From the latest custom cars to classics, the Tokyo Auto Salon displays a variety of custom cars regardless of new or old. In recent years both domestic and import car manufacturers have participated in the event, increasing the scale of the showfloor every year. Its not possible to see all the booths in a single day anymore.
Under the flashy lights of the showfloor, Mitsubishi and Subaru seemed to contrast each other. In the past they were fighting neck and neck in the grueling battlefield of the WRC. For 2015, Mitsubishi announced the Lancer Evolution X Final Concept, equipped with an HKS turbo, intake and exhaust, cooling system and suspension.
The word “final” sets a sad tone for the Mitsubishi and Lancer Evo fans around the world, but in Gran Turismo 6 there is the Concept XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo, a future Evolution model. We can hope that they’ll make another revolutionary evolution and bring us another hot machine again one day.
Subaru has moved their stomping grounds to the Nürburgring, and has added massive overfenders to fight against the Audi TT-RS in the same category. The sharp rear fenders stand like giant walls, and the high mounted rear spoilers show that they mean business.
Subaru until now had participated with a car that was modified more or less within the bounds of a commercially sold car, but to beat the lightweight TT-RS that was made front wheel drive, Subaru probably wants to show off their strength as a 4WD manufacturer.
Now this could probably be called the main show floor. Let’s look into the newest trends in custom parts:
The widebody mentioned above is just as popular in commercial car customizations. These are cars with giant overfenders, a customization culture initiated in Japan that has become a world customization trend. There were also a lot of wide bodied cars at the SEMA Show last year.
This may be a combination of the popularity of FIA GT3 cars; cars based on commercial cars made low and wide, plus the 1970’s styles in Japan where the boxy skylines and Ken/Mary Skylines were popular. The IDx announced as a concept by Nissan last year is a crossover of eras feeding back the designs from the past to modern day. It looks wild at first, but the shapes expanding the volume of the body line are beautiful.
World famous high performance tuners like TOP SECRET and RE AMEMIYA are regulars here.
From the long running tuning brand JUN Auto Mechanic, there is a wild BRZ that joins two Kawasaki Ninja engines together to form a V8. It’s probably a sharp revving engine that is reminiscent of the Suzuki GSX-R/4 concept car that is included in Gran Turismo!
A drift area is set like the SEMA show outside, and the smell of melted tires gets me excited.
The D1GP enters its 15th season this year.
In Japan, new emissions regulations and safety standards instated in the beginning of the 21st century had stopped the production of many sports cars, and this made new cars rare in the world of the D1GP. But in recent years, things have changed, with newer cars like the Lexus GS350 and R35 GT-R setting great records.
And in 2015, a machine like no other in the world will participate in the D1GP.
The front wheel drive Prius is converted to rear wheel drive, and the engine has been changed from a hybrid to a 100%EV! What’s even more interesting is that it uses a Holinger sequential transmission even though the car is an EV. It’s going to be interesting to see how the car is set up hereon!
And on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Prius, is the monster D1 machine that was announced as a surprise at the show floor. The ultra premium Lexus LFA, with a price tag of 40 million yen (around $340,000) will be participating in the D1GP! The driver is Youichi Imamura who competed in the Toyota 86 until last year (Thanks for participating in the Super Gran Turismo Competition!).
Treads are widened with overfenders, and the V10 engine (1LR-GUE) is dropped for a V8 NASCAR engine. This might be the one of the most expensive commercial car based competition car in the world. Can’t wait for the opening round of TOKYO DRIFT!
Now, here’s a small preview of a new feature we’re working on for Gran Turismo 6. This is a paint feature for the Custom Rear Wings you can make in the game. You could paint them in the same colors as the body, or paint them in a different color for an accent. Maybe you’ll discover a cool combo!
*Images shown are from a pre-final version of the game.