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15 Coolest Cars from the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon

Japan’s automakers, tuners debut wild concepts and future builds

Japan’s automakers, tuners debut wild concepts and future builds

Despite the similarities in name, the Tokyo Auto Salon is a very different show from the bi-annual Tokyo Motor Show. Annually held at the hulking Makuhari Messe convention center near Tokyo Disneyland, the Tokyo Auto Salon is similar to the SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas. Unlike SEMA, however, the Tokyo Auto Salon is not a trade-only show and is open to the public. This year’s Tokyo Auto Salon features more than 900 unique vehicles from major Japanese manufacturers and aftermarket tuners.


Toyota GR Supra Super GT Concept

Based on the new Toyota Supra, the “GR Supra Super GT concept” previews the car that will race in the top GT500 class of the Japanese Super GT touring car series for the 2020 season. The new racer will replace the Lexus LC 500 race car that was introduced in 2017, a surprising move considering Lexus models have represented Toyota in the GT500 class since 2006. But looking back at the Supra’s history in the series, which includes four GT500 championships (back when Super GT was known as JGTC), running the car in the premier class makes a lot of sense.


Mugen RC20GT (Custom Honda Civic Type R)

Mugen’s RC20GT features a complete overhaul of the Honda Civic Type R, with an array of lightweight body parts, as well as full brake and suspension kits. The body kit consists of a new hood, grille, front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and a rear wing; Mugen claims these components are made from dry carbon fiber and the total weight savings is close to an adult’s body weight. Customers can order the full kit with or without the 20-inch wheels starting this summer in Japan, with incremental pricing said to be similar to the sticker price of the car itself.


Suzuki Jimny Sierra Pickup Style

With the introduction of the new Suzuki Jimny last year, this Sierra PickUp Style is one of a many customized Jimnys on display. A kei-car’s pickup bed was added to the back of the Jimny, leaving the wheelbase untouched but extending the rear overhang. By lifting the Jimny and putting on bigger tires, Suzuki has managed to make a Jeep Gladiator at two-thirds scale.


Subaru Forester Advance Sport

Subaru displayed several concepts given the STI treatment—and this Forester Advance Sport is just one of the few. An STI aero kit and special paint color have been added, but the engine has been left untouched.


Honda S660 Modulo Neo Classic custom

This Honda S660 Modulo Neo Classic has had a complete makeover, featuring a full body kit with 6-inch-wide fender flares, and a new hardtop and front grille. The wider stance calls for 205mm tires on the front and 255mm on the rear, all wrapped around 17-inch wheels. The stock 660cc motor is retained to maintain its kei-car status.


Nissan Juke Personalization Adventure Concept

If the Juke Personalization Adventure concept’s crawler tracks look familiar, it’s because they are the same system found on Nissan’s “370Zki” from the Chicago Auto Show last year. Nissan added these cartoonishly large fender flares and side cover on crawler tracks to make the car look like it came straight out of an anime, complementing the Juke’s round shape and adding futuristic style.


Suzuki Super Carry kei-car pickup

Based on the Suzuki Super Carry, this kei-car pickup truck has been modified to look like a vintage Jeep Forward Control. The biggest Jeep fans will be able to spot the Suzuki’s grille has eight slots rather than the traditional seven. The work for this truck by the tuner shop Blow, which has converted many kei-cars, trucks, and vans with fiberglass conversions to look like school buses.


Suzuki Jimny Land Rover Defender kei-car custom

Another modified Suzuki Jimny; this kei-car features a custom grille, hood, front, and rear bumper, and over fenders, paying homage to the original Land Rover Defender.


Toyota 86 wide-body custom

This wide-body Toyota 86 has had its boxer engine replaced a 3S-GTE, a turbocharged inline-four found in such classics as the Toyota Celica All-Trac and SW20-generation MR2 Turbo.


Ferrari 308 by Liberty Walk

Liberty Walk, a Japanese custom shop known for its wide-body kits, brought a Ferrari 308 with classic “Zoku”-style fenders.


Lexus UX Modellista concept

The Lexus UX Modellista Concept is the brainchild of TRD Japan and Modellista. Along with a full aero kit, they added futuristic touches such as digital side mirrors and a front grille with a graphic display.


Camping Kei Car

Despite being just 135 inches long and 58 inches wide, this kei-car-based camping car is designed to accommodate four adults.


Toyota Probox woody wagon

Students from NATS, a Japanese automotive college, built this woody wagon for a school project. As their base, The students used a Toyota Probox, which in Japan is a commercial station wagon.


Mazda RX-8-based RX-Stance

This “RX-Stance” is another creation by NATS students. Based on a Mazda RX-8, the RX-Stance features a lower, wider stance thanks to an all-new body, along with a grille from the new Mazda6 and headlights from the ND Miata. Since we may never get a production version of the RX-Vision concept, this could be the next best thing.


Clarion Trike Roadster

Clarion brought out this trike roadster to demonstrate their 360-degree bird-eye view camera system. Practical? Not so much. Kawaii? Totes.