The start of a new year is often associated with new beginnings, a change of pace, or a total refresh in our lives. It is a time when we choose to look forward and welcome the plenty of things the coming year may have in store for us. For the Japanese and their vibrant car industry, they have the Tokyo Auto Salon (TAS) to kick things off for the new year.
Ongoing for its 28th year, the Tokyo Auto Salon has long since been a staple show to start the year for the global automotive calendar. The show, held at the Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall in Chiba, is a host to the various styles of aftermarket modification that the Japanese are known for. Here you will come across a congregation of the latest in tuning products as well as any upcoming trends in automotive styling. While the Japanese are certainly known for making countless parts and upgrades on their local vehicles, you’d be dead wrong to think that this show is filled with nothing but ‘JDM’. In here, nothing escapes the turn of a wrench or spanner.
Certainly not this Italian exotica…
…nor this minivan…
…nor this Mazda Miata (or at least, that’s what it used to be). That said, TAS has enough variety of vehicles on display to prove that anything and everything can be modified in more ways than one.
Truth be told, TAS over the years has defined itself to be the event that is the last thing from predictable. In this show you can and will find something you will dislike or find weird as much as you will find something that’ll stop you dead in your tracks and make you drool.
One moment you’re ogling at a properly built Nissan GT-R…
…the next you’d find yourself blinded by all the jewelry on this Mercedes-Benz.
To many participants of TAS, entering the show would mean having to out-do their fellow builders to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Take this Toyota Celsior by Absolute King, what started out as a mundane four-door family car has been turned into this extreme and eye-catching example. Everything from mild modifications, to all-out builds, to the down right insane, the cars in the Tokyo Auto Salon can cater to the widest of spectrums in styling.
Of course, with a sizeable percentage of their market present at an event of this proportion, the manufacturers themselves will not let an opportunity to showcase their goods go by. For the most part, these manufacturers are out to display their latest models as well as the racecars that they’re planning to field in various races for the upcoming year. Above is the new Subaru WRX STI to be fielded at this year’s Nürburgring 24h race in Germany.
Bringing things closer to home, Nissan and Honda unveil their new GT500 racers (GT-R and NSX respectively) for the 2014 season of Super GT. These cars, along with other GT500 cars by other manufacturers, have been anticipated as there has been a revamp of Super GT regulations this season to accommodate the technical ruling unification with the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) series in the near future. That said, we may see GT racers from all over the world compete in a unified racing series in the near future, and Super GT is taking the first step towards making this happen.
Overall, TAS brings to its attendees the many facets of not only the Japanese aftermarket, but the limitless capabilities of the many people who put their time and effort into building cars that go beyond the existing boundaries of style and performance. Variety is the spice of life after all, and with every succeeding show in the coming years, the Tokyo Auto Salon will continue to push the envelope in bringing the latest and best things the Japanese market has to offer.