Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Review: Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore 2013 (12th-14th April 2013)

Last weekend (12th-14th April 2013) was the Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore 2013. Many automotive folks around the region were very excited at the prospect that the Tokyo Auto Salon is coming to Singapore. Being in Singapore and not in Japan would mean better accessibility as it is nearer and cheaper than to travel to Japan especially for those in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Why does it bears the name Tokyo Auto Salon while it's not happening in Japan? The organizers, MediaCorp and Muse Group aims to bring the select best of Tokyo Auto Salon to Singapore and capture the essence of the actual show in a smaller scale; this is the very first time in its illustrious 30 years history of the Tokyo Auto Salon! On top of that, the group, AKB48 will be performing at the show - at no extra charge!

To me that was properly communicated by the organizers. It is also announced that 20 cars from the Tokyo Auto Salon will be making a presence while the rest would not be. As such I am quite bewildered as I've been hearing a lot of bad comments and/or reviews from visitors to the show. 

It ranges from:-
1) Just a handful of cars were from Tokyo Auto Salon
2) Poor selection of cars
3) Most cars were from Singapore and Malaysia
4) A waste of time
5) A waste of money
6) The group, AKB48 was on the B list of acts from Japan

I would have to disagree whole heartedly with those comments. I took a flight down to Singapore from Malaysia in the wee hours of the morning to catch the show and to fly out of Singapore back home in the evening. Was it worth the effort? I would say definitly yes.

If one were to understand what would be at the show, one would not be disappointed. If you were expecting a full fledged Tokyo Auto Salon, then by golly, you'll go home feeling shortchanged.

Actually, there were 19 cars and not 20 as announced. While not all of the 19 selected Tokyo Auto Salon cars were the top of the show back home in Japan, most of them were not bad in my opinion. The cars that made it were as below:-

1) Saitama Institute of Automotive Technology SIAT500 (Nissan March Cabriolet)
2) Top Secret Super 86 (Toyota GT-86)
3) Amuse S2000 GT1 (Honda S2000)
4) Scuderia Ciociaro Corse Giappone 500 Maxi (Fiat 500)
5) Spoon Sports NSX-R GT Racing (Honda NSX)
6) Zesty Racing FD3S (Mazda RX-7)
7) Varis GT-R (Nissan GT-R)
8) Mugen RR Advanced Concept (Honda Civic Type-R)
9) Abflug Aloof 01-R Ver. 2 (Nissan GT-R)
10) RE Amemiya NA Super-7 (Mazda RX-7)
11) Veilside 4509 GTR (Toyota Supra)
12) Damd LFT-86 (Toyota GT-86)
13) Tommy Kaira LS-F Premium Sports (Lexus LS460)
14) Top Fuel S2000 Type RR (Honda S2000)
15) Kazuki-kun Open Aristo (Toyota Aristo)
16) Car Sense Patrol-kun Moe-Moe Version (Toyota Crown)
17) Job Design Jdred Lexus (Lexus LS460L)
18) RK Design Laguna Niguel ZR1 (Chevrolet Corvette ZR1)
19) KRX RX-7 Hirameki (Mazda RX-7)

I spent 7 hours at the show basically just looking at the cars; chatting with like minded automotive enthusiasts, local Singapore booth owners and also the Japanese chaps that were around representing their respective vehicle on display. 

In those hours there, I also witness how crazed Singaporean youths are towards AKB48. They literally went crazy at the sight of AKB48. - shouting, chanting, singing and dancing to their tunes.

I've to admit I've not heard of AKB48 till of late but damn those fans surely and definitely are super thrilled that AKB48 are here. I would only imagine that they think the entrance fee of just SGD 25 (About USD 20) is really value for money!

Besides the vehicles from Tokyo Auto Salon, they were also a few supercars from Italy and Germany and loads of modified JDM rides from Singapore and Malaysia. There were a notable few that were done very well.  

In my opinion, Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore 2013 is a great start and a good first step in bringing Tokyo Auto Salon out of Japan. I can only hope and wish that the organizers see fit to do this again in the future.  

For more pictures from the show, go to this photo album in JDM Auto Link Facebook page. There are 171 worth of pictures in there. Enjoy!

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