(aka GT86, Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ). Today at the…">

Tokyo Auto Salon: Japan Discovers New Growth Industry: Hachi Roku Customization

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
tokyo auto salon japan discovers new growth industry hachi roku customization

Toyota’s Akio Toyoda never stops warning about the hollowing out of Japan’s industry. Today at the Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyoda gave a spirited speech praising the virtues of customization of the hachi-roku, Toyota’s 86 (aka GT86, Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ), JDM Spec, In Japan" href="http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/review-from-the-backseat-2013-toyota-86-gt-limited-aka-gt86-scion-fr-s-subaru-brz-jdm-spec-in-japan/">(aka GT86, Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ). Today at the show, one gets the impression that customizing the hachi-roku definitely is a huge growth industry.

There is hardly any booth at the Tokyo Auto Salon that does not feature a customized hachi-roku of some sort, or at least hachi-roku related merchandise. Tomorrow, we will try to give you an overview.

Toyota’s booth of course teems with done-up hachi-roku. Under the Toyota brand, there are the “86 × style Cb”, the “86 Modellista “, the “86 TRD Griffon ” and the “Tom’s N086V” – all called “concepts” as in “sorry, don’t run to your dealer to buy one.”

Then, there is the “GRMN Sports FR Concept Platinum,” a hachi-roku-based circuit sports car that should send discussion boards and blogs into high gear. It has what hachi-rockers had demanded even before the 86 went on sale: A turbocharger. And a supercharger for good measure. Toyota and Subaru had maintained that there is no space under the hood for a blower, but after several bolt-ons appeared, Toyota changed its mind. “GRMN” by the way stands for “GAZOO Racing tuned by MN.”

Glad you asked.

Actually, a twin-charged hachi-roku-based circuit sports car concept had been announced a year ago, but it does not hurt to show it to the adoring masses.

Auto Salon goers are true maniacs, and they immediately focused their attention on newer offerings.

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  • Thomas Kreutzer Thomas Kreutzer on Jan 11, 2013

    Forgive me if these questions have been answered elsewhere on the site, but how many 86/BRZs have been sold in Japan and to what demographic? I know from living in Japan for almost a decade that there is a small, hardcore group of people who are into customizing performance cars but that there is nothing like the market we have in the US. I also know there is virtually no youth market, new or used, for cars there either. To that end, I would imagine the real sales of these cars are just a drop in the ovrall bucket and that much of the enthusiasm we see for them is more manufactured than it is grass roots. Beyond the cool factor and the wishful "Gosh if I had a place to park it and if my wife would allow it, I would buy one of those" thinking, what is the real situation in the market for these cars there? Just curious.

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Jan 11, 2013

    My sister has the FR-S with the stick. She loves it just the way it came. (So do I but I wish the roof were two inches higher.) So, I don't think there will be any customizing. (Her husband has an Audi TT, but I think she's more the sports car lover than he is.)

  • Bkojote I think it's a home run that VW is bound to bungle.For the anti-CUV crowd there's a cool factor here as pickup trucks have become so cartoonish. This will absolutely embarrass the neighbor with a GMC pavement princess pile in the driveway. Even better, the VW van fandom hasn't ruined these the same way it has the Sprinter, and honestly the design looks tight. And believe it or not there's huge demands for minivans- look no further than the unobtanium that is the Toyota Sienna.So here's what's going to go wrong-These are going to be priced on the premium end and they'll be hype for the first 3 years. The owners (whom The MKIV coil packs and dieselgate disasters a distant memory) trading in their post-college Rav4's and CR-V's are going to quickly discover the whole host of Volkswagen failures- bad sensors, glitchy software, leaking roofs, and hell it'll probably have an emissions scandal of its own somehow. This on top of the already terrible haptic controls VW has, the unreliable charging network, and terrible range. And they'll have the privilege of endlessly fighting with Sleazy Sam's VW dealership after the 4th flat bed tow.They're gonna make the same mistake the kids did in the 80's with the rabbit, the 90's with the Passat and Jetta, and the 00-10's with the TDI's- think VW finally turned the corner and stopped making garbage before doing the trade of shame back to Toyota and Honda.
  • Buickman the only fire should be in the board room.they just hired an executive from Whirlpool.that should help them go do the drain.
  • Mike Beranek I don't care about the vehicles. But I'd be on board for inspecting the drivers.
  • Art Vandelay Coming to a rental lot near you. And when it does know there is a good chance EBFlex and Tassos have puffed each other's peters in it!
  • Art Vandelay I doubt there is even room for EBFlex and Tassos to puff each other's peters in that POS