For as long as I’ve had an appreciation for Japanese cars the Tokyo Auto Salon is something that I’ve always wanted to experience. The scale and wide range of cars, styles and ideas on display is second to none. Yes, I know Sema is massive too, but I don’t believe that Sema offers the same level of crazy, quirky builds. Also, I didn’t grow up looking at muscle cars as a realistic option for a way to get me from A to B and do burnouts to C. I always looked to Japan for my automotive kicks so naturally I have a soft spot for the Japanese car scene.

To say I was excited when Toyota Australia offered me an invitation to a week long Japanese adventure, including media access to the Tokyo Auto Salon would be a slight understatement. I was #PUMPED. The weeks between the intial phone call and the plan leaving felt like a whole year in itself.


As a thank you for Toyota’s hospitality I’m going to open our multiple Tokyo Auto Salon (TAS) pieces with a massive gallery of the (almost) one million 86’s and BRZ’s on display this year. No kidding, almost every single stand had at least one 86 on display!

At the Toyota stand we were immediately greeted by Tada-san, the chief engineer behind the 86 and Toyota’s current sports car projects and also some of the Gazoo Racing Crew that helped the team win team at the Nurburgring 24 hour.



Let’s kick this off with my personal favourite 86. The TRD Griffin. While the car has been around for a couple years I don’t think anyone has come closer to that perfect level of understated/overdone on the 86. Despite the show piece finish, the Griffon is actually a test mule that’s seen many many kilometres of tarmac. It just adds to the overall appeal of the car.

_DSC7273I’d love to have some after hours access to this machine. Shooting it at a show doesn’t do it justice. The more you look at her, the more details you see and the more impressive it all becomes.


At this stage, the engine is relatively unchanged. It has a titanium straight pipe exhaust, some different headers and only a handful of small changes. The most impressive thing is that this weapon has clocked a 1.01.873 at Tsukuba! Crazy!

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You may have spied the white 86 sitting next to the Griffin. This is the baby brother of the Griffon, the 14R60. This is TRD’s carboned up production model.

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So much carbon! Pretty serious brake setup too for a lightweight!

_DSC7255 _DSC7257 _DSC7261 _DSC7263 Check out the build plate in the centre console! A seriously cool touch!



Gazoo Racing also had their special 86 on display. The GRMN, A production version that celebrates their class victory at the Nurburgring 24 hour event. You can check out their GRMN Concept HERE. Good news! The production version is a lot closer to the concept than I thought it’d be after going over the original Concept car at MegaWEB.

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I wouldn’t have imagined that it works so well, but how rad does a Rally prepped 86 look! You can definately see the Celica / GT4 in it.


Cute girls, Anime and Cars. Seems like a winning combination…


So now we’ll have a look and see how some of the other tune houses have taken advantage of the 86 platform. I can’t think of a better place to start than with JUN, and their super obnoxious hyper lemon paint! Jun was one of the stands I was really looking forward to visiting. I wasn’t disappointed.

_DSC7369 _DSC7371 _DSC7374Pikes Peak 86! What a monster!

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Here’s a top example of that Japanese Quirk factor I mentioned earlier. DAMD have on offer a complete kit including interior to convert your 86 into something a little more James Bond than the usual 86 look. While you probably won’t be the Spy who fooled me, you’d certainly manage to turn some heads with their ‘Vantage’ kit

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Some Tofu delivery vehicle…


The Black Edition 86 had some very neat little touches all over. Especially the carbon tail lights.

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EMC 86, pretty cool looking aero package, but check out the plenum in the bay!

_DSC7494_DSC7561 _DSC7570 _DSC7571 _DSC7810 _DSC7818 _DSC7986stay tuned for a lot more posts about the Auto salon and our adventures in the Land of the Rising Sun.