If you’ve already seen part 1 of my coverage from the 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was all a bit predictable. There were cars with widebodies, overfenders, and offensively large spoilers. However, in true Auto Salon style, there were a lot of creative, ridiculous, and frankly laugh-out-loud creations too.
There were three distinct favourites from this year’s selection of “lol cars”. At the top is the “Sea Car” project from the students at Toyota’s Design College. What once was a Toyota bB has been recreated as a monument to the beauty of Hawaiian aquatic life.
Except of course for the unmistakable smell of fresh paint inside. It may not be loyal to the traditional ‘ethos’ of the Auto Salon but it gave me many laughs and smiles. It was by far the most memorable car of the show.
Number two was the widebody Nissan Leaf. A widebody Leaf is crazy enough, especially when the body looks like it’s from a Super GT racing car. But it was made even more insane with the addition of four display screens where a grille would be (this is an EV after all). To top it all off (literally) was a pop out roof to house a million speakers. Oh, and it had Forgiato rims too. Insane.
Rounding my top three was the Garage Ill Audi TT sporting a body kit clearly inspired by the Audi in i-Robot. It’s a perfectly functional car too with Airex air suspension. We even got to see it leave the show on its own four wheels. It’s probably unbelievably impractical in real life but who cares when it looks so cool. That’s one way to save a second-generation TT. A shame the interior won’t be as futuristic though.
Other highlights also included the Kuhl Toyota Vellfire which had an embossed metal paint body. The details were exceptional. Of course, if you want bling the D.A.D. Mercedes SLs and Nakagawa Lamborghini Murcielago we’ve seen in previous TAS shows were on display in their full Swarovski crystal glory.
If the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6 is a little out of your price range, NATS have the perfect solution for you. Based on the humble Suzuki Jimmy, you could have yourself a “J-Class”. I really do home someone buys one of these because I’d love to see one on the road. Surely someone in NZ would buy one of these.
Speaking of practical solutions, the Hapro ski box mounted on a Porsche GT3 cup car is the perfect way to justify buying a road-going racecar to your significant other. Who says sports cars can’t be practical? I’m sure you could fit a couple days’ worth of shopping in there.
Finally, a special mention goes to the Dazer Toyota Prius. This is how you make a Prius look badass. It looks properly cool with the chunky wheels, jacked up ride height, and full off-road paraphernalia. I kind of sort of want one a lot.
There were a lot of “interesting” cars on show at the Auto Salon, as always. With the show getting bigger and better each year, I can’t wait to go back next year. May the craziness of the show never cease.
In the meantime, enjoy this photo summing up what makes the Tokyo Auto Salon one of the most mental, hilarious, and slightly creepy show; pervy old men going on a photographing frenzy over booth girls. Hand on heart, there were some men who went to TAS just to photograph the booth girls, not giving a damn about the cars.
Stay tuned for the third and final part of my coverage from TAS where I’ll be showing some of the highlights from the car park.