Tokyo Auto Salon: The Great Mishmash

Another year and another January has gone by and Tokyo Auto Salon 2016 is in the books. As some of you may know, I've been asked by BMWBLOG to prepare a coverage for them, which took priority and was reflected here in my previous post.
After the dust has settled I had 1200 pictures to go through, hundreds of cars to pick out and definitely not enough of time to accomplish everything in the details I originally desired.
That said, I think I have plenty of interesting content to deliver, so without further ado, this is what I got for you this year (click here for additional 67 photos in final TAS16 coverage):

To set the expectations, unlike last year, it was hard to pick out any special car that stood out of the crowd.

If last year was truly ground braking in terms of technology and style,

This year was like a Hollywood sequel; more of the same.

It may sound harsh, but not to a slightest degree I mean it in a negative way.  After all, who doesn't like more intense, louder, and out of this world action?

This year, the show was also longer as extended hours on the media day meant I could spend more time digging into details and chatting to some very interesting people,

I am pretty sure that this time I got it all covered, so let's have a look at some of the highlights:

We start off with Ken's Nisssan Skyline GTR R34.

built from ground up by Smoky Nagata this car is a trully ground braking project in terms of approach to tuning an older JDM vehicle. On top of absolutely perfect styling, the engine, components, solutions, and choices of parts are as bold as they are creative, most optimal and efficient.

Ken says that the car is more or less complete, which frankly was a statement I would never expect to hear from such a devoted enthusiasts as Ken , but he's got a valid point... There simply isn't much that can be done to improve something that is already for the lack of better word: perfect. To me personally this is just asking for a proper photo shoot and a detailed feature.  Which backdrop should we go for? Beach? Mountains? City? Sunset? Right now I really wish I had Route 66 at my disposal...

All in all, Smoky presented a variety of GTR's from different generations.  The R35's are definitely Top Secret's flagship projects as there is no meaner and at the same time more marketable method to show-off incredible skills and engineering abilities.  Attention to details goes a long way when you get your tune-ups done at Top Secret

But it's definitely older GTR's such as this R32 that represent Smoky's grass roots and unrivaled skills, as well as dedication driven by sheer passion of awesome vehicles of that era.

After all, the 1990's JDM supecar represents the golden era of automotive world and after-market scene in Japan.  This is where Smoky got started, this is what he does best and I am sure that he is delighted each time his customers bring something like this to work on.

We jump over to the Boostlogic booth nearby to have a look at the new Mazda Roadster, which as it has seem to be the norm at this Tokyo Auto Salon, was turbocharged.

But not just any turbo, the choice of forced induction turbine was BorgWarner - same, but tad bit smaller than on Ken's car.  Smaller turbo for much smaller car - a very logical approach, especially when it abides by the same principles and provides linear power delivery, characteristic to modern age turbocharged cars, where the notorious turbo lag is all but gone.

But if we had to pick one Roadster to rule them all, it would have to be this bad-ass machine from GReddy.

Customized to represent the company's vision and sheer performance it was definitely attracting attention, but Rocket Bunny flared fenders and deep dish TE37V's are not the only things that separated this car from the rest of the exhibits.

This engine is fully tuned with a Greddy TD-04H turbocharger, cold air intake pipe and Type 35F intercooler, all combining for impressive performance figures that can put some supercars to shame.

As you can see the world of JDM has got a new toy and we know how good of an addition this thing is to the Japanese exciting car fleet.  Since its release early last year all the tuning shops had plenty of time to put their visions to existence and present some awesome builds at this year's Tokyo Auto Salon.  Almost all of them were turbocharged, which brings me to the obvious question: why not so to begin with, Mazda?

Luckily last couple of years saw more than one sports car being released in Japan.  Lexus RC, or RCF as seen in this picture took the world by storm, and its success has even surprised the Lexus dealers in Japan. Tuners meanwhile wasted no time and went to work.... Result - This!

RCF's already powerful engine has undergone a bit of a treatment with new air intake and added HKS GTS8555 supercharger for good measure.  Result is 600 HP and enough torque to to through a set of tires faster than you can say 'driftmonkey'!

Overall, it is evident that Lexus has changed their strategy in attempt to appeal to a younger buyer.

Their latest achievement - the GSF is definitely a step in the right direction.

See what I mean?
And if this luxury cruiser turned race car - ISF by Novel is a sign for things to come then I am already looking forward to the next Auto Salon!

Which brings me to this....

The absolutely gorgeous and fully functional Toyota FT1 prototype has made its appearance here at Tokyo Auto Salon!

Definitely a great move by Toyota, which is using both its traditional JDM and export orientated Lexus brands to revive the former glory and make enthusiasts happy again.  I say it's the time for sleeping giant to rise again!

