It was quite evident at this year's show that imports continue to generate more and more interest among tuners and of course the public. It is a reflection of what is going on out on the streets of Japan, as imports continue to take an ever increasing slice of overall car sales. Let's check out some of the imported machinery that stood out the most at TAS.
Auto Couture International has come up with a kit that injects some of the LP670 design cues into more run of the mill Murcielagos. The LED rectangular illumination around the air intake is bound to get you noticed!
The Wald Phantom took home the Best Import Car award. The Black Bison line of parts does give a certain air of aggression to the stately Roller but I think the judges were terrorized at what the bodyguard would do to them if they didn't give the car their votes!
I though the name "Squalo" was quite fitting for the VITT SL55 AMG. Squalo means shark in Italian and you can see why they chose this name for this massively widened beast. The car is up for sale at $115,000 if anyone is interested.
Back many years ago when I moved to Japan I remember my brother and I always asked each other why imports looked so much better in Japan than they did in Europe. It quickly became obvious that the Japanese are masters of subtle body modifications but most of all know quite a lot when it comes to wheel fitment and wheel choice. Take this Ericsson kitted M3 at the Yokohama booth; the beautifully designed kit does wonders for the exterior, one of Tanabe-san's final creations, and the addition of the perfectly sized red RS-Ds couldn't be more spot on.
Another Phantom, this time from Auto Couture International.
The Panamera looks so hot from this angle, especially this particular example tuned by Techart. You won't be seeing many rear shots of the Panamera from me…I'm petrified of going behind these cars and looking at that awkward rump!
If you drive one of these gargantuan X5Ms you may as well go full out and fit a full G-Power Typhoon S kit on it!
But if you really need a big heavy SUV to take care of your daily motoring needs then it may as well be the new Cayenne Turbo, seen here done up by Mansory. I was very impressed by the outstanding quality of the dry carbon overfenders and hood, which implement very wide and thick strands of carbon fiber.
Apparently only 100 full widebody Vörsteiner GTR3S will be available worldwide and this is the first I've seen. The kit really transforms the look of the E92 from the pumped up front end…
…to the massive rear.
Those fenders are necessary to contain the 12.5J wide V308 20-inch wheels.
The Ferrari 458 Italia at the Hyper Forged stand.
I can't believe Ferrari can make such a stunningly beautiful car, and then turn around and give us the curiously styled FF!
The Artis A6 continuously had a stream of baffled people trying to understand how the 3D diamond-effect paint was created.
To get the curious finish a film is laid on the body by hand and then painted over to achieve the embossed look.
If the Audi R8 isn't quite as unique looking as you would want then Hamana may have the answer for you.
The GT Edition kit replaces the bumpers and side skirts with a visibly more aggressive design and if you don't like the stock electrically operated rear lip spoiler you can get rid of it and fit a nice carbon wing in its place!
The way Panamera's have been selling in Japan it wasn't surprising to see so many companies launching products for the huge sedan from Zuffenhausen. This Fairy Design body kit…
…even attempted to address that rear end!
You can never go wrong with race inspired look! I really liked the exaggerated Scuderia-like front bumper on this Auto Veloce F430
Among all of the expensive dressed up exotica there was a triplet of cars that really grabbed my interest starting off with the KTM X-bow…
…the answer for those suffering from extreme carbon-fiber fetish. Look at that cockpit!
Following a similar, yet much simpler recipe, was the Caterham R500…the first official car imported into Japan. According to Justin from Caterham Japan the car was receiving a lot of interest from all sorts of people that either knew exactly what it was to those that didn't have a clue. Apparently one guy asked if it was possible to return the car back to its vintage classic condition!
I had Justin open up the engine bay and remove the filter so I could attempt to get a shot of the roller barrel throttles.
A line up like this wouldn't be complete without the Radical SR8!
I'm quite the fan of the new BMW 5-series and this Kelleners 535i was one of my favorite at the show. But too bad it wasn't a wagon!
I'll end with yet another BMW, the biggest one of them all, the 760i tuned by Wald.
Next up from the Tokyo Auto Salon will be a walk outside in the same parking lot Linhbergh checked out for us, but this time for something completely different. Don't miss it!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare