Tokyo Auto Salon, Day 2

Toyota

Somehow, Toyota’s product design remains weak and derivative, especially when it concerns the cars they produce for their domestic market. Exhibit A is this Toyota Crown, sporting a BMW 7-series boot mashed together with a Mercedes S-class grille on the front.

Toyota Crown

Toyota Crown

Motorsport Pavilion

The Motorsport pavilion was new this year, and showed a nice variety of competition cars, including last year’s MacLaren and Ferrari F1 cars. The real attraction, though, was the Gran Turismo 4 booth, where 15 or so stations were all outfitted with Recaro seats and even rollcages. Serious stuff.

Gran Turismo 4 booth

slot cars

More madness from the Nihon Auto College

The faux Mercedes and Chryslers documented in yesterday’s post were just the beginning from the Nihon Auto College. They also showed a few other fantastically bizarre creations, including a odd mashup of a 50s Plymouth with something straight out of an anime movie was a particular favorite. At the botttom, this green… well, we’ll leave it at that.

nihon

nihon

Subaru

No great revelations at the Subaru booth. They did, however, display the latest evolution of the STi, a car whose name most people would find longer and less memorable than the randomly-assigned license plate it would wear on public roads. But to a Subaru geek, the WRX STi S204 is all they’d need to hear.

WRX STi S204

This factory Legacy was also pretty sharp:

WRX STi S204

Mitsubishi

By the time of this show, the big news for Mitsubishi was already old news. The old news being the tenth evolution of the eponymous Lancer, which debuted at Frankfurt late last year. In person, it works; it’s a much more coherent shape than the current one, which really relied on flares and wings to hide the pedestrian economy car beneath.

Lancer Evo X
Lancer Evo X
Lancer Evo X

My favorite at the Mitubishi stand, though, was this racecar based on the wagon version of the present Lancer:

Lancer Evo 9 wagon

Fixing the botched facelift

Leave it to the aftermarket’s plastic surgeons to fix what Subaru clearly couldn’t — the new Impreza’s regrettably botched nose job. Aftermarket grilles to remedy the problem were widespread:

modded impreza
modded impreza

Daihatsu

Pint-size Z4 clone:

daihatsu

And the second-cutest racecar ever:

daihatsu

More hybrid love, this time from Honda

Photos of Honda’s hybrid Civic have already made the rounds of the net, but that doesn’t detract from how nice it looks in person. Too bad it’s no longer available with a manual transmission. The wheels really fill out the arches nicely, and almost make it look like a 3/4-scale Audi A6.

Civic Hybrid

Hartge

When BMW is making such unbelievable performance cars from the factory, what’s a proud tuner to do? Make the lower-end models look better, apparently, as you can tell from this mildly warmed-over 525i.

Hartge

Miscellanea

Race-prepped S2000:

Race S2000

Race S2000

Big-brake kits for the Smart car. Don’t bother asking why.

Civic Hybrid