The Hottest Cars and Parts:
Tokyo Auto Salon 2015
Thru Dan Olivares’ Lens

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There’s never a shortage of race cars on display at TAS, this year’s offerings including Falken’s GT3 RSR which appears to be preparing for the Nurburgring 24, Nismo’s FIA GT3 spec GTR, and Motul/Autech’s spectacular looking SuperGT GTR. Just look at the crazy aero on the rear of this thing!


HKS also had their R35 Time Attack car on display, which won the R35 GTR Class at the World Time Attack Challenge a few month’s ago with Nob Taniguchi at the wheel. Some serious dive plans/canards on the front end of this monster, not to mention it makes 1,300-hp and was hitting speeds close to 300kph down the front straight at Sydney Motorsports Park. In fact, with a lap time of 1:30.8 at WTAC, it’s the fastest R35 GTR in that event’s history.


Another drool-inducing SuperGT machine on display is this Lexus RC-F from Zent. The level of aero development in SuperGT is just incredible. Second only to F1 and perhaps DTM.

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We’re intrigued by Lexus’ entry into the factory GT3 race car marketplace with this RC-F concept almost as much as we’re intrigued by the look of this display. I’m guessing the headphones are so you can hear what the car sounds like as it rips around a race track, and it certainly looks fast sitting still, too. It’ll be interesting to see if Lexus puts these into production and tries to compete with Porsche, Audi, BMW and Nissan who all offer GT3 race cars to select customers.


Speaking of OEM race car programs, here’s a SuperGT GT300 category Audi R8, which I assume is based on their standard GT3 car and then tweaked to fit the Japanese GT300 rules.

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Here’s another 2014 World Time Attack Challenge standout, Kyushu Danji’s bonkers-looking R34 GTR. This monster finished 3rd in the Pro-Am class with a fastest lap time of 1:31.6, a 10th quicker than Top Secret’s R35 driven by our drinking buddy Tarzan Yamada. The aero work on this car, which appears to be by Voltex, must make some serious downforce. I don’t think I’ve ever seen side splitters as aggressive as these before, which I’m sure continue under the car to create a full flat-bottom that connects to a rear diffuser.

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Speaking of Tarzan and Top Secret, here’s the R35 he piloted at WTAC. As you’d expect from Smokey at Top Secret, this thing makes huge power and looks seriously badass, but based on the livestream video it appeared to be struggling a bit with rear grip. Still, with a lap time of 1:31.7 it was well within striking distance of HKS and was actually leading the class early on in the event. It’ll be interesting to see if both these cars return to WTAC in 2015 and which team ends up coming out on top. Or perhaps a new R35 will jump to the top of the order? Time will tell.


And how about this Gazoo Racing LFA, complete with dirt and battle scars from the 2014 Nurburgring 24. This car’s driver lineup included Toyota’s President Akio Toyoda, and if I’m not mistaken the car won the SP8 class while finishing 13th overall. Incredible performance! If you’re wondering what’s behind Toyota’s recent resurgence in the sports car world, look no further than top man Toyoda-san. He is a true motorsports fanatic and clearly understands the marketing and R&D value that comes from racing.


Yet another factory produced GT3 platform, the M-Power BMW Z4, which appears to have been tweaked for GT300 duties in the SuperGT series.

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I’ve always had a thing for Lotus, so this SuperGT GT300 version makes my pants fit a little tighter than normal, even if it’s produced by Mooncraft, a Japanese race car designer and manufacturer, rather than Lotus Cars in the UK.


Let me sneak one more race car in here, because the Top Fuel S2000 is certainly deserving of some mention. With Taniguchi at the wheel it clocked an incredible 1:26.8 at the 2014 WTAC, good for 4th in Pro class and 5th overall. That’s a 2-second improvement over their 2013 performance, more of which can likely be attributed to the incredible aero package Voltex has developed for it, and if they knock another 2-seconds off this year they’ll be right there in the mix for the class win and track record set by the Tilton Evo at 1:24.855.

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