Similar thinking was applied by Novel, which also displayed an RC F and GS F, alongside its race-prepared IS F that came third-in-class in last year’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring. Products fitted to the race car have informed the development of an attractive yet functional series of aero, chassis and engine parts. Carbon-over-white colour schemes are popular among Lexus tuners, especially those which aim to retain an air of restrained dignity with their demo cars. This was true of the subtle Black Label RX and IS models displayed by Artisan Spirits
At first glance, the Lexus IS below appears to follow a similar theme. But look a little more closely and you realise that it is a second-generation model with a spindle grille conversion. This convincing makeover is produced by Fixer and is also available for the fourth-generation LS – a modification that might prove popular following the announcement of the next-generation flagship.
If there is one area of the aftermarket that Lexus has got sewn up, it’s VIP style. Contrary to the perceived understanding of the initials, VIP isn’t a who, it’s a trend associated with large, rear-wheel drive cars. Always impossibly low-slung, the style requires the right stance – dished alloys and negative camber geometry in order to squeeze the widest possible wheels within the arches. Cars modified in a VIP style are not about going fast, they’re designed to cruise along and look good.
T Demand’s GS 350 (above) exemplified this VIP approach, using its air suspension system and staggered SSR 19-inch wheel set-up to achieve the desired effect. However, the car’s incredibly shiny black paint reflected every surface and made it almost impossible to see. A similar approach is also seen on this RC F Sport on the XO Luxury Wheels stand.
From this foundation, all sorts of fun and games ensues as tuners take the rule book and rip it to shreds. Which is precisely what the Tokyo Auto Salon is all about.
Vehicle stance is being pushed beyond the boundaries of surrounding bodywork. Just because the top of the tyre needs to be covered by the body, that doesn’t mean the rest of the wheel has to. This is seen in 326 Power’s show-stopping RC 350 below, the rear tyres of which are so stretched over the alloys that the rims sit a good 40mm proud of the sidewalls.
Wide wheels do not have to mean stretched tyres, as the popularity of race-inspired over-fenders has now been adopted by the VIP crowd in order to increase the car’s footprint. For instance, Aimgain’s Lexus LS 460 F Sport (below) manages to completely swallow its 21-inch Savini alloys with the help of a JUN VIP GT aero kit, which includes front and rear over-fenders that are 50 and 80mm wider than standard respectively.