posted on January 23, 2013 00:26
Tokyo Auto Salon 2013
by Tatsu Tsuchida photos by Akio Hirano
For some reason I think when foreigners (the Gaijin) imagine the Tokyo Auto Salon they expect to see some multi-level parking garage filled to the brim with not only performance cars but also a dance club like atmosphere with music provided by "one-box" style wagons with booming sound systems. Then an orgy of drifting up the parking embankment, scantily clad women in school girl outfits, and J-Pop ensues.
If you're imagining that scene from the third installment Tokyo Drift, then you're gonna be disappointed. First off Makuhari Messe is located near Narita, a suburb of Tokyo. The train ride there is long and boring; far from the neon lights of Shinjiku. For those expecting a SEMA sized convention, you'll again be disheartened. Although your feet will still hurt, it won't be from the amount of walking you do (as at SEMA), but rather from the pace at which you do it. One can't help but feel pressured to walk as fast at the Japanese when in Japan.
|Ok, so maybe there were a few girls at the show.
But the quaint cozy size of this gathering of the automotive elite gives people a chance to get to know the characters that shape the birthplace of "Import Tuning". The experience is especially different for the well connected. Us media types are from outta town, thus the Japanese have a tendency to treat their guests very well. For many Tokyo Auto Salon (TAS) is a chance to not only see the latest projects, but also to reconnect with those that have the same automotive affliction as we do… on the other side of the pond. Nights of heavy drinking, expensive dining, and touge adventures will happen after hours. But enough with the gloating and a quick thank you to our gracious hosts. You know who you are.
|Aren't you boys supposed to be here for the cars?
TAS 2013, like SEMA 2012 two months prior was all about the FR-S. The "Shot of Penicillin" analogy has been used extensively to characterize what this car has done for the tuning industry and it's spot on. The collaboration between Subaru and Toyota has spawned a resurgence of parts manufacturing and our Japanese counterparts were certainly eager to display.
The Toyota Media Machine calls this insignia Area 86. All hail the return of the 86!
Check out all 290+ images in our TAS Gallery
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 10:34 AM
This may seem a weird thing to comment on after all of that, but I really like that Europa. That thing would move!
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 12:47 PM
V4s are pretty common in motorcycles. See Yamaha V-Max.
I was glad to see the 3000GT, I know they aren't as popular to tune, a bit heavy, and probly not as fast as some of the competition, but I had one a few years back and I loved it. It looked cool and was great to drive. Only downside was parts were getting harder to find. I still regret selling it to buy that WRX.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 1:51 PM
The first paragraph on page 2 (under blitz' chrome 86) makes it sound like someone doesn't understand that the 86/fr-s/brz's are in fact rear-wheel drive cars. Unless I'm reading it wrong.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 2:27 PM
read it wrong, i had to re-read it a few times too to grasp it though lol... it was a reference to the enthusiasm for hondas in the old days (think 90's) though they were fwd, and not rwd like the new gt86...
all i can say is i truly hope the 86 pushes nissan, honda, and all manufacturers to start going back to the ideals of 90's... when it wasnt all about gadgets and cars swelling larger and larger... when sports models were simpler, with less bells and whistles and more bite then bark
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 4:23 PM
I really do hope Nissan gets it together to compete with the brz/frs, they already have the mid/high end sports cars..
Awesome article and pictures!
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 7:21 PM
Love the Nissans...... they need to get back into the game!
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 10:17 PM
I went to the Houston auto show today. This article makes me hate it even more. Granted, going to the first Detroit auto show pretty much ruined it for me already.
I was shocked to see the Lexus ISF CCS-R there. That, the Aventador, and the 2007 or 2008 spec Ferrari F1 car did impress, though.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 11:10 PM
Nice article! I'd love to see a behind the scenes article on the Ben Sopra 380SX ;)
Also, I concur on the subject of a bantamweight K24 build! I always wanted to see if I could twin screw supercharge a de-stroked, dry-sumped, and Darton-sleeved K24, adapt it to fit to a later EVO drivetrain, and figure out a way to make it all fit into an EK Civic... the ultimate grocery getter/economy car (especially up here in the Pacific NW, where you sometimes kinda NEED AWD)!
... or so I'd tell my girlfriend :P
Oh yeah, that being said, the funniest AE86 challenge Honda build would probably have to be an F20/22C-powered older USDM Accord hatchback.
Thursday, January 24, 2013 2:15 AM
The carbon Impulse 86 sports a fully-built Toda Racing engine (the ITB's plenum is from Toda Racing as well). Tajima san did not make the plenum.
Thursday, January 24, 2013 2:43 AM
@ Scott Helmer: I took a shit load of pictures at TAS (3288 pictures to be exact).
Check the Ben Sopra 380SX here: (page 35, 36, and 37 show pics of the S13).
Saturday, January 26, 2013 3:29 PM
^^^more like page 52 now^^^ haha... new pics must have been added, this photostream is amazing
Sunday, January 27, 2013 12:03 AM
Pete, sorry about the page confusion. I've been uploading my Flickr account on a daily basis ever since I came back to the US.
I still have 2000+ pics to upload :)
With that said, the Ben Sopra 380SX will be page 200 by the time I'm done, LOL.
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