BenSopra GT-R Drift Monster at D1GP Booth
BenSopra GT-R Drift Monster at D1GP Booth
Every TAS there are popular cars that we see more of than others. The popular cars are usually a combination of new cars and cars that tuning shops feel will represent a big/profitable audience and customer base. Much like 2010 SEMA was Camaro dominated, 2011 TAS was dominated by GT-Rs and CR-Zs this year.
Many people internationally seem to be frustrated that there were very few S2000s, Evos and STis and 370Zs represent at TAS. Although I feel their pain since I would have liked to see that as well, it is a good reminder that TAS is not a car show it is a trade show. There simply is not much innovation happening to S2000s, Evos, STis and 370Zs in the past year. No business minded company wants to spend a lot of money for an expensive booth to showcase a badass car that has not seen anything significantly new in the past couple of years. At the same time, most companies can’t justify investing 50k-100k if not more to develop a line of parts for those platforms because they cant make a return on their investment. Innovation takes new clients with cash in hand, unfortunately there are not a lot of clients with money ready to buy new parts for those models at the moment…if there were then supply would pick up to meet demand.
Much like last year with the heavy tuning market speculation on the Honda Insight and Prius (and every tuning shop seemingly having those in their booths), this year’s speculation car is the CR-Z. All companies need to bet on a hot new car and the CR-Z was this years bet. Personally, I feel it is a far safer bet than the Honda Insight which I think everyone can agree did not yield an enthusiast tuner market and was dead on arrival.
The CR-Z is already proven to be highly potent as displayed by Top Secret and HKS’s evolving time attack battle. Both companies have bolted on turbos and completed well balanced tunes that have transformed the already capable platform. It also helps that the CR-Z happens to look quite good. As a result, the only thing stopping the success of a great CR-Z tuning movement is the depth of the pockets of CR-Z owners and the gap between dreaming about a Top Secret or HKS tuned CR-Z and actually owning one. Time will tell how effectively dreams turn into reality for CR-Z owners freshly inspired from the show. We will certainly do our part on Bulletproof’s end to cost effectively and efficiently get the best parts like those into owner’s hands.
The R35 GT-R continues to remain the definitive hot tuner car. Although not all is what it seems on the surface… There are two key challenges to the seemingly endless aftermarket parts hype for R35s in Japan. 1. The fact that still almost nobody in Japan is tuning their GT-Rs due to the restrictive overseeing fist of Nissan’s domestic dealer and service network. 2. There are very few GT-Rs in existence relative to the insane number of tuning parts on the market. This means a saturation of aftermarket parts and a lot of companies who will move very few units as the love is spread thin across so many competing solutions for owner’s attention.
For those of you who have not yet signed up for our Bulletproof/Bespoke/GT-RR monthly newsletters,Â this is what you missed from our ultra early sneak peek of Tokyo Auto Salon 2010. We were excited to get all of this information to our newsletter subscribers by 5am Friday morning in Japan, before even the press was allowed to enter Tokyo Auto Salon.
The newsletter sign-up is found on the right column of our blog for anyone who wants to receive our monthly newsletters about JDM tuning and the world of Bulletproof/Bespoke.
Colin and Jeff did a great job of putting together this newsletter under such difficult circumstances (2-5am after a long day). I wanted to share it with everyone, while still honoring the early exclusive access of our newsletter recipients.
|Tokyo Auto Salon 2010 Sneak Peek
Weâ€™re back in your inbox once again to bring you the latest JDM news and exclusive newsletter only specials. It is our promise to you that we keep these emails relevant and exciting so look for some incredible new products for your car and blow out discounts only for our newsletter readers at the bottom of the email.
|Tokyo Auto Salon 2010
As promised, we are back to deliver Part II of our monthly newsletter.Â This edition highlights the best of the best from Tokyo Auto Salon 2010 direct to you first before Auto Salon even opens its doors.Â Over the next few weeks, stay tuned to our blog, as coverage will continue to highlight more of the show.
