AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
When Nissan fist unveiled the updated 2012 GT-R back in October, the Japanese automaker announced a total of six different models. Now you can add one more to that list thanks to the GT-R RC… that’s Racing Competition.
Build by Nissan’s in-house NISMO motorsports division, this track-only model loses plenty of weight thanks to an interior that has been entirely stripped out, not to mention a carbon fiber hood and trunk. But with the GT-R already quite the heffer, it still weights 3,351 lbs even in racing trim.
Added track goodies include a roll cage, upgraded brakes, an adjustable suspension, air jacks, special Advan wheels and a 31.67-gallon fuel cell.
Priced at ¥20,790,000, that’s a staggering $250,000. Yikes.
GALLERY: 2012 Nissan GT-R RC
Unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon, get more 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon news here.
Hardly the most attractive car on display at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the TES Concept T-Sports might be one of the most exciting for regular folks in search of an affordable sports car.
Since the first introduction of Toyota‘s FT-86 Concept, rumors have surfaced that the cost of development of the car has risen and that consumers will have to carry that burden by paying more for the vehicle. With Toyota’s plans for an affordable sports car in trouble, the automaker has reportedly been planning a more entry-level version of the car.
No one at Toyota is saying as much, but the TES Concept T-Sports might just be the answer. While about as pretty as Snookie, unlike the reality star, it’s what’s underneath that counts. You see, this early prototype was built by the Toyota Engineering Society (TES) in response to a questionnaire that asked what sort of vehicles they thought Toyota needed to build. The answer: an affordable sports car. And like the FT-86 it’s front-engine, rear-wheel drive.
Powered by Toyota’s 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine this concept makes 109-hp, but weighs under 2,000 lbs. The car is 150-inches long and 65-inches wide, making it just over a foot shorter in length than the FT-86.
Toyota isn’t commenting, but this concept certainly hints at the fact that engineers are studying plans for a baby FT-86.
GALLERY: TES Concept T-Sports
See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon Coverage here and see more of Toyota’s TAS concepts after the jump.
Plus get more Toyota FT-86 news and info at FR-SForum.com
First debuting at the Australian International Auto Show, Lexus rolled out the CT200h F-Sport model as part of its display at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon. Unlike the IS-F Club Performance Accessory or the IS-F CCSR, this F-Sport model is confirmed for production.
Taking the new Lexus hybrid hatchback to a more dynamic level, the CT200h F-Sport gets light-weight wheels, an F-Sport suspension setup (with lowering springs and sway bars), plus a complete aero kit. Inside, goodies include an F-Sport steering wheel, pedals, and an F-Sport instrument panel. F-Sport models will also be available in this limited edition Flame Blue paint.
We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed for the rest of the F-Sport/TRD track items for the IS-F.
GALLERY: Lexus CT200h F-Sport
Get more CT200h news and info at CT200hForum.com
Looking forward to Subaru‘s version of the Toyota FT-86 Concept? Sure you are! But what if you could get your hands on another STI-tuned Toyota-derived Subie. Um….. maybe not.
Unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the Trezia STI gets an overhaul by the legendary Subaru Technica Institute.
Never heard of the Trezia? We don’t blame you. It’s the newest addition to the Subaru lineup overseas aimed at expanding Subaru’s sales there with a down-market model. A result from the continued cooperation between Subaru and Toyota, it’s actually just a rebadged Toyota Verso MPV. In fact, unlike the rest of the Subie lineup, it’s not even AWD.
No engine modifications have been made to the small 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, leaving power at a meager 107-hp – although an STI muffler might free up a few fractions of a pony. There is a complete aero kit and, as well as an STI tuned suspension and some plus-sized light weight wheels.
OK, so it’s no sports car, but for a box-on-wheels people mover, it’s about as stylish as they come.
GALLERY: Subaru Trezia STI Concept
Check out the rest of AutoGuide’s 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon coverage here.
As the legend goes, the shops all meet and discuss tuning ideas and even build parts under one RH9 brand name. The list of exclusive tuners reportedly includes such big names as: Top Secret, Top Fuel, Jun Auto, Signal Auto and about a dozen more.
The collection of cars gathered at the Tokyo show wasn’t limited to GT’R's however, and it’s not clear if the RH9 club has expanded to include other vehicles or if these are just some of the other cars build by RH9 member shops.
Check out all the pics below and see our complete 2011 Tokyo Auto Show coverage here.
