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Tokyo Auto Salon 2016 Day 1: The Big Hits

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It's been a couple years since I've been to Tokyo Auto Salon and let me tell you, it feels great to be back. The scene here is getting big again and is a lot better than where I left off. The halls are packed and have even expanded a bit, so it was pretty tough seeing everything in one day. As you know, TAS remains somewhat of a closed event to the public on its first day until later in the day, so for those of us who have the luxury of taking advantage of the perk, it's crucial to find as many gems as possible before the crowds descend down on us. Here are the big talks of the show:


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One company seeing a lot of talk leading up to TAS was the return of Kuhl Racing, which is known for crafting a Nissan GT-R with engraved silver metal paint (seen most recently at SEMA 2015), and this time they did one up in gold. Baller status.

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You can even have your VR38DETT decked out in matching Kuhl treatment. Super baller.

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This Nissan Caravan might at first glance be unassuming but I can tell you it's far from that: the ambulance theme is what'll throw you off until you spot the air suspension, cool Work wheels and a custom SR20 engine swap that's mounted inside the vehicle.

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Something tells me if this were available in the US, it'd be something a handful of people would be doing.

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The latest addition to the Rocket Bunny aero lineup is for the ND MX-5 Miata, and TRUST Japan debuted it first. Stay tuned for a full feature on this very soon!

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The ND chassis is one of the more popular cars of the show, and since it's new, many companies are offering parts. Garage Vary has a nice looking kit for this as well.

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Lexus Japan had a really impressive setup, not only with the RC F GT 500 race car but a trick toy car track set (more on that later)!

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The North Hall is a relatively new addition to the TAS halls, and this year it highlighted performance tuning shops like the famed Top Fuel out of Mie, known years ago for fast dragsters and more recently quick super lap competitors, like this record setting S2000, driven by Nobuteru Taniguchi. Good to see it out in public again.

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The new JDM Civic Type R sold out all its 400 units with a quickness but Mugen now one ups the awesomeness of this car with various dress-up goods. If only we could get the car in the first place...

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At quick glance you might mistake this for the Rocket Bunny kit but this is Aimgain, which also has bolted overfenders but is slightly different (and very stylish) on the ND Miata.

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Subaru's BRZ STI Concept parked alongside a GT 300 racecar.

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This may never reach the States, if it even comes to fruition at all, but I totally dig the S-FR Concept, especially parked next to the FT-1.

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Kato-san from Liberty Walk brought the heat for his booth, a gigantic collection of supercars, Euro luxury and this old school Z, all donned in the overfender sexiness that makes him a hot commodity in today's tuning scene.

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Always a hit at TAS is the RE Amemiya booth, and this time he brought this Mazda Chantez Kei-car, tuned for the modern day with a 13B signature swap and really cool body work.

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I'll end my first day with one more look at the (still) super hot Rocket Bunny clan, this being the Pandem kit for the E36 M3. We'll also have a full feature on this coming very soon.

Lots more Tokyo Auto Salon coverage and photos are on their way. Be sure to check back and follow our Instagram (@drivingline) for all the latest updates!

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