Tokyo Auto Salon 2014 Automaker Display Vehicles Details:
- Honda, Nissan and Subaru announce what their show booths will house
- Championship winning CR-Z GT300, 2014 NSX GT500 and Mugen-spec cars featured by Honda
- Spotlight on Nismo cars and ZEOD RC in Nissan booth
- Subaru to announce new STI contender for 2014 24 Hours Nurburgring
The 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon (T.A.S.) is right around the corner - January 10 to 12 - and what are JDM automakers bringing to the party? Mostly vans and crossovers, apparently.
There will be race cars and crazy concepts, too, but Japanese car brands seem to be banking the homegrown customizing crowd will continue gravitating to functional, utilitarian platforms. As such they've spared little expense to bring the like to what has for years been regarded as the J version of the annual SEMA aftermarket industry trade show in Las Vegas each November.
No lie, we're eager to peep Japanese tuners' takes on all manner of vehicle, from the conventional to the less so. Three Japanese original equipment manufacturers (OEM) - Honda, Nissan and Subaru - have already previewed their T.A.S. plans, revealing a lot of "cute" ideas but also a sustained commitment to keep building brands through elements like motorsports marketing.
The Big H booth will rock a couple of Vezel CUVs, one done up by Mugen and the other by Modulo, Honda's official aftermarket parts line in Japan. A number of boxes will also get made over for TAS 2014, namely the Mugen N-WGN Custom and Odyssey Absolute, as well as the N-WGN Macaron Color Collection, while the N-BOX + Element Concept is an entirely new design exercise.
Do not be dismayed, Honda performance heads, because there will be some excitement at the booth and it comes from race cars (of course). The 2014 NSX Concept-GT, Honda's entry into the GT500 Class for this year's Super GT championship, is said to be headed to TAS, as is the CR-Z GT with which Honda won the driver's and team championships in the GT300 class in 2013. Additionally, the N-One subcompact will get its own One-Make series this year, and four of the racers will be on exhibit.
Another N-One will receive the Modulo treatment, and one final point of interest may be the modded third-gen. Fits in the Honda booth, one they're calling the Fit "Special Customize" and the other massaged by Mugen.
More factory-tuned vehicles and history-making racecars lead this company's display; these include the just released GT-R Nismo, X-Trail X-Tremer Package Stretched, "King of the Minivans" Elgrand Rider High Performance Spec Black Line, and two models based on Dayz Roox, an odd little "wagon-type minicar" which will debut in Japan early 2014. An aero-heavy Leaf all-electric car will be on display, as will the March Nismo S, sporting aero itself along with a more aggressive suspension.
Also on display will be racing cars to compete globally. The GT-R Nismo GT500 will compete in the GT500 class of the 2014 Super GT Series, a car developed based on new shared regulations between the Japanese championship and the German Touring Car Masters (DTM). The ZEOD RC (Zero Emissions On Demand Racing Car) will also be shown, an electric racing car that will make its competition debut at the Le Mans 24 Hour to be held in June. The car is powered by a compact, lightweight gasoline engine and an electric motor, and the driver can switch the drivetrain between the engine and the motor on demand.
The Subaru booth will be about two models, we've gleaned, the BRZ and the Levorg, a wagon-like five-door sports tourer prototype that premiered at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show last year. It'll have five custom versions of the Levorg, including an STI concept variant, but really the BRZ models and news will have our attention.
A production version of the STI-touched tS BRZ will be on exhibit, which was launched in Japan just this past August and will be limited to only 500 units. One of last year's Super GT GT300 BRZ will also be out, but the big motorsports news will be the unveiling of a new STI model for the 2014 24 Hours of Nurburgring endurance race in June.
The 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon happens January 10 to 12 at the Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Halls in Chiba, Japan. Visit www.tokyoautosalon.jp for more info.