2022 Tokyo Auto Salon Promises VeilSide Toyota Supra, Mitsubishi Ralliart Concept
Here are a few of the highlights that will be on display next month at the Tokyo Auto Salon, which can be reasonably compared to the U.S. SEMA show because of its friendliness to those ready to full-on enjoy some of the wilder aspects of car culture.
Tuner VeilSide will bring a modification kit for the Toyota A90 Supra, and Subaru is going to present a vision of electrified racing with the STI E-RA concept.
Kei cars—Japan’s famous regulatory-driven small cars—will be present in force, including a tiny overland camper from Daihatsu and an all-electric concept from Mitsubishi.
Omicron or not, the Tokyo Auto Salon is gearing up to take place in mid-January. It was virtual in 2021, but for 2022 there’s a live event again, with a slew of modified, tiny kei cars, gussied-up hybrids, and sports cars that have been put through a tuner’s wringer all gearing up for their turns on the show’s stages. Alongside the already announced debut of the Honda Civic Type R, here are some of the highlights.
Let’s start with Subaru, which is combining the Salon’s traditional tuner culture with all-electric power in the STI E-RA concept. This performance concept shows one way to engage with carbon-neutral motorsports, as the E stands for electrification and the RA stands for “record attempt” and is used for track-destined vehicles. Subaru will also showcase new Levorg STI and WRX S4 STI concepts to highlight new performance parts created for these models as well as possibly previewing production-bound special editions for Japan.
Daihatsu will bring two tricked-out kei cars: the Atrai Deck Camper with its tiny rooftop tent, perfect for overlanding where parking is tight, and the Atrai Premium van, which takes the wheel-to-grille size ratio to a place most automotive designers fear to tread. Daihatsu will also bring standard-size cars to the show with two versions of the Rocky e-Smart Hybrid subcompact SUV. One is a luxury version called the Premium while the other is called Crossfield, a fitting name for the light off-roading this thing looks capable of.
VeilSide Toyota Supra will be on hand with a kit for the A90 Supra and has already posted video via social media showing off some of the changes. Action movie fans outside Japan are might know VeilSide’s work from the Fast & Furious franchise, and that association also gives us a hint at what founder Hironao Yokomaku is working on for the show. The kit’s modifications include plenty of front-end work, from the front lip spoiler to the new nose cone. A new hood, modified rear spoiler, and VeilSide-branded wheels are also part of the package.
Mitsubishi Motors will bring out two new concept vehicles, including an all-electric kei car and a new Ralliart concept. The Tokyo Auto Salon is unsurprisingly focused on the Japan market; the last Mitsubishi to wear the Ralliart name in the U.S. was the turbocharged Ralliart version of the Lancer, which was available here from 2009 to 2014. But the Ralliart performance subbrand name was revived this past May, and whatever this new concept turns out to be, it certainly hints at something worth getting excited about. Mitsu offers two somethings if you add in the all-electric kei car concept, as we do, since small and electrified sit dead center in this writer’s enthusiasm wheelhouse.
The 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon is scheduled to take place from January 14 to 16 at the Makuhari Messe.