WHEN JAN 11-13, 2013 WHERE Makuhari Messe, Tokyo, Japan URL www.e-autosalon.net/tokyo/
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Lexus Racing's booth designers at the Tokyo Auto Salon clearly loved a certain French electronic music duo when they decided to promote the new Lexus RC F racecar from the Super GT series. The Daft Punk-inpsired race team appeared ready for a pit stop in this promo photo, wearing custom double-breasted suits made from race gear as well as top hats, headphones and reflective sunglasses.

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Japanese automakers and their tuning divisions have descended upon the Makuhari Messe in Chiba City for the 2014 Tokyo Auto Salon. And for Honda, it's all about Mugen.

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The Tokyo Auto Salon kicked off this weekend, filling the slot in the Japanese car scene that SEMA does in North America or Essen does in Germany with tuned and modified versions of domestic automobiles. Of course, Toyota wouldn't miss out on the opportunity to show just how far its JDM models can be taken, and to that end brought no fewer than 34 customized vehicles to the Makuhari Messe in Chiba City.

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It's a rare thing for pie-in-the-sky concepts to make production relatively unmolested. Edges are usually softened, mirrors made bigger and wheels shrunken into something that will be less backbreaking and easier to see out of on public roads. And while the essence of many concepts can still find their way into production, the wackier parts found in their concept forms often end up as nothing more than flights of fancy.

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Gazoo Racing has teased a new take on the Toyota GT86 (our Scion FR-S) that it is bringing to next week's Tokyo Auto Salon. Having only posted a picture of the coupe's rear wing and backlight on its Facebook page, we have no idea what the rest of the concept will offer. If last year's introduction is any guide, there should be plenty more bodykit and power to go along with that wing.

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With the Tokyo Motor Show now behind it, the Japanese automotive industry is gearing up for the next big event. That'd be the Tokyo Auto Salon, Japan's equivalent to SEMA or Essen, set to take place at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba. Subaru has already announced what it has in store for the tuner expo, and now Honda has followed suit.

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Last month, Subaru unveiled the Levorg concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, previewing what could be the next Legacy wagon. But that's not the end of the story for the concept car.

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Mitsubishi's current Outlander Sport has done a yeoman's job since it came on the market for the 2011 model year. The affordable crossover has been one of the few bright spots in the perennially troubled automaker's lineup – it's the brand's best seller in the US and sales are up nearly 40 percent this year. The compact CUV has become an increasingly important part of the Mitsubishi lineup, which is why you should pay attention to this XR-PHEV Concept – it's said to presage the next-

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We're almost ready to record Episode #358 of the Autoblog Podcast! You can check out the topics below, add your own to the Q&A and join us live via UStream, as well. Keep reading for our embedded UStream player, and thanks for listening!

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With two major auto shows taking place this week on different sides of the globe, the amount of news being posted across the internet is reaching a fever pitch. Naturally, things happen, trigger fingers get itchy and stories get leaked, which is apparently how we came across this spate of premature pictures and information on the eagerly anticipated Nissan GT-R Nismo.

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Nissan is headed to this year's Tokyo Auto Salon with a spate of custom hardware, including tweaked versions of the company's Juke, Note, Fairlady Z and GT-R. Even the humble Leaf EV and hefty NV350 have received a little love from designers and engineers. The Juke Nismo will share the stage with creations like the Leaf Nismo Performance Package and the GT-R Nismo GT3. That last beast debuted in 2012 and boasts more engine output and enhanced aerodynamics while still complying with FIA GT3 regul

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We're piecing this together as best we can from the original Japanese with the help of Google Translate, but it seems Chevrolet is headed to the Tokyo Auto Salon with three special vehicles. Embracing the customization of American metal through the themes of cool, fun and freedom, the showpiece will be a Camaro Giovanna Edition but there's no information on it. Based on its name, though, we would not be shocked if it's fitted with Giovanna aftermarket wheels.

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The Tokyo Auto Salon will welcome a Toyota GT86 (known here as the Scion FR-S) tuned by Gazoo Racing, said to be called the GRMN Sports FR Concept Platinum. We only get the briefest of teasers right now before the show begins on January 11, so we don't have much to go on beyond a unique lower front fascia and headlight treatment, a hood with at least one scoop, and a giant wing with unique LED taillights out back.

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Honda has pulled back the covers on what we can expect to see at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon, including what looks to be an S2000 refresh some four years after the convertible left production. The S2000 Modulo Climax is an "exhibition model" based on the old roadster, but features updated front and rear fascias as well as an interior trimmed out in black and burgundy. Beyond that, details are scarce as hen's teeth.

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There are hundreds of aftermarket tuners out there, but few hold the type of street cred that does Veilside. Long known for making Japan's greatest sportscars even greater, Veilside has now turned its attention to the Mercedes-Benz SL.

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The Abarth 695 was originally intended as a Fiat 500-based tribute to Ferrari. Hence the 695 Tributo Ferrari moniker. But this one looks more like a salute to McLaren.

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Love it or hate it, Toyota has done an impressive job with the Prius. What started as a single model has grown to a whole family, including the versatile new Prius V minivan. But for some even that won't prove enough space, so Japanese conversion outfit Campinn has developed this rather bizarre appendage for the standard Prius hatchback.

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If top-down motoring is your cup of tea, there are few droptops that could elicit as many smiles per sun-drenched hour than the long-rumored Lexus LFA Roadster. We first saw the V10-powered 552-horsepower machine at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, but the automaker has kept its lips firmly sealed on the potential of a production version since that showing.

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Saying the Toyota 2000GT holds a special place in our hearts is akin to calling oxygen and water kind of important to our survival. The long-nose two-door was envisioned as a suitable competitor to the likes of the European sports cars rolling out Italy and the UK at the time, and in many ways, the Toyota was far superior. Built at a time when Japan Inc. wasn't exactly known for beautiful automobile designs, the 2000GT may have been influenced by European cars of its day, but it has stood the te

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With press days for the Detroit Auto Show now behind us, our focus is shifting eastwards. Make that Far East, as the tuners have rolled in for the Tokyo Auto Salon, where Nissan performance tuning arm Nismo has taken on its third compact and given it an attitude adjustment.

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Here's a surprise: Toyota has announced the company will produce the iQ Supercharger first unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon in limited quantities. The automaker has confirmed the development at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon. The vehicles will be built by partner Gazoo Racing and will feature a brawnier version of the same 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine found in the standard iQ. With a little forced induction on its side courtesy of a supercharger, the engine should be good for 130 horsepower an

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