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The Top 10 Coolest Cars From The 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon

The Tokyo Auto Salon has long been a highly anticipated event. Not only has it been a place where Japanese car manufacturers showcase their latest and future vehicles, but it has also been a hub for car enthusiasts to connect and share their passion for all things automotive – a place where we all go to celebrate our shared love of cars.

However, the pandemic had a profound impact on the auto industry. In addition to inhibiting road trips and exploration of the great outdoors, the pandemic caused many auto events to be either delayed, postponed, or canceled altogether. Fortunately, some events quickly adapted and moved online, such as the 2021 Tokyo Auto Salon.

While this was a welcome alternative, there’s nothing quite like experiencing the excitement and energy of a live event. That’s why the premiere of the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon returned as a live event, much to the delight of car enthusiasts around the world. Organized by the Tokyo Auto Salon Association, the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon ran from 14-16 January 2022 in Chiba City.

After being cooked up in their homes for almost a long time, car enthusiasts from all over the world were finally given a wonderful treat as some of the wildest aspects of car culture were on full display in the annual event.

Japan’s very own version of the SEMA show showcased a variety of eye-catching cars. Aside from manufacturers, tuning companies also took center stage and revealed their impressive demo cars. These ranged from tiny kei cars to full-on purpose-built racecars. Additionally, many Japanese manufacturers provided a sneak peek into what to expect in 2022 and in the near future with their exciting lineup of cars. The 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon was a true celebration of the Japanese automotive industry, with previews ranging from sleek race cars to rugged off-road SUVs.

Here are 10 of the coolest cars we spotted at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon.

1.       Subaru STI E-RA Concept

subaru-sti-e-ra-concept
SUBARU

Subaru finally took its vision of an electric performance car future to the next level with an awesome race car: The STI E-RA Concept.

Combining battery power with their extensive racing experience, the STI E-RA (Electric Record Attempt) is a futuristic race concept race car. Developed under the STI E-RA Challenge Project, the STI E-RA Concept showcases Subaru’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of electric vehicle technology and performance. And it does that while maintaining its signature STI styling and racing heritage, which is simply remarkable.

The Subaru STI E-RA Concept has a 1,073 hp powertrain setup that comprises four electric high-torque motors made by Yamaha. These motors, together with an integrated inverter, draw power from a 60 kWh lithium-ion battery.

With the STI E-RA, the brand aims to break records. The goal? To record a lap time of 400 seconds (6 minutes 40 seconds) at the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit. With that, the STI E-RA could potentially beat the Nio EP9’s record-breaking lap time of 7m 05.12s. As you can tell, this is no small feat, but Subaru is ready to take on the challenge.

2.      Mitsubishi Vision Ralliart Concept

mitsubishi-vision-ralliart-concept
Via: Mitsubishi

Move over, super SUVs! There’s a new high-performance player in town! And that’s the Mitsubishi’s Vision Ralliart Concept. This massive SUV brought the heat to the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon. The Mitsubishi Vision Ralliart Concept brings an impressive to the table, featuring muscular styling, a wide stance, 22-inch wheels, and outstanding six-pot brake calipers. This setup is complete with the large, widened front and rear over fenders.

It’s been a long wait since the Lancer Evolution was discontinued in 2015. But, the return of Ralliart as a full-fledged performance sub-brand got all the gearheads revved up. The Vision Ralliart Concept is enough proof that Mitsubishi is back in the game. It’s clear that the Raybans brand is rejoining the super SUV party with style and performance to spare, in an automotive world where SUVs are becoming the norm.

3.      2022 Honda Civic Type R Prototype

2022-honda-civic-type-prototype
HONDA

Honda unveiled the all-new Civic Type R at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon. The brand previewed this model as a prototype instead of a fully-fledged high-performance car. And despite the more conservative exterior design, it’s clear that this car means business.

According to Honda, this will be the fastest production Civic ever. This is no small feat when you consider the impressive performance of the outgoing FK8 model. Honda already put the prototype to the test on the Honda-owned Suzuka Circuit. You can watch the video of the test drive on YouTube.

The all-new Honda Civic Type R has made its first public appearance as a prototype model in the Tokyo Auto Salon, featuring more sedate styling compared to the outgoing FK8 model. Despite the more conservative exterior design, Honda told everyone that it’s gonna be the fastest production Civic ever.

With all facts considered, it’s clear that the Civic Type R will raise the bar once again for high-performance sports cars.

4.      Toyota GR GT3 Concept

toyota-gr-gt3-concept
TOYOTA

At the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota unleashed a GR GT3 Concept. This is a beast that’s ready to take on the world’s top-ranked customer motorsports series. The GR GT3 Concept made a bold statement at the auto show and captivated a lot of gearheads. What’s more impressive here is that, according to Gazoo Racing’s Koji Sato, the Toyota GR GT3 Concept isn’t a concept per se. But, it’s a real competitor. How cool is that?

This awesome beast will square up against Lamborghinis and Ferraris in the GT3 championship. The Japanese brand will use the valuable lessons learned from their motorsport programs to create even better cars in the future. Get ready to see the GR GT3 Concept roar onto the track and leave its competitors in the dust.

5.      Subaru Solterra STI Concept

subaru-solterra-sti-concept
Via: Subaru

Subaru has an outstanding event. Together with its platform twin, the Toyota bZ4X, the Subaru Solterra made an excellent preview at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon. Subaru is keeping us in suspense with the Solterra STI, but one thing’s for sure – this all-electric SUV is oozing with style.

