At Tokyo Auto Salon 2011, there are many customized Honda CR-Z which have body kit, turbocharger and supercharger. Honda CR-Z is top sales cars in Japanese sport car market now. Many people are interested in environment in Japan. I can understand why many tuning companies are interested because Honda CR-Z is Japanese sport car and Honda is selling CR-Z in many countries. Gas price is going up in Japan that’s why Hybrid cars, B-spec cars and Kei-Cars are becoming more popular in Japanese tuning market now. The price of tires will go up from this March in Japan. Many bad news are affecting Japanese tuning market. Japanese car companies and the Japanese tuning companies suggest many tuning style of any cars for the customers. I noticed one car at the Toyota booth which is TES Concept T-sports. TES stands for Toyota Engineering Society. TES sport concept’s body is Daihatsu Kei sports car, Copen. The engine and transmission is Toyota Cami (Toyota’s small SUV which has FR layout.). The differential gear is from Toyota Altezza (Lexus IS300). TES was asking many people what your favorite concept of sport car is. The small engine, small body and FR layout are the answer from many people. Last year of TAS, Toyota displayed almost same concept small FR sport car, which is hatchback body style. Some Japanese car magazines staff asked Toyota’s CEO, Shoichiro Toyoda about Toyota’s small FR sport car for selling. Mr. Toyoda was just smiling and no comments. Mr. Toyoda didn’t deny about it, that’s why many Japanese car magazines say about Toyota will sell small FR sport car. I guess that this is one of Toyota’s answer why Toyota doesn’t sell hybrid sport car as the rival of Honda CR-Z.
TES concept T-sports have customized 1300cc motor, which can make the power of 110ps and the torque is 13kgf-m. That is KP61 Starlet come again! If you were interested in getting good driving skill on the closed race track, B-spec cars like TES T-sport, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Mazda 2 are good for making good driving skill because running cost is cheap. After you would buy B-spec car, you need to change sport tire, rims, coilovers, seats, brake pads, brake oil, engine oil, transmission oil - then you can go for driving on closed race track (you need to buy safety equipments too!). B-spec car’s best thing is good gas mileage. I thought if Toyota would sell FR compact sport car, Honda CR-Z’s sales would go down but after TAS 2011. One surprising news is coming which is Honda will sell CR-Z TYPE-R. That is not just rumor because one Japanese newspaper had an article of CR-Z TYPE-R. Honda of Japan don’t say anything about it officially. Some sources say CR-Z Type-R will have 1600cc NA or turbo motor and non-hybrid. I wish that is not rumor. I am not sure Honda USA sell CR-Z Type-R in USA or not but Honda USA displayed special CR-Zs at SEMA show 2010. I think that is the message for Honda of Japan. CR-Z TYPE-R and Toyota’s FR compact sport car. FF or FR. I wish this situation would make good tuning market and many people start to be interesting in sport cars again. P.S.: Daihatsu Copen is a two-seater, convertible Kei sports car with 660cc motor. Copen’s sales is in top five every month in Japanese sport car market.