By on January 11, 2013

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). 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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7 Comments on “Tokyo Auto Salon: Japan Discovers New Growth Industry: Hachi Roku Customization...”

  • avatar

    It almost sounds like Japan just somehow discovered the “ricer” industry. Of course that above concept makes too much sense to apply.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen all of two of these in Houston so far, and it looks like the owners are satisfied with the power gains realized by adding logo stickers to the windshield and the front fenders.

    • 0 avatar

      I can do anecdotal evidence too! I seem all over Chicago. All stock. Interestingly enough, I’ve only seen one of the Toyota, the rest were the Subaru.

      • 0 avatar

        My anecdote: There are 4 in the parking lot where I work. Owners are in the 20s (blue, MT), 30s (red, AT), 40s (white, AT), and 50s (white, MT). All stock, all FR-S (no BRZ).

  • avatar

    I’ve never understood the point of buying a slow car, then spending 10-15k on aftermarket parts with little to no warranty to make it run with cars that come from the factory fast… and adding garish body kits, stereos, and mood lighting in the process. And most of those mods are cosmetic, like 200 dollar TuRD stickers, oil caps, knobs, and badges.

    The only 86 concept that made sense was a stripped out race-spec version that came with steelie rims and was ready to mod for circuit racing. But then in the good-ole US and A we already have readily available and cheap Miatas and Mustangs for that.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.)

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