Speaking of sleeping giants, Mitsubishi has long forgotten about the glory days of WRC dominance, All they do now is try to impress everyone with their ecoboxes and soulless SUV's  

It was however refreshing to see that the fans have not forgotten about the brand that appealed so much to their hearts.  This badass 3000GT by Pitroad is a reminder of how awesome the engineering was back in the day

And then of course, the tuners had their way with it. Massive Greddy T88 turbo sends enormous amount of air to the M-SPL Spec 2 VR6 engine with 1000cc injectors, which was completely re-tuned  producing 900 horse power as result.

Despite the ever growing presence of supercars,vans, and obscenely large rims, the grass root JDM scene is as strong as ever.  This Kanjo spec EF9 Honda Civic clearly articulates my point.

Under the hood, well, which isn't here to begin with, the stock engine has been swapped for the glorious rev happy K20A from DC5 Integra with an ECU tune and Spoon headers.  The resulting 235 horse power is more than enough to smoke some rubber around Osaka highways!

The R35 GTR has been the flagship vehicle of Japanese tuning since the day it was released and here in 2016 there were absolutely no signs of this trend slowing down.

Starting with the new version of the record braking HKS Kamikaze 2 with Varis aero kit,

to the flamboyant wide body R35 in AIMGAIN booth.  With HKS Premium Day scheduled for April we will have plenty of opportunities to go over these and some other machines.

86/BRZ has always been the darling of JDM fans as it stands for so much.  There has not been a year that would go by without Subaru teasing us with some sort of BRZ Sti concept, which never makes it to production.

This year was no exception as the STI Performance BRZ is proudly wearing the concept tag, which means that all of its 350HP turbocharged glory will never hit the streets.

Thus, it goes without saying, if you want to turbocharged BRZ or 86, get it tuned....

And that's where tuning powerhouses like Blitz come in.  The  street orientated tune sacrifices some power for the sake of usability, as the tiny Blitz turbocharger only yields additional 50 HP, but with plenty of low end torque and minimal turbo lag, this car should be a lot of fun to drive.

Same could be said about the Cusco 86, similar to the FRS we saw back at SEMA 2013, but with a bit of extra under the hood.

The Centrifugal supercharger gets the job done by delivering additional 70HP.

On the opposite side, same Garage GForce that had the M4, has their flagship time attack Evo IX.

Another field where this year's Tokyo Auto Salon had a significant degree of importance was the rotary engine.  Mazda was proudly presenting the RX vision, which only recently made its world debut at Tokyo Motor Show

To add a bit of icing on the cake, Mazda also brought around their LM55 Vision Gran Turismo that fans of the racing game would be familiar with.

Even though Rotary engines were out of production for over 10 years, tuning and customizing trends associated with Mazda's refuse to slow down.

This KRC RX-7 02 from KRC Modified is a prime example.  Equipped with perhaps what I can only call the most aggressive body kit I have ever seen, it has got it where it counts too;

The four rotor screamer of engine is capable of producing 550 horse power at 8200 RPM!

This power comes from all that extra air channeled to the combustion chamber from this massive HKS T51 Turbo.

But if we were to single out one shop that redefines the art of tuning rotary engines, that would be RE Amemiya.  They have been attending every single Auto Salon since day one, and each time they had something new and original. This year they have taken it to another level with this Mazda Chantez powered by NA RE13B engine producing 280HP

We move on to Liberty Walk booth where Kato-san has not only expanded his own trend globally, but went to completely unknown territories by making body kits for any car he could get his hands on.

Maserati GT

Audi R8

and Lamborghini Huracan

How about that! But as a reminder of his grass roots he brought out this absolutely gorgeous S31 as well.

Presence of Liberty Walk at Tokyo Auto Salon as well as their immense growth and ability to reach out to all sorts of customers and fans sets the new direction of the entire show.

The supercars,

From the likes of flamboyant graphics displayed in the Boom Craft booth

to the gorgeous Ferrari F12 with after market body kit making it resemble the rare TDF edition.

Also worth mentioning was the return of Fab Design to Tokyo Auto Salon with their R197 SLS AMG.

The real gem here was this Pagaini Zonda F Club Sports in the TWS wheels booth.  With only 25 cars ever being made, it is hard to describe the emotion any car would be filled when seeing this car up close and personal.

Just look at this engine! The 7.3L AMG V12 workhorse has been given the best Italian exotic treatment possible. 594HP back in 2005 was virtually unheard of.

Eventually after hours of wondering around and checking out awesome rides, I found this.... I will let you be the judge.

I will finish this post with this bone stock Nissan Skyline GTR R32 displayed in RMS Motorsport booth.  It is quite rare to see one in such pristine condition, and if it is for sale it would be worth a small fortune.

Tokyo Auto Salon 2016 has delivered a great variety of cars, showed off tons of new products, and definitely has raised the bar in presentation work.  Thank you all for sharing, following, and commenting, please check out the bonus images below and make sure to check out TAS2016 mega gallery post as well!

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