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Toyota motorsports partner Gazoo Racing is known for its Super GT teams and Nurburgring race cars. How do they stack up when it comes to the
sport art of drifting? Not too well, judging from this video.
As part of a demonstration event held at the Tokyo Auto Salon each year, automakers, tuners and racing teams get the chance to display the power of their vehicles on a small course set up outside the venue. One of the vehicles this year was a Lexus IS-F prepped by Gazoo.
We don’t want to ruin it for you, but let’s just say, perhaps there’s a reason pylons are made of plastic.
Watch the video below:
We’ve seen a lot of strange things come out of Japan’s aftermarket over the years, but this might be the most ridiculous thing yet. Relax Cabin, a Japanese aftermarket company, specializes in camper conversions and apparently thought Toyota Prius owners would have a demand for such a thing.
We guess there’s a remote possibility that someone that owns a Prius would be interested in something like this, but given that the conversion adds over 20-inches to the length of the car and 22-inches to the height, we’re guessing all aerodynamic tweaks Toyota made to make the Prius as fuel efficient as possible has gone out the window. The massive structure is made from reinforced plastic, and we reckon that it isn’t light, further killing the mpg the Prius is made for.
But those that are interested in giving their Prius a whole new world of versatility also has some options available to them. The Prius’s back seats can drop down to make enough space for a double bed while the top compartment can also house another double bed. If that wasn’t enough, you can add a retractable coffee table or side sofa to your Prius camper van.
We never thought those three words would be used legitimately in the same sentence. Prius. Camper. Van. Sigh.
GALLERY: Relax Cabin Toyota Prius Camper Van
GALLERY: Relax Cabin Toyota Prius Tokyo Auto Salon 2012
As popular as drifting has become in America, the sport’s home will forever be in Japan and a quick demo out at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon gave us a reminder why.
While we have plenty of fun listening to V8-powered Ford Mustangs and Chevy Camaros go at it sideways, this year’s TAS played host to a Toyota GT 86 doing tandem with an old school AE86, only to be outdone by a Lexus LFA Roadster.
And as cool as it was to see the new Toyota GT 86 going sideways alongside its classic predecessor, what’s even more interesting is the fact that the LFA Roadster isn’t even supposed to go on sale until 2014, so how did someone get their hands on one? Either it’s a pre-production model or someone decided to chop the roof on theirs themselves. But leave it to D1 to put on yet another demo to whet everyone’s appetite for drifting, despite how controversial the series is out in Japan.
Check out the video after the break with various cars putting on a drifting demo.
Wald’s creations are known to be aggressive but for the most part they tend to keep the luxury still intact with their styling packages. This time however, they may have gone too far with their Black Bison kit for the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe.
We’d be the first ones to say that a Rolls-Royce is probably the last car you ever want to put a body kit on, and unfortunately Wald is further proof of that. In an attempt to add some sportiness to one of the world’s most luxurious convertibles, they’ve turned it into some sort of atrocity. Wald plans on debuting this package at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, which adds a new front bumper with mesh inserts and LED daytime running lights. The side skirts are somewhat tolerable, but the rear diffuser looks out of place. We do find the trunk-mounted lip spoiler to be a nice touch however.
In addition to the five-piece body kit, Wald also offers front fender vents, carbon fiber accents, lowered suspension and custom wheels for the Phantom Drophead Coupe.
GALLERY: Wald Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
Honda has announced its lineup of vehicles for the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon, the automotive aftermarket expo of Japan. The Honda exhibit will feature a variety of models including automobiles, motorcycles, power products, racing vehicles and other highlights in order to convey the joy of mobility and motorsport excitement.
Honda Access Corp., manufacturer of genuine Honda aftermarket parts, will exhibit an all-new N BOX Custom minicar, which just went on sale in December 2011. Called the FLASH BOX, the custom Honda features a special body color, reflective decal sheets and LEDs used as a decorative element in both exterior and interior designs. Honda Access will also display a custom build based on the Freed Hybrid compact minivan. Known as the Freed Wa, the car aims to evoke traditional Japanese culture through inspirations from the ancient Japanese art of lacquering, and flowers that are featured on the car that represent the four seasons. The last car from Honda Access is the Honda BEAT Auto Salon Special, featuring genuine BEAT Accessories and special aero pieces. Finally, the last custom Honda car at the exhibit is the Freed Spike Transportation Version, loaded with off-road motorcycles.