GALLERY: RH9 Cars on Display at Tokyo Auto Salon
A year ago Honda officially announced the introduction of the HSV-010 GT race car, the company’s successor to the NSX in the Japanese Super GT Series. A purpose-built race car with a 500-hp 3.4-liter V8 engine, sadly, no production car will ever be derived from the HSV-010. That new is all the more disappointing when you see just how stunning a creation the car is.
A total of four teams competed with Honda’s new race car in the Super GT series, with the No. 18 Weider Racing Team car (above) taking the pole in its first two races and topping the podium in only its second race.
Stealing the show at the Honda Racing booth at the Tokyo Auto Salon, check out the full gallery of pics below in case you doubt why.
GALLERY: Honda HSV-010 GT
It wouldn’t be the Tokyo Auto Salon without an appearance by a few specific tuners and that list includes Top Secret. Best known for building unmistakably gold high-powered machines – like the Toyota Supra – the Top Secret display in Tokyo this year includes a stunning Nissan GT-R.
Sporting a special aero kit (including a carbon fiber front splitter and large rear spoiler) the GT-R gets the gold treatment and is accompanied by two Honda CR-Zs as well as a Suzuki Colt. None of the cars are close to stock and the dark gray CR-Z even has an HKS turbo kit.
Check out all the cars (and a few extras) in the gallery below. And see our complete 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon coverage here.
GALLERY: Top Secret Nissan GT-R, Honda CR-Z
One reason to attend the annual Tokyo Auto Salon tuner show is to see Japanese Domestic Market vehicles extensively modified by some of the best aftermarket companies in the business. A second reason is to have a good laugh.
A car culture that can deliver the NSX and GT-R, is also responsible for 1980s-era Transformers-styled big rigs and Hello Kitty themed Ferraris. A tuner by the name of Joy Worx most certainly fits into the latter category, debuting a new hydraulics-equipped commercial truck with an excessively Japan-themed paint job.
But there’s more. Check out the hidden rear wheels (inside flared fenders no less) and the absolutely massive rear spoiler that’s certain to come in handy when it’s completely dumped (yes, that’s sarcasm).
GALLERY: Joy Worx Truck
While not exactly the most dynamic diver’s car, the folks at Goodyear Racing though it would be perfect for their new race car – if you can consider the D1 Grand Prix drift series racing.
Debuting the car at the Tokyo Auto Salon, it’s hard not to love the NASCAR-esque look of the machine, with what Goodyear Racing refers to as a DTM-style widebody. There’s now word on a powerplant, but the car is scheduled to hit the track for testing soon in order to be ready for the start of a new D1 GP season.
GALLERY: Goodyear Racing Toyota Mark X Drift Car
See AutoGuide’s 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon coverage here
Nissan/Infiniti tuner Impul chose the Tokyo Auto Salon to make the public debut of its new 651S tuning package for the new Infiniti M luxury sedan.
While some of the aerodynamic modifications aren’t to out taste, thankfully Impul isn’t just some plastic-fantastic shop. They actually offer a full line of modifications.
Shown on this car is a spring and shock combo package, as well as a big brake upgrade with 6-piston front calipers and 4-piston rear. Added power comes thanks to a dual-exhaust system, as well as a retuned ECU and larger throttlebodies. Those upgrades are, however, only offered for the M37 and M25 models (yup, they have an M25 in Japan) and Impul has yet to announce any performance upgrades for the big-dog M56.
GALLERY: Impul 651S
One of the premiere tuners for Honda and Acura vehicles, J’s Racing is known for building parts for those who want to get out on the track.
On display at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the J’s Racing team brought along fully modified versions of the Civic Type R and the new CR-Z. Both models feature custom bodywork with vented carbon fiber hoods and the CR-Z gets a large carbon fiber rear wing that actually suits the sporty hybrid’s shape.
Other upgrades include 18-inch Rays wheels, Recaro seats, a J’s Racing exhaust for each car and the company’s own Hyper ECU tuning.
GALLERY: J’s Racing Honda CR-Z
GALLERY: J’s Racing Honda Civic Type R
Hybrids are increasingly becoming the car of choice in Japan and as a result the country that’s responsible for popularizing electrified motoring is also the Mecca for hybrid tuning.
Yes, some performance shops are working on adding more power to hybrid systems, but as with the rest of the auto industry, the majority of tuning is dedicated areas outside the engine bay. And with the Prius being the best selling car in Japan, it’s the one that gets the most attention.
Built by Toyota‘s motorsports partner Gazoo Racing, the Prius G Sports Concept is a look at a future sports package that the company is considering. Debuting at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the modifications are minimal and look to consist of a set of 18-inch wheels to improve handling and an aero kit.
