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■ Tokyo Auto Salon 2018 HONDAS PRESS-DAY 11th January 2018

Everything that is anything is avertised on the Tokyo Subway Trains - and of course almost every carriage had the 'Go! Car Fes' posters hanging up to promote the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon !

On the 'Press Day' the doors were open to the media and trade pass holders at 9:00am so we tried to get there as early as possible, but considering the doors only opened to the Public at 2:00pm, there was 78,350 other people that also came through the gates on the Friday before closing at 7:00pm. On the Saturday, apparently the queues outside the gates were larger than most actual events back home, with 122,509 attendees and then on Sunday another 118,169 making 319,030 people in total over the 3 days, actually about 5,000 down on 2017 figures.
With 442 exhibitors crammed into 11 Convention Halls, we literally ran around Makuhari Messe trying to hunt down every Honda out of the 880 vehicles on display (!!!), this means we missed a lot of other non-Honda cars but we're pretty sure we captured most of the H-badges for you - there's way to many to post in the one article so we've split them up for you.

There were so many Trade Boothes and Stalls we had to fly past in order to capture all the Hondas so there were sacrifices made, but it was worth it !
Jade RS
The Jade RS is a brand new release with the normal Jades being Hybrids, the RS is powered by the DOHC 1.5 Turbo Direct Injection engine (CVT) giving the car a lot more poke. With the Hybrid system gone, they have also changed from a 3-row (6-Seater) to a 2-row 5-Seater but this gives the car a decent bootspace and switches the car from a mini-van class to a station wagon - a bit of a hole in Honda's lineup in Japan. We think this car would do quite well in Australia if it were ever to come here but that is extremely unlikely of course.
Similar lines but not as cluttered as the new Civic, the Jade RS with a tasteful Kit and Rims (dropped of course) would look pretty neat.
CR-V Custom-Concept
As far as CR-V's go, if you saw this one drive past you in the street you'd snap your neck, but at TAS, it looks stock as a rock. The addition of sports suspension and the bodykit definitely lift this SUV to the next level.


The N-One has been out for a few years now but it's still one of our favourites from the current Honda lineup in Japan - The RS version, seen here in Sunset Orange II, has sports suspension, a black roof and wheels but otherwise only cosmetic changes from the base model and has the same 660cc Turbocharged Direct Injection engine.

They are so tiny but on the inside they have quite a lot of room and the level of appointment and build quality of the interior is far superior to our Thailand built Hondas in Australia. Leah San wants one big time !
We were literally running past this Modulo booth in the last hall so I'm not quote sure what is going on here but this N-Box features a 'Barbapapa' theme - this was a children's book / cartoon from the 1970's but has somehow found it's way into Japanese popular culture in 2018!
Mugen's 'All-Japan Championship Super Formula Series' open-wheeler.. some lucky kid got to jump into the Driver's seat and pretend he was Naoki Yamamoto.. or perhaps Frenchman Pierre Gasly. The chassis is made by Dallara and powered by a Mugen HR-414E 2,000cc 4 cylinder Direct Injection Turbo engine rated at around 550PS.

JUN Hyper Lemon Fit RS GK5
I think the JUN Booth was the last one we made it to before we might get chased out of there but we had been looking for JUN all day as we knew they were launching their new Hyper Lemon Fit RS (GK5). We got there and they had packed up and wanted to go home after a long day but they were still gracious enough to let us have a look and fire off a few photos.
Their Fit RS is wearing new JUN Carbon Front Spoiler, Carbon Side Skirts, Carbon Grille, FRP Eyelids and their new Carbon Rear Tailgate Finisher (to cover up that ugly Chrome stock Garnish!).
Going back to the mid-90's, we have Pandem's EG Civic in their famous wide-body styling. The white paintjob on the Pandem EG6 seemed to emit an aura-like glow attracting us gaijins to it like moths to a candle.
We were lucky enough to meet the legendary Miura San, President of Tra-Kyoto but we didn't ask if the front-mount intercooler is connected to anything yet but this car looks so bad-ass standing still that it doesn't matter.
The complete Rocketbunny widebody kit really needs to be experienced in person as photos just don't do it justice.

Of course these weren't the only hondas at TAS, coming up next we have the giant-slaying NSX and his little brother the S660. Toyko Auto Salon, Part 2: NSX and S660's


Bede Grainger


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