As for Honda’s motorcycle exhibit, the NC700S, NC700X, and Integra midsize motorcycle that debuted at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show will make an extra appearance at the Tokyo Salon as well. The CB 1100 VT1300CX will be featuring new genuine aftermarket parts and accessories to grab the attention of motorcycle tuners.
A fantastic racing season for Honda, the RC212V motorcycle that brought home the riders’, team and constructors’ championship for 2011. Honda’s GT500 class Supger GT HSV-010 GT race car and a racing CRZ will also be on display.
GALLERY: Honda at Tokyo Auto Salon 2012
A casual visit over to TRD Japan’s website reveals that the Toyota tuning arm will most certainly be bringing a modified version of the GT 86 to this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon. We’ve already had confirmation that a TRD GT 86 is in the works, but we’re pleasantly surprised that it’ll be making its debut so quickly.
We’re looking forward to grabbing the steering (wheel) in order to feel real excitement, though the Scion FR-S was pretty exciting even without TRD’s help. Again, we anticipate the standard offerings of suspension upgrades (lowering springs, coilovers) and styling accessories, such as a mild body kit, and an intake and exhaust from TRD. Rumors of a supercharger have not been confirmed.
We have no reason to believe that TRD would be working on a turbocharger kit for the FR-S based on their history, but times have changed and turbocharging has become a very cost-efficient method to produce more power without ruining gas economy. So maybe they’ll surprise us.
See AutoGuide’s Review of the Scion FR-S Here and watch the video below:
The highlight on Mazda’s stand will be the MX-5 NR-A ‘Jimba-Ittai’ (translates to: rider and horse as one) track special. Apart from the funky paint schemes, the MX-5 NR-A will feature 16-inch Enkei alloy rims with Bridgestone tires, 20-mm lower height, Endless brake pads and Takata four-point racing harness, among some other changes.
Sharing the stage with the MX-5 NR-A (not to be confused with the National Rifle Association) will be a special edition CX-5 crossover, the RX-8 Spirit R, which is the final version of this sports coupe, and the MX-5 Black-Tuned, which is a regular MX-5 with some black color features, such as its special BBS rims. Oh, and it also features some rather green seats.
The Tokyo Auto Salon will be held in the city of Chiba from January 13 to 15.
GALLERY: Mazda Auto Salon Preview
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.
After covering all the major tuner and manufacturer booths located inside the Makuhari Messe’s Convention Center, we decided to wander the Tokyo Auto Salon’s floor to see if we could spot anything that interested us. It didn’t take long before this Abflug “Pink Spider” FD3S Mazda RX-7 really caught our eye.
Easily considered extreme by some, this RX-7 is an example of quality workmanship. The paint job is magnificent and we really love the wheels. More respect has to be given to the owner for the immaculate engine bay. North America may not have seen much of Mazda’s FD3S chassis over the recent years, but in Japan they are still one of the most respected tuner vehicles around.
GALLERY: Abflug FD3S RX-7
While Subaru-fans in North America love the STI-tuned Impreza WRX, they are deprived of other STI cars offered in Suby’s home-market of Japan. One such model is the STI-tuned Legacy Wagon, sold as the Exiga 2.0 GT STI in Japan.
Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter boxer engine, the Exiga 2.0 GT STI makes 221-hp and 240 ft-lbs of torque. Additional highlights include an STI sport exhaust, 17-inch wheels, a leather shift knob, Alcantara seats, a subtle STI aero kit and a MOMO steering wheel.
