Tokyo, Japan - Here we go again. Like every year the Tokyo Auto Salon (TAS) kicks off the Japanese Auto scene with a band and a massive crowd.
Almost 350,000 people visited the show this year in order to admire the hundreds and hundreds of vehicles displayed in 11 halls.
As expected, a large number of the new A90 Supra were present, with at least one model at almost every tuner or body kit manufacturer.
Of course, there were numerous super cars as well as it has been the case for many years now.
However, A visit to Liberty Walk also showed that they went back a lot to Japanese cars with all carbon R35 and this amazing ER34 built as a replica of the old Nissan Super Silouhette race car. This car was definitely one of the most interesting builds of the show. On top the LBWK booth seems to double size every year.
A little incident tarnished the show as the guys from Boom Craft decided to start reving the engines of their Lambos at the end of the show, creating disturbance. The guys from Liberty Walk asked them nicely to stop but their request was ignored, and the situation quickly escalated when Kato-san himself went to Boom craft’s booth. It almost ended up in a fight and we’re glad this was avoided. Some behaviors should not take place at the venue and I personally think that there were enough other places for the Boom Craft guys to play with their exhausts anywhere else but there.
Mr. Kato released an official statement a few days later to explain about the incident.
Nevertheless the show was a great success. We were delighted to discover Toyota’s new Vitz, a small AWD, 260hp and manual transmission hot hatch, something I would have never expected from that manufacturer. A small, powerful and potentially extremely fun to drive little sports hatch back? In 2020? Am I dreaming??? If the price tag is right, I would consider buying one myself!
However, I had the feeling that nothing really new came up from the famous tuners. RE-Amemiya displayed cars from the old days for example and most booth, apart for the new Supra showed cars we have all seen already.
The TAS, with years has lost most of the craziness is now more “corporate”. An event most makers have to attend but reserved to the wealthy companies.
In a few weeks the Osaka Auto Messe will take place and I personally prefer this event as it is closer to the roots with more smaller tuners and “user level” cars.
This doesn’t mean the TAS is not worth it, it’s a great event for doing business and see what the big names of the scene came up with and start the year with a boom but I miss the crazy old days, when there was less money but more creativity and enthusiasm for the cars (and less “kameko” coming exclusively for the girls and not for the cars). That said one thing remains, it’s super high level of the builds with an unrivaled quality and if you’re a car enthusiast, no matter what, the TAS will bring smiles to your face.
Stay tuned for more content from Japan soon!