Vijay Pattni19 January 2012

The cars of the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon

Pics and video from Japan’s annual festival of tuned automotive wares

It's not often we reference Nobel Prize laureates while bringing you the finer complexities of motoring and rampant caravan destruction, but our minds wandered to a different plane while witnessing some of the wares from the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon.

You see, in 1993, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon M Lederman published a book entitled The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question? In it, he attempted to provide a history of particle physics. That part doesn't concern us. The title does.

Simply put, if the cars of the Tokyo Auto Salon - a Japanese extravaganza showcasing their tuner cars - are the answer, what on earth was the question?

Gallery: the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon highlights

Was it: "How do you express individuality and creativity in an automotive universe predicated chiefly on uniformity?" Or "What are the very limits of aerodynamic engineering?" Maybe its "How many carbon fibre vents and skirts can I fit onto a Nissan GT-R?" Posit your own theories on this question in the digital space below...

It's a big old show, the TAS, so here are our collected highlights: everything from mega-tuned Mitsubishi Evos, Nissan GT-Rs, old-school Mazda RX7s to AMGs, Porsches, Lamborghinis and even a few tuned BRZs.

What we can understand though, is the origin behind the cars in the video below. It was shot on the last Sunday of the TAS, and features a full ten minutes of cars modified in the style of Bõsõzoku. This fascinating culture grew out of Japanese motorcycle gangs in the 50s, and today pays homage to GT racers, Anime, American popular culture and even Japanese classic cars. So no pointing and laughing - they take this stuff very seriously...

With thanks to Jonsibal, Minkara, Carwatch and Autoc-one for images

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