that it should have been in the first place: exciting and striking.  Rowen Japan, which used to be known as Tommy Kaira, have completely redesigned the front fascia, gave entire car more aerodynamic look and fitted 19 inch prodrive GC-05N wheels. 

From Japan's luxury department, one car that blew everybody's mind was the Lexus RC coupe, or the 5L V8 RCF to be specific.  Lexus proudly presented the new model in front of the crowd,

while letting everyone enjoy the exuberant sound track of the naturally aspirated motor via a set of headphones.

Tuners, on the other hand, wasted no time and went straight to ripping the Lexus apart and creating their own versions of the super coupe.  Hence, the Varis Magnum Opus was born.  Sitting on gorgeous as-jdm-as-it-gets Rays TE37 wheels, sporting one of a kind body kit and unique bronze color this car was attracting everyone's attention.  While performance is unchanged, Varis have added a titanium exhaust to make sure the visual features are matched with a proper growl of the V8.

Varis has been having a great few years, largely thanks to their diverse customer base.  They have manged to achieve this by targeting a vast variety of European vehicles from Mercedes Benz A Class to this Super GT inspired BMW Z4.

Apart from Varis, BMW had a noticeable presence in this year's Autosalon as their models appeal to automotive fans across the world.  Off course the M4, which went on sale in Japan mid last year deserved the special attention and incredible treatment in Rays booth,

but the first ever customized i8 stole the show for me. The German hybrid supercar-killer is just at the start of its life cycle but it is attracting enormous amounts of attention.  The waiting list for the futuristic looking machine is close to 2 years, but the specialists at Studie AG got their hands on one and put it to a pretty good use.

There were grand total of 4 i8's that I spotted at Auto Salon, but there were plenty of ... should I say "conventional" supercars, customized to different degree of madness. While this Lamborghini Huracan still managed to enjoy its stock look.

The Aventador design was upgraded by Rowen Japan to give it even more sporty, almost race-like appeal.
Rowen Japan is working very aggressively on number of Italian supercars to give them the unique look and extra performance that owners in Japan tend to desire.

When it comes to performance, however, it's all about the competition, and how else to showcase your performance department than to display some of the awesome race cars.  Nissan's 2014 GT3 Spec R35 is based on the production model, but it is converted to RWD and is treated with lighter aerodynamic body panels, sequential transmission with 4 clutch disks, and racing exhaust with side outlets. 

Subaru's display of Super GT BRZ may seem repetitive, but with respectable 6th place in manufacturers ranking for 2014 GT300 season it deserves all the attention it can get.  The fact that it uses the same flat-four block as most Subaru vehicles makes it a true fan favorite.


Things are heating up for the 2015 GT300 season.  While Subaru will enter pretty much the same BRZ, Lotus went out and designed their own brand new car based on the brilliant Evora. The 1050kg mid engined machine will be powered by naturally aspirated 4.5L V8 capable of producing excess of 540HP, but restricted to just 300.

In other race disciples, Monster Sport has displayed their Pike Peaks E-runner that I am sure will be making its way to Coloroado springs later this year.  The twin electric motor 700HP machine is constantly in development as new technologies are introduced to a fast growing EV segment.

We already saw a couple of wild creations for Formula Drift 2015, but here is something from the world of D1.  Whether this E92 M3 will perform in this year's tournament remains to be seen, but the Vortex/Carguy Racing machine has earned enough recognition to be paraded in Rays booth.

This is where I would like to wrap up the coverage of performance vehicles of Tokyo Auto Salon.  There will be one small update in near future centered around BMW's spotted at the show but for now I will be concentrating on other things, since as mentioned before: Japanese car culture never sleeps!

Thank you all for reading, commenting and following, please don't forget to check out the bonus images below, and if you have missed the PART 1, you can find it here.

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