Let's proceed right away to Part 2 of 2015 Tokyo Auto Salon, from Part 1 (in case you missed it). If I have to choose which was the most happening booth at the event, it had to be Liberty Walk in Hall #8.
Liberty Walk or LB Performance is an aftermarket body kit company based in Nagoya, and they don't work with regular cars, but with supercars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, GT-Rs, making them so low and wide until it's beyond one's imagination.
They brought around 10 cars to display at their booth. All bolted with over fender and dropped down to the floor with the help of airbags (air suspension). These sick custom supercar creations were made by, ...
... the one and only, Mr Wataru Kato. His wacky and funny character may deceive you, but he's one true car-passionate guy. He came a long way, establishing his business and making his brand known worldwide in the custom car industry. His cars are like children's imagination turned into reality.
Liberty Walk's latest one was LB☆WORKS Dodge Challenger and LB☆WORKS BMW 4Series (white). Other than the completed project cars, Kato-san also brought his personal classic shakotan, GC111 Kenmeri Skyline.
Electric ride-on Lamborghinis were customised to look like the bigger counterpart. They are for sale and only for cool kids.
LB Performance original merchandise like T-shirts, hoodies, keychains, calendars, pla-models, diecasts, wheels, tyres etc were selling like hotcakes.
And, pretty Lady Liberty was posing sweetly for all cameramen. Snap snap snap!
Back in Hall #7, another Liberty Walk example was on display at Forgiato booth. The LB☆WORKS Aventador looked exactly like the blue one back at Liberty Walk’s booth, but this white Lambo stood out more.
Corvette Stingray is already a good-looking sports car, but the widebody treatment combined with eye-catching paint and right wheel choice made it the most unique American car ever built. That's why the Forgiato Corvette C7 by Office-K won the 'Best Import Car Award' at TAS this year.
Those who watched ‘GoPro: The Streets of Japan’ video will immediately recognise the ‘Morocielago’ Lamborghinis at Boom Craft 029 Motoring booth. They are the craziest, most flamboyant out-of-the-norm bulls you can ever find. Their style may not be to everyone's liking, but when they are out on the streets of Japan at night, the flashing neon lights and thundering noise they make will turn heads.
One more car that'll make you stare in confusion is Zonda Anija. Yes, it's the only Pagani Zonda in Japan that's brave enough to receive a complete custom makeover. Is it a yay or a nay?
I've seen F40s before, but never with its siblings. Roberuta Japan had the greatest Ferrari collections at TAS - F40, F50 & Enzo. These supercars are installed with Roberuta's designed lifter system. Hmm, what's that?
Roberuta Lifter System is a cylinder type air lift system mounted between the car's original shock and chassis, so that one can alter the car's ride height when necessary, via a switch. Similarly, air suspension does the same but coilovers are replaced with airbags, while Roberuta keeps your suspension system as it is.
Two new race cars were introduced by Subaru. The Subaru WRX STI NBR Challenge '15 (Left) will be participating in 43rd Nurburgring 24-Hour Race in May, while Subaru BRZ GT300 is set to compete in SuperGT series which will kick start in April. Love the 18" BBS wheels on the BRZ GT300.
Happy Subaru ladies. :D
Lexus RC F GT3 concept is possibly the prettiest GT race car I've seen. This 540hp V8 GT3 racer will be participating in SuperGT series, and visitors could hear its roaring engine through the headphones hanging around.
Isolated away from the 11 main halls, there was a secret area titled "Legend of Tuning Car" where Japan's most legendary builds gathered at one place. RE-Amemiya Super GReddy 3, Top Secret's Nardo Supra, and Mine's GT-R, just to name a few.
One of the cars that people couldn't stop admiring was Star Road's latest creation, the widebody S30Z. It resembles the classic Full-Works Z racers from the 70s, and amplified with Star Road's modern touches.
According to Shoji-san, this S30Z is simply a hollow body and still an on-going project car. He intends to drop in an L34 straight-6 NA engine (carbs of course) with output ranging at 380-400hp. We hope to find out more once the car is complete. "Why orange?" I asked Shoji-san. He replied "Orange is my favourite colour!”. :D
In every Tokyo Auto Salon, D1 Grand Prix (D1GP) Kick Off Drift event took place at the open area space just outside of Hall #1. It's a special exhibition match among the pro drifters of Japan during the 3-day big event.
This was the only time where famed drivers get out of their battle mode to put a great synchronised drift show to the crowd. Not only that, we got to experience the world's first full electric car performing real drifting. It felt different, like drifting without soundtrack.
