Big in Japan: Tokyo Auto Salon 2017 Coverage – Part 2
Photos via Danh Phan
As promised last week in our first round of coverage from the 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon, here’s the second half of our coverage; Front Street Contributor Danh Phan knocked it out of the park yet again with his unique perspective of Japan’s gigantic aftermarket automotive showcase.
R31HOUSE specializes in the restoration of the seventh-generation Nissan Skyline. This ridiculously rare HR31 GTS-R model – of which they only made 823 units – opened its hood to display its spotless OEM-turbocharged RB20DET-R engine. The flawless exterior utilized a set of Volk Racing TE37 wheels to further the aggressive lines of the boxy racing chassis. This exact car is available for sale on their website, if you feel inclined to purchase.
Another rare Nissan treasure present at TAS is the Super Silhouette KDR30 Hasemi Motorsport Skyline Group 5 racecar. Powered by a turbocharged LZ20B inline-four cylinder engine with a retrofitted dual-cam head, this car pushed Nissan to back-to-back championships in 1982 and 1983. In the years since competition, the outlandish Tomica bodywork along with the aerodynamic and iconic SSR turbofan wheels has fueled an entire generation of kaido racers in Japan.
Takeros Japan brought their project Nissan Stagea, which upgrades Nissan’s C34 station wagon with their custom Type ZERO body kit and over fenders. The addition of the wide red Prodrive wheels helped to fill the extended arches on this modified family hauler.
BN Sports makes alternate bumpers and fenders for almost every chassis capable of performing a drift. Their previous kit for the RX-7 wore much more reserved lines compared to their new BN Luxury Sports series FD RX-7 and R35 GT-R unveiled during the show. The swooping lines and numerous aerodynamic slices show an entirely new direction for the exterior styling company.
In stark contrast to the 86 used in Jun Auto’s previous year’s display containing a V8 engine swap, this rather docile kouki Toyota 86 showcased the company’s newest aero additions for the redesigned front end. However, the most visible of the carbon attachments is the SARD Racing swan-neck GT wing affixed to the rear decklid.
Total Car Produce NEO PROJECT brought their Nissan S15 Silvia project car. It’s equipped with their custom GT widebody kit, which draws inspiration from the old JGTC version of the car. The clean expanding bodylines up front circulate the air pressure around the car, and over the outreaching fenders to a massive GT wing and rear splitter, which are sure to direct the airflow out from the rear quite well.
RK Factory, known as tinkerers of the legendary Toyota AE86 Corolla chassis, exhibited this spotless white 86 equipped with Volk Racing TE37V wheels. The body also wore their carbon pieces throughout each panel, including the hood, headlight covers, side moldings, and rear taillight garnish. The carbon fiber intake box and plenum for the 4AGE engine’s individual throttle bodies is a nice touch, which coincides with the theme of the exterior.
If you remember the RB26-swapped Mitsubishi Starion from last week’s coverage, you’ll remember it was built by one of the city’s automotive schools. This Nissan 350Z convertible built by Gunma Automotive University School shows that cosmetic modifications are just as important a learning curve of automotive enhancement as mechanical modifications are. They managed to outfit an R35 Nissan GT-R front end and a Toyota Soarer rear section to the body of the car, while fastening large Prodrive wheels below the fenders to create one unique Z33. The extensive interior work, audio work, and Airrex airbag suspension system help to further distinguish this example from the original convertible platform..
Aimgain, in partnership with Savini Wheels, succeeded in corralling a group of high-end vehicles together to provide a spectacular showcase of exterior improvements. The most surprising has to be the new NSX model; barely released to the public for a year, this new sportscar already has aero pieces created for its body and manages to tuck its Savini wheels underneath the fenders using a new suspension configuration. This is a sign of things to come, as this model will surely be tweaked and re-engineered many times over, in search of more performance and better visuals.
While the rest of the world is ditching their 4x100mm or 4×114.3 wheel hubs in favor of a more advanced 5×114.3 hub setup, Super Made is busy retrograding their S15 Silvias in the other direction, down from 5-lug to 4-lug. They do this to offset their modern bumper and lip combinations with an older style small wheel setup, where they actually fit wheels on the car an inch diameter smaller than what is equipped from the factory, all for the sake of being different.
A subsidiary of the aero mecca Varis, Solid & Joker unveiled their new Integra Type R project featuring their widebody kit, carbon fiber front lip, hood, and rear splitter pieces. The car is the first of many in the works for the new outlet, which is looking to create pieces for a different culture of automotive enthusiasts.
While we’re on the topic of Varis, Super GT professional driver Nobutero Taniguchi dropped by their booth to check out all of the aero advantages they’ve developed for the Toyota 86 package. Taniguchi has a Toyota 86 in his own vehicle stable, so representatives from Varis showed him the extensive composite ductwork under the carbon fiber hood, leading the air directly from the V-mount radiator/intercooler setup and into the atmosphere.
Japanese premium tuning giant Blitz, used their familiar white paint scheme to highlight the aero and engine adjustments they’ve incorporated into the design of this Toyota 86. Accompanied by a wide set of Enkei Racing GTC01RR wheels, this aggressive 86 looks ready for the track or the street, the exact mixture Blitz caters to.
We’re going to finish this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon coverage up with a few images of the FD3S RX-7 in the Advan Racing booth. Presenting the RS-DF wheel, this Mazda uses new aero components from Feed to squeeze the new wheel setup under its arches. On the rear of the car, a questionably large rear wing setup seemed contrary to the mold of the rest of the car and drew some of the attention away from its subtle exterior.
With another Tokyo Auto Salon in the books, our correspondent packed up his bags and caught his flight home, while I sat in our office outside Philadelphia wishing to have attended for another year. Maybe next year I’ll muster up the courage to leave the country and see the spectacle for myself. Enjoy the rest of Danh’s photography in the gallery below!