It's true, the beloved Tokyo Auto Salon is just the latest big event to fall victim to the pandemic, organizers announcing last week that 2021 plans for a live gig were effectively scrapped. The show was only a few weeks out, so as you might imagine plans for practically every exhibitor were well in motion, which means a lot of show cars were likely getting close to being completed. Alas, all dressed up and nowhere to go, the tuning industry in Japan has pretty much taken to the internet to show off their builds and new parts that were originally earmarked for TAS (which, incidentally, has to be cutting into Auto Salon's plans to facilitate an all-online event). Top Secret Japan's slate of Nissan GT-R goodies and a weird little convertible from the students at Tokyo Automobile University School (TAUS) are among the first couple of early projects to emerge that have piqued our interest.
Top Secret Japan
Nissan GT-R are Top Secret's jam (or among their jams) and the Japanese tuners have fresh gear for Godzilla both new and old. A couple of the shop's R35 are currently outfitted in the latest additions to its M17 collection of aero for the AWD platform, which is arguably the more aggressive-looking kit for the GT-R in Top Secret's catalog. The updates consist of a Version S (which stands for "short nose") full front bumper kit and a carbon hybrid version of the M17's rear bumper kit.
The M17 full bumper kit ver. S comes with an abbreviated front lip, shortened between 100 to 150mm depending on which model year GT-R it's for. The length of the lip is supposedly the same as that found on the '20 GT-R and reportedly improves aero efficiency at the front of the vehicle. The front bumper comes in carbon fiber, a carbon-FRP hybrid, or an affordable full FRP version. As for the M17 rear bumper, that adds a carbon hybrid alternative to the FRP version that is already available.
For the classic BNR32 GT-R, Top Secret now has a really nice 350mm steering wheel. The tasteful and appropriately designed wheel is some 20mm smaller in diameter than stock and comes upholstered in high-quality Nappa leather. The German-made tillers also feature the "GT-R" and "Top Secret" logos embossed in the steering wheel's horn button. For more info on both the R35 aero and R32 wheel, make sure to visit the Top Secret Japan site here.
Tokyo Automobile University School
If you thought NATS Nihon Automobile College had a lock on interesting hybrid builds at Auto Salon, you clearly haven't met the kids at TAUS in the Katsushika ward of Tokyo. They have a BMW-Mazda crossbreed originally scheduled for TAS '21 that's kind of bananas (or some other gold-colored fruit); named the "BM-Roadster," the creation mates an E46's face to an NB-generation Miata's body, which is known as a Mazda Roadster in Japan.
Not much has been revealed about the oddball build apart from a quick blog update saying the school was backing out of TAS and a similarly apologetic IG post. What we can gather from the photos looks like a reasonably clean execution, with some nondescript aftermarket wheels, fender flares on the rears, a duckbill spoiler hanging off the trunk, and a racing bucket with Schroth harness - and oh yeah, Lambo doors (which they erroneously identify as "gullwing" doors). There's a bit of gappage around the E46 headlights, and the build could probably use additional refinement, but for a bunch of kids working on a school project, the BM-Roadster came out looking like a success. Hope they get an A! Learn more about TAUS here.