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2007 Tokyo Auto Salon Highlights and Review

January 17, 2007

This year's Tokyo Auto Salon, TAS for short, was bigger and more extravagant than any previous one. Everything on display was truly awe-inspiring, including the cars, new products, and, of course, the Japanese models. I want to take this opportunity to provide my opinion on the best cars and products featured at TAS. I feel that the following showpieces were some of the most unique and original designs in the entire show.

The car that seems to have stolen the show is the Top Secret Toyota Supra. At first glance, it seems like just another "ordinary" Supra. Of course the gold paint and the amazing body kit are eye-catching, but there doesn't seem to be anything too extraordinary. It's just a nicely prepared Supra. That's what I though until I looked under the hood and saw the V12 1GZ-FE engine sitting in the engine bay. You heard right. The 1GZ-FE is a 5.0-liter 12 cylinder monster that Toyota used in the Toyota President Executive Sedan. However, in the Supra, it certainly packs a much bigger punch.

This crazy engine swap alone is enough to make the Top Secret Supra one of the coolest and most unique cars at Tokyo Auto Salon 2007, but Top Secret didn't stop there. They completely reworked the look of the Supra using a one-off wide body kit. To be totally honest with you, I didn't even realize that this was a Supra until I took a second look. The front of the car is completely different, and the custom headlights give it an awesome futuristic look. Also, the wheels are absolutely perfect. The size and offset of the Volk racing wheels are a great match for the car. Top Secret's signature golden paint job finishes off the Supra nicely. Top Secret claims that this car will be putting out over 1000 HP at the wheels when it is complete. We will wait and see, but no matter how much power this thing makes, it will remain one of the best customized rides of TAS and probably of the year.

Many manufacturers came out with new and exciting wheel products at this year's Tokyo Auto Salon. Volk racing was one of these manufacturers introducing the gorgeous GTF forged two-piece wheel. This 10-spoke wheel will be available in 18 inch and 19 inch applications when it debuts later this spring. Volk also announced that it will be an official wheel supplier for the Williams Formula 1 racing team starting in 2007. This is a big boost for the company and will certainly increase their sales throughout the world. It also shows the quality and craftsmanship of Volk racing wheels although this quality does come with a fairly steep price tag. Blitz also showed off a brand new wheel design, the BRW08, available in 17 inch and 18 inch versions.

In addition to customized street cars displayed at the show, the Tokyo Auto Salon featured many "time attack" cars and all-out race cars (mostly from Japan's Super GT racing series). For those of you that are not familiar with the Japanese racing scene, a time attack car is a purpose built tuner car meant to run two to three laps at a time on a particular race track. Usually, these cars are rated by their time at the popular Tsukuba circuit in Japan. A time below one minute around the track is considered exceptional. In particular, the recently-built Top Fuel S2000 stood out among the time attack cars. The carbon wide body kit and bright white wheels really set this car off when it comes to aesthetics.

Overall, I feel that the show was a great success, and it truly does get better with every year. Just when you think that you've seen it all, Top Secret goes ahead and puts a V12 engine in a Supra. You can never predict what you're going to find at the Tokyo Auto Salon.