Toyota won’t say for sure, but look for this kit or perhaps a full production model based on this car to launch in Japan in the coming months.
GALLERY: Toyota Prius G Sports Concept
It’s not even for sale in North America yet, but over in Japan they’re already hard at work modifying the all-new Toyota Vitz – sold here as the Yaris.
A marked improvement on the current model in the style department, the G Sports team at Gazoo Racing have customized this little hatch with a selection of accessories including a complete aero kit. Of note is an aggressive race-inspired rear diffuser, as well as a subtle roof spoiler. As expected, there’s a lowered suspension, plus a set of 18-inch light weight wheels for this sub-compact.
Toyota isn’t one for building driver’s cars, but the G Sports line is helping give enthusiasts a reason to buy Toyota products – or at least they are in Japan. However, as it stands, this package is still just a concept.
GALLERY: G Sports Concept Vitz
Love the Nissan Juke? OK, you probably don’t, but that’s most likely because you haven’t driven one. Criticized from Tokyo to Tampa Bay, the Juke is a front-runner for ugliest car ever, but it’s also a seriously fun package with a turbocharged 4-cylinder and a sophisticated AWD system.
Targeted at young urbanites, Nissan is looking to add a selection of items to the Juke in the hopes of attracting a few more buyers and up-selling the parts to those already looking at the compact SportCross.
Called the Juke ‘Sporty Package’ it consists of new 17-inch wheels and Michelin tires, fog lights and chrome accenting around the bottom of the doors and rear liftgate. There’s also a body kit, plus a subtle rear spoiler – which really helps to improve the car’s back end.
Debuting at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Nissan intends to offer this kit to customers through dealers in both North America and Europe
GALLERY: Nissan Juke Sporty Package
Ever wonder what would happen if you let a high-performance tuning company run wild on a minivan? Well wonder no longer, as Nissan‘s NISMO division has just debuted a version of the new Elgrand (sold as the Quest in North America) at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon.
Already an imposing beast of a van, the NISMO Elgrand gets its own aero kit with an even more imposing front grille. Matched up with a complete aero package, the van also features a custom suspension drop by the handling experts at NISMO. A set of 18-inch wheels complete the look; although they do seem rather small in comparison to the huge slab-sides of this boxy people mover.
It’s just a concept for now, but knowing the market for these types of things in Japan, NISMO is almost certain to offer copies of this kit. Find the right JDM-market importer and you too can roll up to soccer practice looking like you’re from 2025.
GALLERY: NISMO Elgrand
While Lexus does already offer a selection of F-Sport branded TRD bits for the IS-F, the automaker now seems poised to deliver a selection of track-focused goodies for those who want to take their 5.0-liter V8 sedan around the track.
Looking nearly identical to the IS-F Club Circuit Sport concept from last yea’s Tokyo Auto Salon, the new TRD model sports some subtle front lip add-ons as well as a rear diffuser. A vented carbon fiber hood is also part of the package, as is a simply massive rear spoiler. And let’s not forget the light weight forged wheels.
Here’s hoping that Lexus does decide to bring these parts to market for customers in North America.
GALLERY: Lexus IS-F Club Performance Accessory by TRD
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Lamborghini’s designers had gotten a hold of the Honda CR-Z. Despite its matte-black paint and wild bodywork the TS-1X Concept has nothing in common with the Reventon supercar.
Based on the new hybrid sports car, the TS-1X gets a fighter-jet inspired aero kit that actually seems to work with the CR-Z’s futuristic styling. In both the front and rear are small aero-bits that remind us of the flying buttresses on the Ferrari 599, which are designed to increase downforce while not adding drag.
Also included are a set of 18-inch wheels, which look absolutely massive on the tiny CR-Z. And inside those rollers (which look like painted Civic Type R models), is a set of TS-1X branded Nissin brakes.
GALLERY: Honda CR-Z TS-1X
Unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan, Honda’s in-house Sports Modulo tuning division has just release a new selection of parts for the legendary Japanese exotic. They even went so far as to display them on a pre-2002 model with the old pop-up headlights (our fave).
The new items include a Modulo carbon fiber spoiler, Modulo shocks, springs and even control arms.
With Honda having taken a lot of flack recently for its product decisions, we welcome this small nod to enthusiasts. Now if only they’d deliver a successor to the NSX…
GALLERY: Sports Modulo NSX
Arguably the best part about Japan’s Super GT racing series is that when it comes to running a car, there appear to be about as many rules as a monkey knife fight.
