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Off-beat Toyota woos custom crews

16 January 2012, 09:28

Toyota went for broke at the world’s largest custom car show with a range of off-the-wall concepts and race-inspired specials by some of Japan’s leading design and race engineering houses.

Toyota descended on the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon, described as the world’s largest custom car show, with a number of concepts and special-edition models to add a touch of athleticism to its range.

GRMN (or Gazoo Racing tuned by MN) is, for example, showing a second-generation of its iQ Supercharger prototype. The model is scheduled for a limited production run of 100 later later in 2012.

The car is powered by a further development of the supercharged 1.33-litre engine previously used by GRMN in the iQ 130G MT that delivers 95kW/180Nm. It has a six-speed, close-ratio transmission, uprated brakes, sports suspension and a tuned dual exhaust system.


As well as hotter performance, the car gains a new look thanks to a full body kit, including rear spoiler, sports seats and instrumentation. and 16" Enkei alloys.

GRMN has also given the new Yaris a makeover. Based on the three-door Yaris, the Turbo Concept carries a 132kW, 1.5 turbocharged engine and is track-ready with its revised suspension, improved brakes and 18" rims.

Toyota’s new wunderkind, the 86 sports coupe, has not been left untouched - both TRD and Modellista have had a go at it.

Key handling features added to the TRD Performance Line GT 86 include a reworked suspension with new front and rear anti-roll bars, a carbon front strut, rear diffuser, additional cross-bracing and a high-response exhaust system. It also gets a full body kit with skirts and spoilers, 18" alloy rims sports seats.


Similarly, the Modellista interpretation of the 86 shows some of the customisation possibilities the car offers, although the company did not provide details of the work done.

These versions are shown alongside the Gazoo Racing FT-86 which competed at the Nürburgring 24 Hours in 2011. The team has announced it will return to the event this year with a specially prepared 86.

At the wilder end of the spectrum, the Toyota Auto Fan Club has built a solar-electric powered version of the famous 2000GT sports car while the Toyota Engineering Society crafted the TES-ERA EV, a futuristic EV coupe.

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