The Tokyo Auto Salon celebrates both Japan's new vehicle manufacturers and the strong aftermarket scene the country offers. That means that the country's big manufacturers show up with concepts and reveals that wouldn't really fly elsewhere. We're not talking ultra-small city cars (though those are there too), we mean brand new race cars from Subaru and Toyota, along with loads more. So, here are some of the best reveals from Tokyo 2022.
Toyota Gazoo Racing GR GT3
The GR GT3 concept comes from Toyota and Gazoo Racing and it's a stunningly sleek racer. Built under the goal of "making better cars starting from motorsports," the idea is to enter the FIA GT3 category, a ruleset used by more than a dozen series around the world. The tricky part of that ruleset is that you have to build a few real cars for the road, which leaves us wondering if Toyota GR plans to actually build a few of them.
Mitsubishi Vision Ralliart
Mitsubishi's Vision Ralliart concept looks like an Outlander that's ready for trouble. A look at what the automaker's race team can do, it has big chunky fenders and a closed-off front grille. With the flat black paint, it's like an Outlander tried to become a Lamborghini Urus, and, frankly, that seems to be something that would sell well. There are some changes under the skin, including six-pot brake calipers hiding underneath the 22-inch wheels. While Mitsu wasn't big on details, it did say this has motors plural, meaning electric power is doing at least some of the work. Mitsubishi also had more production-friendly Ralliart Outlander and Eclipse Cross models that were painted in bright white with red and black Ralliart liveries.
Subaru STI E-RA Concept
Subaru's STI E-RA Concept is a "near-future motorsport study" from the brand's performance arm. Looking ready for Le Mans, this car was designed with one goal in mind: To lap the Nürburgring in under 400 seconds. For reference, that six-minute 40 second lap would make it one of the fastest vehicles to ever lap the circuit, ahead of any road-legal cars that have made the attempt. The goods? 1,088 hp from a four-motor electric driveline that uses a special gear made for "hyper EV" by Yamaha as well as a 60 kWh lithium-ion battery. STI says it plans to use the lessons learned here for its future road and motorsports vehicles, and that the Ring run should happen next year after home-track shakedowns in 2022.
2023 Honda Civic Type R
Though still well camouflaged, the 2023 Honda Civic Type R made an appearance at the salon. There's no hiding that massive wing, and it should add real downforce to the car. Honda revealed no new information, though we can see the styling is clearly toned down from the old Type R, but the company did give us this cool video of the car in action on the Suzuka circuit.
Mitsubishi Delica Tough x Tough
Mitsubishi also brought the Delica Tough x Tough, and that's just a great name for any vehicle. Forget four-by-four, this one's tough-by-tough! The vehicle is the tiny Delica van, but it's loaded with Ralliart parts that make it super cool, including the grille, overfenders, and red mirrors. More usefully, it's got a lifted suspension, 16-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, and big steel bumper guards front and rear. There's a roof-mount tent, but you can also turn the second and third-row seats into a fully flat bed, making this tiny off-roader surprisingly practical.
Liberty Walk C8, Orochi
You probably know the Liberty Walk name for its mad over-the-top widebody kits for some of the world's quickest cars. True to form, the company brought such a kit to Tokyo fitted to the all-new C8 Chevrolet Corvette. That's not the one that has our attention, though. The company also showed up with a version of the Mitsuoka Orochi. Mitsuoka is a Japanese car company that makes modern vehicles that are "inspired" by older models like an MX-5 turned into a C2 Corvette. The Orochi was a model exclusively the company's own, and working for LED headlight company Sphere Light, Liberty Walk has transformed the oddball into what is either the coolest car you've ever seen or the worst you've ever seen. We'll let you decide.
Lexus LX Offroad
Lexus brought the LX Offroad to the show, a new LX 600 that's been gone through by longtime 4x4 and SUV tuner Jaos. The LX 600 Offroad gets fitted with lightweight carbon fibre parts including the front and rear bumper skid plates plus the fender flares. We're not sure how well CFRP stands up to off-road girding, but Jaos seems confident. Lacking in modified mechanical parts, it helps show off just how capable the factory LX really is.
Subaru Solterra STI/ Toyota bZ4X GR Sport
Subaru and Toyota were on the same page with their shared Solterra/bZ4X EVs. Each one brought a version from its performance arm, STI and Gazoo Racing respectively. Both were cosmetic exercises rather than performance changes, though, with the Subaru getting STI's blue and red and the bZ4X GR Sport Concept getting larger wheels, sports seats, and matte black paint.