Takahiro Ueno was the person behind the wheels of OZ Motor Vertex Prius. Read more about the 400ps output Prius here.
Even though the D1GP Kick Off Drift was just a special exhibition match, the 8 pro drifters gave their best in putting up a great Tsuiso battle against each other, and crowd loved how they tear the drift course apart.
This is Masato Kawabata who did the epic 215km/h drift on a bridge at Hakone Turnpike in his trusty GReddy 35RX Spec-D GT-R. If you haven't watched that video, click here now!
At D1 pit area, everyone including myself was surprised by the Lexus LFA dressed in D1 manner. In fact, this is the rarest and most expensive car to be converted into a drifting machine, which Yoichi Imamura will be using it this season. Its original V10 power train is rumoured to be replaced with a TRD NASCAR V8 engine!
Here's a peek inside Yoichi Imamura's OTG Lexus LFA D1 machine.
When I was returning to the main halls, I stumbled upon two perfect Initial D replicas. Excellent!
Car Shop Glow's time attack FD3S was the most extreme RX-7 at TAS. Those enormous carbon fiber canards, rear wing , and diffusers are not for show and they play important part keeping the car glued to the floor while on the circuit. This 500hp rotary rocket did a real quick 56.463s lap time at Tsukuba Circuit last year.
However, Tsukuba Circuit's lap record remained unbeaten at 52.649s and was set by Under Suzuki's 800hp S15 in 2012. Suzuki-san builds his own car, and races it in many time attack event as a privateer. His car was proudly on display at GCG Turbo booth.
Top New Zealand drifter, Mad Mike Whiddett was seen at GCG Turbo booth with his no.1 fan whom made detailed RC replicas of Mad Mike's own drift machines. The 4-rotor 26B twin-turbo powered RX-7 (Right), is what Mad Mike will be driving this year. That insane engine packs more than 1000hp, crazy!
Hall #9 and #10 is filled with Toyota's galore, dominated by variants of GT86 from Toyota's own tuning arm of TRD, GAZOO Racing and Toyota Modelista, ranging from rally, street, GT, concept, to even itasha.
Among all the 86 present, the TRD Griffon Concept 014 caught my eyes the most. Not only did it look extreme, it's also fast on the track. With its tuned up NA powerplant, it achieved an impressive 58.407s on Tsukuba. That Griffon spirit was transferred to '14R-60 Street Edition' (Right) and toned down for street use.
Toyota showcased the TES-CROSS, a concept crossover vehicle based on Vits, or Yaris in certain countries. I like the open top idea on this fun four-seater, but I wish the designers from Toyota Engineering Society (TES) can improve on its visual, if it ever comes into production.
Kode7 Clubman is a result of special collaboration between Japanese designer, Ken Okuyama and Alfa Romeo. Pretty is the only word to describe it.
If you're considering to change your car's headlights or taillights, look no further as Valenti offers the best custom LED lights in the business.
The final hall #11 houses magnificent creation from some of the top Japanese tuners. RH9 (Record Holder 9) is an exclusive club for top notch tuners who successfully build their GT-Rs to run a quarter mile in the 9s range. Big name tuners like Top Secret, JUN Auto, Top Fuel, Phoenix Power are some of the members of this club. Look up 'power' in the dictionary and the description would be RH9.
Top Secret never cease to amaze, as they brought a fleet of the most extreme GT-Rs. The Super GT-R 1000 in silver has a thousand horses and a Top Secret's representative in major time attack events. Tarzan Yamada is the pilot for it.
If Car Shop Glow FD is the most extreme RX-7, then the most extreme S2000 had to be Top Fuel S2000 Type-RR. Its turbo F20C VTEC engine is capable of outputting a whopping 780hp to its rear wheels, making it one of the fastest Honda time attack machines in the world.
Many people were talking about JUN's BRZ this year because of the interesting power transplant underneath the bonnet. Two Kawasaki motorcycle engines were perfectly merged to create lightweight 2.4L V8 engine. Well, this is not the best part yet. This yellow hachi can rev up to 11600rpm! Mind blown.
JUN's happy lady prefers the GT-R over the BRZ. :D
With an incredible 309,649 visitor turnout at TAS, we know that car customisation culture over at Japan is still on-going and active among the car enthusiasts, aftermarket companies and professional tuners.
I ultimately enjoyed my journey at TAS despite the heavy walking, but the most important thing is the experience earned from meeting people, photo-shooting, admiring and learning about cars. There's nothing like Tokyo Auto Salon, and I urge you car enthusiasts out there to attend TAS at least once in your lifetime. :)