10 Awesome Race Cars From the Tokyo Auto Salon

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

The 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon isn’t all about show, there’s plenty of cars that go as well.

With new regulations for the Super GT series for 2014, several automakers showed off their entrants for next year’s race season, while the Makuhari Messe was also packed with several of this year’s most successful motorsports machines.

Check out 10 of our favorites below.

Maybe it’s because it never made it to North America, or maybe it’s because the R35 GT-R is just that much more dominant on and off the track. Whatever is the case, it’s almost seems like the R34 GT-R is long forgotten, but drifters in Japan still love the platform. The D1 Grand Prix is still the top drifting championship series in Japan, and this Nissan R34 GT-R from Bold World is a reminder that not all GT-Rs have to be from the present.

Gazoo Racing will once again compete at the Nurburgring 24 Hours after having much success in the last two years. In 2012, Gazoo Racing took the win in the SP3 class and last year’s outing gave them a third- and fourth-place finish. The team hopes to reclaim the title at this year’s race and started off the year by showing off its Toyota GT 86 race cars at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon.

The Honda CR-Z GT is hardly new, but we have to pay our respects to the Japanese automaker after claiming the driver’s and team championships in the GT300 class of the Super GT series last season. Powered by a 2.8-liter twin-turbo V6 engine paired with a hybrid racing system, the CR-Z GT is still one of our favorite Super GT race cars, though it only makes us wish that the production CR-Z was more powerful and fun to drive.

As awesome as the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT500 is, it’s even better when you see it with livery and decked out with a team’s colors. In GTNET’s case, its GT-R race entry for the 2013 Super GT series in the GT300 class sports a bright orange shade that seems to pair up with the GT-R’s body lines perfectly. At this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, we found the GTNET GT-R at the C-West booth, a company that has been manufacturing aero kits in Japan for over a decade.

When you take a car as good looking as the Subaru BRZ and turn it into a GT300-class racer, the result is even more beautiful. The Subaru BRZ GT300 is another one of our favorite Super GT race cars of all time, with its aggressive wide body that suits the BRZ’s lines perfectly. The Subaru BRZ GT300 will continue to compete next season as the team looks to improve on its race car in hopes of chasing a championship.

What’s better than a Mercedes-Benz SLS? An SLS race car of course. Dixcel, a brake company based in the UK, brought its GT300-class racer to the 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon, a race car that captured the class victory at last year’s eighth round of the Super GT Series. We simply love the fact that a European car has been competing in the Super GT series, which we’ll now be seeing more of thanks to its merger with DTM.

Subaru decided to take the cover off its 2015 WRX STI race car at the 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon, ahead of the production model’s debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. Given that we’ve already seen the 2015 Subaru WRX at the 2013 LA Auto Show, it only takes a bit of imagination to see what the STI variant will look like. This race car will be competing at this year’s Nurburgring 24 Hours and we’ll get to see just how formidable Subaru’s new WRX platform is.

The Lexus LFA Code X is a creation by the Japanese automaker and Gazoo Racing that will be competing at this year’s Nurburgring 24 Hours. Looking to improve on its previous outings with the Japanese automaker’s uber-expensive LFA, the team has bumped the engine’s displacement to 5.3 liters from the standard 4.8. In stock form, the powerplant makes 552 hp and with the larger displacement, it’s a given that it has more performance. Unfortunately, the team didn’t reveal any actual figures but promises that the engine has been better tuned to deliver quicker times on the Nurburgring.

How could we not mention the Lexus RC F GT500 race car? For the 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon, the team wanted to give the Lexus Racing booth a monotone theme, which resulted in a pristine white RC F GT500 race car contrasted by black wheels and a faux crew pit sporting black and white attire. The production RC F will make its debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, but we’re more curious to see how its race car variant will do against the competition.

Speaking of competition, the Honda NSX-GT is arguably the most anticipated Super GT race car in quite some time. Despite the fact that it won’t be using the same powertrain as the production NSX model, which is due in 2015, the development of Honda’s race car gives us a real good look at the potential of its production model from a development standpoint. And given Honda’s recent success in the GT300 class with its CR-Z race car, expectations are high for the NSX-GT in the GT500 class.

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at AutoGuide.com saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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