Wild rides at the Tokyo Auto Salon
Japanese automakers usually reserve their wildest flights of fancy for their premier home-market showcase, the Tokyo Auto Salon, coming up from 11-13 January.
Here's a preview of what to expect from three of the major brands:
The Honda stand will feature several show cars based on the new N-One mini-vehicle, including the upmarket N-One Modulo, the Mugen Racing N-One and an N-One show car by the Japan Nailist Association (no, we're not kidding) adorned with special colours and rhinestones.
The Modulo Climax is an S2000-based concept with cutting-edge aerodynamics and an upmarket interior in black and burgundy. Mugen specials will include a CR-V Design Study and the CR-Z Mugen RZ - which is not a show car but the first of a limited edition of just 300 examples.
The motorcycle section will feature the all-new Goldwing, first shown at Eicma in Italy and a 2012 RC213V Grand Prix machine as well as show specials based on the CB1300 Super four and NC700, using Honda aftermarket parts and accessories.
Race cars will include the Super GT HSV-010 GT and Mugen CR-Z GT machines as well as the Docomo Team Dandelion Racing car that won the 2012 Formula Nippon title.
There will be six show specials on the Mazda stand, starting with the Mazda6 Racer, boasting an aerodynamic body kit complete with front lip spoiler and revised side skirts, Brembo brakes and a sporty interior with black leather seats and alloy pedals.
The Mazda6 Grand Touring Wagon has a similar appearance to the Racer but has a revised interior with a sports steering wheel and black trim with red accents.
The Mazda6 GT Sound Special is based on the top-spec Japanese domestic market version and has a navigation system, a special sound system and a two-tone interior with wood trim.
The CX-5 Grand Touring has an aerodynamic body kit, Brembo brakes and 20” alloys, while the CX-5 Active Driver is finished in white with a carbon-fibre bonnet, gloss black accents and special alloy rims, sports seats, an alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and alloy pedals.
Last but not least, Mazda will show an LMP2 SkyActiv CTIV-D race car which will compete in the 2013 Le Mans Series,
The star of the Subaru is likely to be the BRZ Premium Sport Package concept with an STI body kit, a carbon-fibre roof, 19” BBS alloys, black exterior accents and a sports exhaust system; interior changes are limited to tan leather seats and bright metallic trim.
The Forester Sport concept is described as an “on-road super SUV”, with a revised and an STI body kit, Bilstein suspension, Brembo brakes, a sports exhaust system, 20” BBS rims and tan leather trim.
Subaru will also showcase an XV Sport concept with a new front bumper, revised side skirts, extended wheel arches, Recaro sports seats, Bilstein suspension, Brembo brakes and 17-inch aluminum rims by Enkei.