The Tokyo Auto Salon event continued in the New Year, carrying with it the tradition and innovation that it's long been heralded for. If you're a worldly automotive enthusiast yourself, TAS should no doubt be highlighted on your calendar every year. It's the "mecca" of the Japanese tuning community, and people from all over the world wait anxiously for their opportunity take part.
Honda has always been associated with TAS, even with a seemingly shrinking presence, as cars like the R35, Toyota 86, and others have stood at the forefront in recent years. However, that hasn't stopped Honda from forming a massive display each year that hosts not only some of their most famed Super GT vehicles, but concept cars that help shape their future worldwide.
For 2014, Honda presented the brand-new Honda NSX-GT race car and prototype S660 roadster, which is a proposed 660cc Kei car that was hinted at last year as possibly coming to the U.S. in the future. Also prominently displayed were modified variations of a vehicle that is expected to hit North American shores as early as 2014, the Honda Vezel. Sharing a platform with the Fit, the Vezel is Honda's new compact SUV, which will feature both a conventional gas engine and hybrid electric motor. While it won't carry the same name, much of the U.S. version is expected to mirror that of its Japanese sibling. Mugen assembled a custom widebody Vezel concept adorned in a traditional Mugen colorway and Honda of Japan's performance line, Modulo, also presented their Hybrid concept.
Making a splash at this year's event was an aftermarket tuning icon that has remained relatively quiet the last few years: Spoon Sports. Ichishima and Spoon stirred up a lot of conversation (some good, some bad) with the unveiling of their new S2000 "Open Air Top" concept. The new top generated a lot of mixed reviews because of its unconventional appearance but many lauded Spoon for taking such a revolutionary approach. According to Spoon Sports, "The Open Air Top is based on an open-air driving concept. The top features a clear Plexiglas dome surrounded by a composite trim color matched to the car. The aluminum surface is micro-finished for a unique textured look while improving aerodynamics." The top was such an interesting topic that many showgoers may have forgotten that Spoon also showed off their new S2000 S-Tai Version 2 front bumper. The sleek V2 front was designed via Computational Fluid Dynamics that should help improve aerodynamics and provide better lap times. Though the Toyota 86/Scion FR-S platform continues to dominate the Tokyo show floors, Hondas were well represented at the show with various models from different automotive tuning companies exhibited throughout.