As you might expect, the Nissan (Skyline) GT-R, Mitsubishi Evolution X and Subaru Impreza STI were all very prominent at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon.
These three new platforms are obviously breathing new life into the aftermarket, based on the number of new products that were on display for each of them. The GT-Rs drew big crowds, but most had few modifications beyond the predictable wheel and tire upgrades and lowered suspensions. HKS was one of the few companies with some legit power adders bolted to their GT-R, including a suction kit, titanium exhaust, intercooler piping and blow-off valves.
Of the many Evo Xs on display, the JUN version was a real standout, with its aggressive Time Attack-style aero. The Ralliart Evo X was also a seriously seductive piece of eye candy.
Of the STIs at the show, the Blitz machine especially impressed us with its front-mount intercooler – though the Tein STI was also thoroughly improved, inside and out. It was extremely cool to see the new STI WRC racing machine on display in Subaru’s booth, as well as Peter Solberg’s ’07 WRC STI in NGK’s booth.
Speaking of racing machines, Nissan had the new GT-R GT500 Super GT beast on display in their booth, along with a gorgeous Nismo RS edition 350Z. From the Honda camp the most exciting new offering is undoubtedly the Civic Type R, along with Mugen’s stunning RR version of the car. Mugen also showed off their Fit concept – a work of art worthy of its slowly rotating display.
The VIP scene appears to be continuing its rise to prominence in Japan, given the large number of VIP-styled vehicles at the show, from traditional VIP platforms like the Lexus LS to kei cars, micro vans and SUVs. But unlike last year, when VIP appeared to be the unofficial theme of the show, this year was all about the new breed of JDM AWD super cars. We couldn’t be happier with this since we’re all about performance – and the GT-R, EVO and STI have more performance than ever before. The Japanese aftermarket is clearly embracing them in a big way.