The girls of the 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon in 33 exclusive pictures

At car shows around the world, it is becoming the custom to behave as if the babes in the booths are product specialists, here only to fulfill the desire for raw data. This trend has yet to reach the Tokyo Auto Salon, where hot pants have not been replaced by pant suits, and where sex is as much an important ingredient as horse power and outrageous designs.

At car shows around the world, it is becoming the custom to behave as if the babes in the booths are product specialists, here only to fulfill the desire for raw data. This trend has yet to reach the Tokyo Auto Salon, where hot pants have not been replaced by pant suits, and where sex is as much an important ingredient as horse power and outrageous designs.

Please proceed to our 33 picture gallery, and a virtual tour of the best models of the Tokyo Auto Salon. Give them a few seconds to load …

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2014 Tokyo Auto Salon: Here come the krazy kei kars

Let's hustle

Let’s hustle

The antidote of the jacked-up trucks at SEMA are the krazy kustom keis at the Tokyo Auto Salon. The 0.6 liter bonsai cars, born out of a post-war necessity, are having a huge revival in Japan. Formerly a favorite of farmers, kei cars are now the choice of inner city hipsters – if they drive a car at all. This is a quick tour of the keis of the Tokyo Auto Salon.

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2014 Tokyo Auto Salon: I heart cars, in a waku-doki kinda way

Iheartcars - Tokyo Auto Salon - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

The industry worries that today’s youth lost its fascination with cars. Not true, says Toyota, and condenses it down to a simple, concise message. (For good measure, there’s also “waku-doki” inside of two hearts. Waku-doki is the Japanese equivalent of “my heart goes boom-boom-boom.”   Or so I am told.

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2014 Tokyo Auto Salon: The $702 socket set, show special, reduced to $492

USAG - Tokyo Auto Salon - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Let’s not forget: The Tokyo Auto Salon is a bolt-on festival, and this display reminds us. But look at those prices! Take the last two digits off, and you have dollars. That socket set in the middle: Regular $702, show special $492.  The small set on the left that goes in China for five bucks, here in Japan $358. Which is about what I pay in my neighborhood Tokyo home center. Anywhere else, like in Italy, where these tools allegedly come from, these prices may be outrageous. Here, nobody bats an eye.

If anyone says “undervalued yen” again, then I make them come over and buy tools.

Tomorrow: The girls of the 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon

Alpha-female 2 - Tokyo Auto Salon - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Kawaii!  You don’t want to miss them. There are more … [Continue Reading]

2014 Tokyo Auto Salon: Japan Super Cars Ladies’ Owners Meeting – It’s no garden club

Where did the girls go?

Where did the girls go?

You are watching JSLOM48, as in “Japan Super Cars Ladies’ Owners Meeting 48.” It’s unclear who owns whom here. According to the apostrophe, it’s the ladies’ owners who are meeting.  The meaning of 48 remains a mystery, it definitely can’t mean 48 ladies. As the picture shows, the turn-out at the meeting is underwhelming. Even a Gallardo doesn’t seem to get the girl anymore, at least not in Japan. But hey, they already have a (low budget) music video.

Tokyo Auto Salon: Big Beautiful Benz

It's big.

It’s big.

Mercedes has rented a monstrous booth at the Auto Salon. This being a tuner show, the booth is mostly dedicated to Daimler’s in-house tuner AMG. The booth rivals in size that of neighboring Honda, and that’s an indigenous car company. According to the Japan Automobile Importers Association JAIA, Mercedes is the second-best-selling imported car brand, with 53,731 units sold in Japan in 2013.  That’s eleven times the sales of the best-selling U.S. brand in Japan, Jeep.  Which proves that with a little will and marketing, imports can be sold in Japan. [Continue Reading]

Tokyo Auto Salon: Very green skunk-works project

 

Looks sustainable.

Looks sustainable.

This plug-in hybrid roadster was found at the Toyota booth of the Tokyo Auto Salon. Lightweight, 890kg only. It is said to be an after-hours skunk-work project by Toyota employees in Toyota City. I’ll try to find out more.