SEMA may take the proverbial cake for the American tuner scene, but the Vegas expo isn't the only tuner show in the world. And with the Tokyo Auto Salon currently underway, Toyota has a wide variety of cars on display under various labels and divisions.
The vehicle you see above is the GRMN iQ Racing Concept. Lest you think the four letters indicate some kind of special nav system, it stands for Gazoo Racing tuned by MN – the same outfit that prepared the Nürburgring 24-winning Lexus LFA racer.
Little in the way of details were released along with the solitary image other than to say that it's based on a limited-edition model that's already sold out, and fitted with a roll cage and supercharger. It's one of seventeen vehicles prepared by the Toyota Motor Corporation and its subsidiaries for the show, including versions of the Prius, Vitz (aka Yaris), Auris, Corolla, Noah, FJ Cruiser, Ractis, Lexus CT and IS F and more, modified by Gazoo, Toyota Racing Development, G Sports and even the Fuji Speedway and a staff collective known as the Toyota Engineering Society. Read all about it in the press release after the jump.
New 'GRMN', 'G's' Concepts to Debut at Tokyo Auto Salon
GAZOO Racing 'Automotive Seasoning' to Be Conveyed Widely
Tokyo, Japan, January 14, 2011-Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) plans to display a total of 17 vehicles, including three concept cars from "GAZOO Racing tuned by MN" (GRMN) and "G Sports"1 (G's), plus production vehicles, at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2011 with NAPAC2. The Tokyo Auto Salon, the world's largest customized car exhibition open to the general public, will be held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture from January 14 to 16.
TMC has seen the Tokyo Auto Salon as a place where peoples' dreams about automobiles convene, and as such has actively exhibited there. At the 2011 show, TMC hopes again to increase the number of car enthusiasts by promoting the "automotive seasoning" and joy of automobiles developed through GAZOO3 Racing activities to a wide range of people.
The GRMN concept car to be displayed is the "GRMN iQ Racing Concept", which is based on the limited-production "iQ GRMN" that sold out in one week in August 2009 and features a super charger and roll cage. Making up the G's concept-car display will be the "Prius G Sports Concept" and the "Vitz G Sports Concept", which are sports-conversion models based on the "Prius" and "Vitz", respectively.
In addition to the vehicle displays, TMC will conduct panel discussions featuring engineers and racecar drivers who will discuss the special features and aspects of the display vehicles, suggest how they can be driven and enjoyed, and also provide tune-up ideas. Various grass-roots motor-sports events will also be introduced, including the GAZOO Racing "Waku Doki" circuit events4 that began nationwide in November 2010.
During the exhibition, TMC will also conduct virtual events on GAZOO Metapolis5, a Japanese-language website featuring a virtual city (http://toyota.jp/sp/metapolis/), and the GAZOO.com website (in Japanese) will feature a special, exhibition-focused section (http://gazoo.com/racing/event/autosalon2011). Information will also be available on web-based social-media sites such as Twitter and Ustream to enhance the connections between car enthusiasts both inside and outside the exhibition venue.
List of TMC Vehicles to be Displayed at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2011
|GAZOO Racing tuned by MN||GRMN iQ Racing Concept||Concept car|
|GAZOO Racing Lexus LFA (2010 24 Hour Nürburgring class winner)||Race vehicle|
|G Sports||Prius G Sports Concept||Concept car|
|Vitz G Sports Concept|
|Noah G Sports||Production vehicle|
|Lexus||CT 200h F Sport*1|
|IS F CCS-R*2||Concept car|
|IS F Club Performance Accessory by TRD|
|TRD||Auris GT CONCEPT|
|Modellista||FJ Cruiser JAOS Selected by Modellista||Production vehicle|
|Ractis Modellista version|
|Vitz Modellista version|
|TOM'S||LS 460 TOM'S version|
|TMC customizing & accessories||Passo de Tea Time||Concept car|
|Fuji Speedway||COROLLA Axio apr GT||Race vehicle|
|Toyota Technical College Tokyo||Toyota Sports EV-Twin||Concept car|
|Toyota Engineering Society*3||TES Concept T-Sports|
*1Fitted with a prototype seat manufactured by Recaro; *2Stands for "circuit club sports racer"; *3"TES" for short, is a voluntary organization for TMC employees created in 1947 to enhance the technical skills and talents of its members and to promote camaraderie. TES built the TES CONCEPT T-SPORTS in reponse to a questionnaire directed at the society members in 2010 asking what kinds of vehicles they would like to see developed. An "affordable sports car" ranked highly in answers to the questionnaire.
1The "G's" series name is based on the "G" associated with classic Toyota sports models such as the Toyota "2000GT" and the "Celica GT-Four".
2Nippon Auto Parts Aftermarket Committee
3Operates GAZOO.com, a customer-participation portal site created in 1998, as well as Gazoo Mura and Drive Kingdom driving events.
4With the first at the Sports Land Sugo circuit, each event features guest Super GT drivers. The events also feature special programs enabling absolute beginners to comfortably get circuit-driving experience.
5Name changed from "TOYOTA Metapolis" in December 2010. The site-a new tool for exchanging information with consumers-provides a fun, dreamlike world of the future, in which people, cars and nature co-exist.