|JDM: What’s HOT!|
|ORIGINAL RUNDUCE x VARIS This is the start of the much anticipated Runduce x Varis collaborative release!Â Already catching lots of attention at Auto Salon this year, this car is sporting a new rear wing design not to mention a completely new aero bonnet designed for complete functionality.|
|TOMMY KAIRA This is another much anticipated GT-R aero kit.Â Tommy Kaira is already well known for designing complete car concepts.Â At first glance nothing on this car has been left untouched, exactly as we had hoped, as Tommy Kaira’s quality is of the highest standard.|
|REVSPEED We stumbled upon this Z33 Fairlady Z in the RevSpeed booth.Â This collaborative effort features parts from tuners such as ASM, ARC and Esprit.Â Take note of the interesting exhaust design that minimizes turbulence on the rear end!|
|PRORATIO Half-not expecting to see much more than we have already heard about, it was surprising when we stumbled upon this Proratio wide body Z33 Fairlady Z.Â It is still great to see the older gen Z33 still moving forward with new innovative ideas.|
|TAMON DESIGN Since learning about the production of this aero kit we have been very eager to finally see it in person.Â Hands down one of the best new designs blending function with art.Â Look closely as there are so many subtle details pulling it all together.|
|AMUSE You have heard of this amazing aero kit already, and we have seen photos of it before, but somehow seeing it in person just makes it so much more abundantly clear how well this car comes together as a complete concept.Â We hope you enjoy a few more angles we captured on it.|
|AMS We first discovered and learned about AMS (Active Motoring Style) last summer when we first caught a glimpse of their new Insight in Option Magazine.Â Instantly we received a few blog comments asking us to learn more about this car.Â Finally we were able to see it in the flesh.|
|MUGEN A nice surprise we were not expecting to see at this yearâ€™s Auto Salon was a Mugen Insight.Â Not surprising to us was the full race car function and image the car represents.Â After all Mugen is one of the best at doing it right the first time!|
|ASI Ever since hearing about ASI and their new ECO division, we have been patiently waiting to see their final concept in person.Â There are many attributes to recognize and appreciate on the new Prius, and ASI certainly delivered an amazing surprise.|
|AIMGAIN Although the Prius is certainly a car seemingly in every corner of the Auto Salon this year, one in particular caught our eye with captivating details and VIP quality etched throughout.Â We believe this is certainly going to be one of the favorites amongst Hybrid tuners.|
|ORIGINAL RUNDUCE Sure to be one of the stand-outs this year at Auto Salon, Original Runduce has been working collaboratively with Varis and producing some of the highest quality, hand-made parts to perfection.Â Their new parts lineup for the GRB STi easily will be a clear winner this year.|
|L’aunsport We have worked with Lâ€™aunsport over the past few years and they never fail to deliver.Â Here is a glimpse of one of their GRB demo cars ready for some rally racing.|
|CARDBOARD NSX At first glance from 25 feet away this NSX parked amongst other GT cars seems real.Â Had we kept walking we would have never realized this entire car is made out of cardboard!Â So well done, it deserved to be recognized as a highlight of our Auto Salon Preview.|
|HAYASHI FLOWER BEETLE Normally a Beetle would not make our highlight reel but honestly after walking by this innovative new idea by Hayashi we had to show you one of the best examples we have ever seen in demo car creation.Â This Beetle Pickup is ready to be sold by Volkswagen.|
|2000GT ROADSTER MIATA It’s hard to believe that this started out as a Miata roadster because it has an uncanny likeness to the real 2000GT car.Â No detail was left untouched, from the front grille to its dual exhaust, this car looks just like the real thing!|
|HAKOSUKA STAGEA This Stagea has a full Hakosuka Skyline conversion, arguably one of the more interesting cars we have ever seen at Auto Salon.Â We felt this car was inspiring and ahead of its time despite its oldschool roots.|
|J’S RACING S2000 Last Auto Salon we were unable to appreciate the details of the new body due to its extreme graphics.Â However this year J’s Racing is using a new color scheme that highlights the bold new lines that this kit has to offer!|
|SHELBY GT500 SUPRA You’re probably asking yourself “is this a typo?”Â Alas it is not.Â One of the craziest yet boldest cars at the show is this Shelby GT500 bodied JZA80 Supra.Â Projects like this completely embody what car tuning in Japan can evolve to and we are proud to share this car with you!|
This brings back memories. Granted, the picture itself isnt that old. I snapped this at Tokyo Auto Salon 6 years ago, but this Veilside fortune demo car dates back long before that.
Why am I posting this? I guess I still have a sweet spot for the old school Veilside demo cars that inspired me pre-millenium. Back in the 1990s there was a certian feeling, magic if you will, when you first laid eyes on Veilside’s fortune demo car special of the year at Tokyo Auto Salon. Year after year Veilside was just KILLING IT back then, winning top honors at TAS every time with just wildness that at the time nobody had ever imagined. Times have changed a lot since then, but I still can remember and enjoy that feeling of being stunned by something so innovative and crazy.
Honestly, the last time I felt that way was a couple of years ago when Top Secret premiered their final evolution widebody for the Supra. That was the last TAS car that made me feel like I was looking at “the future”. Anyone that was at TAS either when this Veilside car debuted (the old school JDM heads) or when the Top Secret final evolution Supra debuted will tell you that the unveiling of these cars is something special, even emotional. There are certian cars that just shatter your expectations and you feel priveladged to just be seeing them like a rare glimpse into an unforseen future. Honorable mention does go to ASI’s widebody Tetsu Bentley which I saw in the flesh for the first time at SEMA as my Toyo Tires booth mate to my S2000 and it blew my damn head off. I think my S2000 cried inside, out of shame that it was next to the ASI masterpiece.
Anyway, back on topic – Back when you wouldnt see much more than aftermarket bolt on bumpers, Veilside reshaped the front and rear of the Supra, made original headlights and tail lights, converted it to gull wing and just went all out crazy on this car. This was also back when Veilside stuck to their signature champagne color. Since then the Veilside Champagne and the Top Secret gold have faded away from those brands, to my dissapointment particuarly with Top Secret.
Anyway, for those that can relate…here’s a blast from the past.
PS: Props to my friend Ito-san of Do-Luck…his timeless R34 is hiding in the background of this pic. That car still is as perfect now as it was back then. Anyone who judges that Do-Luck GT-R by its color alone is missing out, big time.