This was also our first chance to see Suabru’s new Impreza WRX STI R205. The R stands for “Road Sport” and positions this model as the top STI in Suby’s lineup. Under the hood there’s a new turbo and ECU, along with a new exhaust system to deliver 316-hp and 319 ft-lbs of torque. The suspension has also been upgraded, as have the brakes, with new shocks and springs, as well as a a new front strut tower bar and lower arm brace. The brakes are six-piston front and four-piston rear units, with 18-inch cast aluminum wheels and special Bridgestone Potenza RE070 245/40/18 tires. Outside the R205 gets some new aerodynamics include a new front lip spoiler, new rear diffuser and rear spoiler, while inside the car remains stock except for some R205 badging.
The entire package has also been tested on the Nürburgring, where Subaru ran an R205 spec STI at last year’s 24 Hour race.
Just 400 Impreza WRX STI R205 models will be offered in Japan at a price of 4,510,000 yen (roughly $49,000).
Sadly, but not surprisingly, neither of these will be offered in North America.
GALLERY: Subaru Legacy Wagon STI
GALLERY: Subaruy Imreza WRX STI R205
We can still remember when European vehicles first started making their way over to the Tokyo Auto Salon. It raised a lot of eyebrows and had many people buzzing on how receptive the Japanese tuners and consumers would be. Fast forward a few years and now European vehicles have become a norm and it looks like American vehicles are now making their way to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Over at the Goodyear booth, we spotted this Chevy Camaro, kitted out, slammed and sporting a massive set of wheels. The Camaro, a large car even in America, looks simple enormous next to many of the subcompacts and MPVs at the Tokyo show.
The Camaro really helped to set the Goodyear booth apart, looking completely unique from the modified Japanese and European cars. It’s not exactly the best America has to offer, but it will be interesting to see if American cars continue to penetrate the Japanese market.
At last year’s SEMA Show, the Camaro was easily the car of choice, with practically ever tuner displaying a modified version of the muscle car. At TAS, the Camaros have been relaced with Priuses.
GALLERY: Goodyear Chevy Camaro
Damned if we report another body kit manufacturer but DAMD’s Styling Effect is highly worth mentioning. (Groan… we know). DAMD showed off a selection of its latest products at the Tokyo Auto Salon, with two new aero kits for Subaru products as well as one for, you guessed it, the Toyota Prius.
As the most popular car sold in Japan last year, the car’s style and hybrid efficiency have made it popular and now owners are looking to personalize their car to hel it stand out from the thousands of others on the street.
DAMD decided to take its Prius in a “VIP” luxury direction, slamming it low with glossy black paint and wheels. There’s also a beautiful custom tan leather interior.
As for the Subarus, we’re not huge fans of the “Oreo” themed WRX STI, but the new Legacy kit looks to be a perfect fit, especially for the North American market.
GALLERY: DAMD Modified Prius, WRX STI and Legacy
Toyota-branded models sold as the Lexus GS and HS250h in North America
With all the commotion surrounding the FT-86 G Sports Concept and the collection of G Sports vehicles at the Tokyo Auto Salon, it would have been easy not to notice several other Toyota models worth a mention. Eventually we did manage to tear our eyes off the FT-86, only to discover the Japanese-specific Mark X and Sai on display.
Essentially the Toyota-branded versions of two Lexus models, the Mark X is sold in the U.S. as the Lexus GS. In Japan its offered with either a base 203-hp 2.5-liter V6 or an optional 315-hp 3.5-liter V6, both with six-speed automatic transmissions. Only the 2.5-liter models are available with AWD, otherwise, both models come standard with a rear-drive setup.
As for the Sai, it’s the Japanese version of North America’s HS hybrid but with a much more “Toyota-friendly” front end.
GALLERY: Toyota Mark X and Sai
While not as well known in North America as VIP tuners like Wald International or Junction Produce, Branew is a Japanese tuning powerhouse specializing in various luxury and tuning markets including Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Nissan, Bentley, Hummer, Porsche and Land Rover. The big buzz leading up to the 2010 Tokyo Auto Salon from Branew was the debut of their 370Z kit. Sadly, we don’t have a time machine to go back to before we saw this. We just feel so bad for the Z.
Branew should probably stick to designing aero kits for luxury cars. We took a close look at several of their luxury car designs and really took a liking to the modified HS250h on display.