The doors are officially open and crowds storming the carpet of the Makuhari Messe International Convention Complex for the 37th Tokyo Auto Salon. With a hectic vibe on the previous day during set up, the 426 exhibitors and almost 1,000 display vehicles are positioned, shined up, and ready for a billion camera clicks during the three-day show.
If you had a chance to swipe through our set up day gallery then you realize just how diverse the vehicle selection actually is. Run into a group of Autobacs Super GT cars and just a few feet away you're greeted by a hand-engraved step van with 5-foot exhaust extensions or a fully built, time attack-ready R34 with carbon fiber aero and an impossibly low ride height, or a micro-sized off-road vehicle turned monster truck. The point being, it's all right here at TAS.
With that said, here's a dive into what we found during Day 1 of the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon
At first glance you're thinking C-HR, HR-V, or some other three-letter, micro crossover thingy, but no, this little demon is HKS' TRB-004 Suzuki Swift. We saw it at TAS last year dressed in red but since then, it's been converted to a matte black finish with some of its carbon fiber exposed and, oh yeah, last month it went head and broke the FWD Tsukuba track record with NOB Taniguchi at the wheel. Armed with a 4G63 swap, sequential gearbox, and center-seat configuration, this little guy means business.
We took at look at Evasive Motorsports' Voltex-equipped time attack S2000 at SEMA a few months ago but in Tokyo, Voltex themselves have their version on display.
Draped in fresh white paint offset by large helpings of dry carbon aero, a Mugen top, and time attack themed TE37SAGA, this car oozes bad-assery, even at rest on the TAS show floor.
What can we really say about R31 House other than they can do absolutely no wrong with this chassis: amazing build, ultra-clean engine bay, power, performance,AND aesthetic. They win.
The wild paint on the exterior of this Audi R8 is actually a vinyl-like spray from the folks at Rubber Dip Japan. Built by Custom Carshop Jetstroke, it sits on 19in Messer ME09-1 wheels and carries some unique custom aluminum seats. The military theme ties into Alpha Industries, a military outerwear apparel fashion brand.
While the crew over at GReddy Performance Products was building their clean white FC chassis RX-7 with the latest Pandem aero treatment and landing on the cover of Super Street, the folks in Japan were putting together their version, complete with an almost florescent paint treatment.
In the BN Sports booth we found this candy-colored S-chassis with an aggressive aero treatment.
From the vented hood to the louvered and bulbous fender treatment, the BN Sports S15 drew in plenty of eyes.
You have an old set of Mugen RnR wheels, but do you have a 7-foot Mugen transformer?
Yup, we know, you had them in your Gran Turismo garage - same here.
Kei Miura of Rocket Bunny fame standing alongside some of his handiwork in this widened Mercedes sedan