Car nuts still get full meal at Auto Salon

Auto & Audio July 07, 2018 01:00

By KINGSLEY WIJAYASINHA
THE NATION

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THIS WEEKEND, a large number of Thai car enthusiasts will be heading to the Bangkok International Auto Salon 2018 at Impact Muangthong Thani.



The event is being held for the sixth year, and offers a bit of everything ranging from outlandish custom cars to a live Japanese cultural show, sexy presenters and even an international food court right inside the main hall.

The event is held at Challenger 2 Hall, which isn’t too large to walk around. Organisers say that there are more than 150 booths set up this year, but with a large number of mainstream automobile companies taking part and offering sales promotions for current models, I felt that the “tuning car” theme of the show has somewhat been weakened.

Nevertheless many of the highlights, which are top exhibits from the Tokyo Auto Salon held in January this year, were able to catch the attention of showgoers with their “wackiness” level.

For example, the Nissan 4 Turbo Quad Eyes. Built by Caroline Racing, it is based on an S14 Sylvia for drift shows and is powered by a 2JZ-GTE Toyota engine blown by four turbochargers. They consist of two Trust TD-06-17C turbochargers and a pair of T88-34D turbochargers, which are the largest ones made by Trust.

The T-88’s are the main turbochargers, while the smaller pair is activated via a lever in the cockpit. In addition, there’s also a small jet turbine to help create downforce at the rear.

Production of the Mazda RX-7 ended ages ago, but the sexy coupe is still a hit among car tuners. The RX-7 BN Sport BLS FD3S gets bridge port mods and a large HKS T51R turbocharger.

BN Sport, which is a world-class car-body maker, came up with new BLS body parts, adding a 95mm length to the front and 100mm to the rear.

Another fun car on display is the yellow Suzuki Swift Monster Sport XZC33S that has been tuned for rallying and gymkhana. Thanks to the K200 turbo kit made by Mitsubishi (including intake and exhaust systems) and a new N1B ECU that has been re-tuned to match the modifications, the Monster gets 190 horsepower on a 1.1-bar boost pressure.

Another outstanding exhibit is the Tommy Kaira R Concept, which is based on a Nissan GT-R. It comes in a striking “bay-side blue” colour and a front bumper with large air intake and cooling ducts.

The Honda NSX Modulo features add-ons from Honda’s official accessories brand, and exterior decals is based on the Modulo Kenwood NSX GT3 race car.

After the highlight exhibits, visitors can continue towards the accessories zone that abounds with products and pretties in colourful outfits. Apart from checking out products on display, a common tradition for many visitors is to take photos with the attractive presenters.

Tuning parts such as turbochargers, brake discs and car audio booths can be found, along with famous tuning stables such as Spoon and Liberty Walk, well-known for customising supercars such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

More car distributors are present this year and are located towards the end of Challenger Hall. Apart from displaying a good collection of customised vehicles, each brand also gets to sell new vehicles just as they can at other motor shows such as the recently-concluded FAST Auto Show Thailand at BITEC last week. 

Once again, Honda’s highlight is the recently-launched HR-V minor change, which is available with Modulo parts, while Mazda is showing off its two Mazda2 road racing cars as well as its usual product lineup.

Toyota has a big collection of modified cars, including a blue C-HR carrying two kayaks as well as tuned-up Hilux Revo pickups. Next door, you can find Isuzu’s special models as well as quarter-mile drag racers based on the D-MAX.

Nissan’s highlight is the GT-R and the Gran Turismo Racing Pod, while Suzuki is present with a large number of customised Swift eco cars.

There’s a centre stage in the middle of the hall where special activities are held, whether it’s the ninja shows from Japan or sexy carwash performances by Japanese and Thai models.

The food court is located on the left side of the hall and features a good number of stalls offering many different treats, ranging from Japanese curry to pasta and Thai cuisine.

While Thailand hosts a large number of auto shows each year, the Bangkok Auto Salon, with its good variety of attractions, has its own unique theme and offers an entertaining day out for car nuts and even car buyers in general.