This amazing crossover has periwinkle blue color and cherry red ground effects that give it a sporty edge. The concept also has red accents on the multispoke wheels, which add a touch of aggression. The Solterra also features special exterior parts made by STI, particularly the wing and bumpers. Subaru hasn’t updated us on the performance upgrades, but considering its reputation for superb drive quality, we’re sure the Solterra STI will be an electrifying ride.

Speaking of electric power, the Subaru Solterra will feature the same dual-motor setup with 215 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. Thanks to the 71.4 kWh battery, the Subaru Solterra STI offers an estimated range of over 220 miles (354 km) in the US. Subaru says the Solterra STI Concept embodies the superior driving dynamics that will continue in its future carbon-neutral models.

6.      Mitsuoka Orochi Liberty Walk

mitsuoka-orochi-liberty-walk
TOP GEAR

Liberty Walk has accomplished a feat that we can only describe as miraculous. What are we talking about here? Well, they’ve transformed the Mitsuoka Orochi from a hideous machine into a proper sports car. And when we say hideous, we mean it. In their 2007 review, AutoExpress pointed out the Orochi’s poor driving dynamics and low-rent cabin.

The white and yellow widebody Orochi now looks like it’s ready to pounce on the track, rather than pretending to be a classic car. The Orochi’s new look is simply stunning, and it’s proof that Liberty Walk is a juggernaut in the automotive world.

It’s no wonder why we adore the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon – it’s a showcase of Japanese creativity at its finest. And the new Mitsuoka Orochi Liberty Walk is a perfect example. Kudos to them for pulling off such a remarkable transformation!

7.      Lexus LX600 Offroad By Jaos

lexus-lx600-offroad-by-jaos
TOYOTA

Lexus teamed up with the Japanese off-road experts at JAOS to revamp the LX600’s styling. The result was an LX600 Offroad with a fierce and rugged makeover that makes a regular 4X4 look pathetic.

In addition to styling the exterior, JAOS decked out the LX600 with a sleek wraparound body kit as well. The LX600 Offroad also has CFRP over-fenders and front and rear skid protectors.

And let’s not forget the cherry on top – the specially crafted 20-inch Enkei rims wrapped in all-terrain tires. No matter the angle you view them from, these tires scream “I’m ready for anything!” This luxurious SUV has never looked so ready to take on the great outdoors.

8.      Suzuki Jimny “Kimun Kamui”

suzuki-jimny-5-door-showcased-as-custom-suv-offroad-suv
Via: TopCarNews

Students of Japan’s Nihon Automotive Technology School created a custom five-door variant of the Suzuki Jimny off-roader. They’ve taken the Suzuki Jimny to new heights – quite literally! With this legendary off-roader, they’ve added some serious upgrades to the already-capable 4×4. They call it the “Kimun Kamui”, which translates to “Mountain God”.

The NATS students extended the Suzuki Jimny’s chassis to 400mm. To achieve this, they cut the SUV’s body in half to fit the extra rear doors. Furthermore, made a number of off-road-focused modifications to the cute little 4×4. These modifications included a six-inch lift and 17-inch wheels. Unfortunately, this beastly version of the Jimny is not for sale. So, off-road enthusiasts will have to settle for the standard model. But hey, at least we can admire the ingenuity and skill that went into creating this one-of-a-kind machine.

9.      Nissan Z GT500

nissan-z-gt500-race-car
NISSAN

Nissan officially unveiled their mightiest racing machine at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon. And this was the Nissan Z GT500. Yes, that’s right! A new Z!

This mighty racer is the successor to the legendary GT-R GT500, and it made its race debut in the 2022 Super GT race season, where it dominated the track.

Built to comply with GT500 regulations, the new Z GT500 weighs in at just 2,271 pounds and packs a punch with a 2.0-liter inline-four turbo engine that delivers an impressive 650 horsepower. What makes it unique is that this impressive powertrain run on 102 RON gasoline. With its capabilities, the new Z will most certainly dominate the track and continue the brand’s legacy of high-performance racing machines.

Following GT500 regulations, the new Z GT500 weighs only 2,271 pounds and has a 2.0-liter inline-four turbo with 650 hp that runs on 102 RON gasoline.

10.    Toyota GRMN Yaris

toyota-grmn-yaris
TOYOTA

Aside from the GR GT3 Concept, Toyota also unveiled a track-focused and rally-focused version of the GR Yaris hatchback. Enter the GRMN Yaris. Mind you, this is no ordinary race hatchback.

The GRMN Yaris takes things up a notch with track-focused and rally-focused versions, boasting improved chassis rigidity and reduced weight, along with more aggressive exterior styling.

However, there is some bad news for American and European fans. Toyota Gazoo Racing will only sell 500 units of the GRMN Yaris, and they are only available in Japan. These units will retail via a lottery system, with prices ranging from $64,000 to $74,000. The GRMN Yaris is yet another reminder that some of the world’s coolest cars remain out of reach for enthusiasts outside of Japan.

 

Sources: Toyota, Subaru, Mitsubishi, CarScoops

Wilfred Nkhwazi
Wilfred Nkhwazihttps://flagshipdrive.com
🚗 About Wilfred Nkhwazi - Founder of Flagship Drive 🌍 Meet Wilfred Nkhwazi, an automotive writer, and explorer of the open road. 📚 With more than five years of experience in the world of automotive writing, he's the visionary behind Flagship Drive. As a seasoned writer, he brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to Flagship Drive, providing readers with the latest news, reviews, and trends in the automotive world. Wilfred has a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the technology and engineering behind cars, making him the go-to expert for all things automotive. When he isn't behind the wheel, you can find him exploring the latest automotive innovations or attending industry events. He is also the curator of CarReviewHQ.com, where he dissects the finest details of automobiles.
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