Often teams will run mismatched engines and bodies, simply using a certain shell for better brand marketing. That being said, Subaru‘s Legacy racer isn’t quite the stretch that it at first seems.
On display in the Subaru booth at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon, this ’4-door’ might not share much in the way of a chassis with the current Legacy, but it is powered by a typically-Subaru horizontally-opposed boxer engine. But really, when a car looks this amazing, does anyone really care about authenticity?
GALLERY: Subaru Legacy Super GT Race Car
With the Nissan Leaf now finally on sale here in North America, the Japanese automaker is already exploring electric car concepts for the future.
Unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon, the Nissan Leaf Aero Concept looks at future EV styling with a low-slung aero kit and some custom wheels that keep air moving around the car to reduce drag.
The Leaf itself is already pretty futuristic, enabling about 70 miles of real-world emissions free travel, while delivering 107-hp and 107 ft-lbs of torque. According to the EPA, it’s rated at 106-mpg city and 92-mpg highway, for a combined total of 99-mpg.
GALLERY: Nissan Leaf Aero Concept
Twelve months ago at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Lexus introduced the IS-F CCS – a track-tuned version of its high-performance sports sedan. Now the engineers over at Toyota HQ have taken that idea to a new level with a new concept dubbed the CCS-R.
CCS, we should point out, stands for Circuit Club Sports. And the R? Well, it stands for racing.
Unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon, the CCS-R comes painted in the same brilliant orange as its predecessor, and has both a carbon fiber hood and trunk lid, but there are some notable changes. It’s hard to ignore the racing touches, like the massive front splitter, cannards and the novelty sized rear spoiler that will help keep that rear end planted at almost any speed. Other upgrades include some custom racing seats, a roll cage, as well as some ultra light weight wheels with racing slicks.
With continued rumored that Lexus will take the IS-F racing, we’re hoping this concept brings the Toyota luxury brand one step closer.
GALLERY: Lexus IS-F CCS-R
Over a year ago, Toyota introduced a limited edition iQ GRMN in Japan, with a supercharger strapped to the tiny car’s 1.3-liter 4-cylinder to produce 116-hp. Now GRMN (a special line of cars produced by Gazoo Racing) has released a Racing Concept based on that model.
The vehicle has just been put on display at the Tokyo Auto Salon, which is taking place over the weekend in Japan.
With a wide body and a roll cage this tiny hatch (roughly a foot longer than a Smart car) is ready for the track. A full compliment of aerodynamic parts is also included, made entirely of carbon fiber. And let’s not forget a stunning set of 17-inch wheels with some 205-wide tires.
GALLERY: GRMN iQ Racing Concept
With the Tokyo Auto Salon just around the corner, Honda Motor Co. has announced its star lineup for this year’s show. For 2011, Honda will be putting the spotlight on Honda Access Corporation*2, the company’s in-house aftermarket parts manufacturer. Showcasing what they’re all about will be the TS-1X, based on the new CR-Z.
In addition to the TS-1X, other cars on display will include Honda’s Super GT HSV-010 GT, Formula Nippon FN09 and Honda’s Indy Car Series’ 2011 Indy Japan 300 mascot car for their race cars. From their Modulo line will be a Sports Modulo NSX, STEPWGN, CR-Z and Fit Hybrid. Three other cars Honda will be highlighting are a pair of themed Honda” Freed Spike caravan models and an Acty truck painted in a special Tokyo Auto Salon color.
Honda will also have several motorcycles in their booth this year.
Stay tuned as AutoGuide.com will be bringing you extensive coverage of this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon.
GALLERY: Honda’s Tokyo Auto Salon Lineup
Official press release available after the break.
With the Tokyo Auto Salon around the corner, Japanese tuners are working and wrenching around the clock for their 2011 debuts. One of these tuners is Axell Auto, which is currently working on a widebody conversion kit for the infamous Nissan R35 GT-R. And it looks like Axell Auto is looking to claim the title of most radical GT-R in the world with the debut of the finished product.
The crazy widebody reminds us of days long gone, almost a creation that would come from Veilside’s factory. The front end of the GT-R isn’t bad, but the excess use of vents throughout the rest of the kit – especially the rear – is far too aggressive for our tastes.
From the Lamborghini side skirts to the cheesy 1995 Honda Civic hood venting to the obligatory LED running lights, every aspect of this kit is a thing of beauty when compared to the rear end.
We’ll be sure to snap some pics of the car in person from the Tokyo Auto Salon next month.
GALLERY: Axell Auto Widebody Nissan GT-R
[Source: Jon Sibal]