Best Off-road Builds from Tokyo Auto Salon 2024

Lexus GX550 and Lexus LX600 off road builds from Tokyo Auto Salon 2024

The 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon made waves as one of the biggest events in automotive culture, drawing massive crowds and over 500 exhibitors and builders. Similar to SEMA, each year the expo serves as a showcase for modified and custom vehicles spanning street customs to full off-road rigs. While traditionally the show skewed toward drift, stance, and VIP street builds, the 2024 show reflected shifting passions—proving the surging popularity of off-roading and overlanding projects globally.

Social media exploded with images of mega off-road builds presented by individual builders, famous custom shops, equipment manufacturers and big brands such as Honda, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota.

As expected from Japanese builders, creativity and quality paired with extreme functionality. The ingenuity and uniqueness of many modifications left us stunned. Today we’ll highlight some of the most impressive 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon off-road rigs that we’ve found on Instagram.

Big 4x4s & Trucks

First-ever modified new Lexus GX550 off-road build by Jaos Corporation.
One of the brightest off-road premieres of 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon – new Lexus GX550. Photo by @Jaos_Corporation

Japan is the motherland of one of the world’s best and most famous off-road vehicles – the Toyota Land Cruiser. So it’s no wonder that the showroom featured various modifications of Land Cruisers, starting from the retro-modern yet desirable Land Cruiser 76 series for off road enthusiasts to street-performance versions of the Land Cruiser 300 series.

The release of the new Lexus GX550 is undoubtedly one of the most talked-about topics in the off-road world. Jaos, one of Japan’s oldest and most well-known manufacturers of off-road parts, has presented their customized version of the new GX, which became world’s first modified Lexus GX550 off road builds. With Jaos’ expertise enhancing its capabilities, this project gives enthusiasts a glimpse of the new model’s immense potential.

Lifted Lexus LX600 off road build from Baja 1000 offroad racing competitions
Lifted Lexus LX600 off road build from Baja 1000 offroad racing competitions Photo by @Jaos_Corporation

Another exciting vehicle on display in the Jaos booth was a lifted Lexus LX600 off-road racer, which had just returned to Japan after competing in the famous Baja 1000 off-road racing competition. This ruggedly modified LX600 build caught eyes with its massive tires, pre-runner inspired Jaos front skid-plate/bumper with yellow rally-style lights, fully-caged interior and beefy Toyo Trail Grappler off road tires.

Toyota Land Cruiser GR 300-Series on Volk Rays TE37XT rims wrapped in Toyo Open Country All terrain tires
Of course, the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 with its refreshed exterior was a popular sight at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon. This particular Toyota Land Cruiser GR 300-Series featured on Volk Rays TE37XT rims wrapped in Toyo Open Country R/T tires. Too bad these rigs are not available in the states right now. Photo credit @raysindonesia
Toyota Hilux with Greddy exhaust
Toyota Hilux truck with GUN125 GReddy XROSS Exhaust. Photo by @trust.greddy

Japan doesn’t have the Tacoma, but they do have the Hilux pickup truck, which is one of the most popular trucks in Japan. The Hilux was showcased across the TAS2024 event in various forms, from polished off-road builds to unique custom jobs like this olive green Toyota Hilux with a black Chevy-inspired front end conversion (a popular trend in Japan, as seen in other featured projects).

Toyota Tacoma Axell vintage front end conversion
Old-school Chevy-inspired front end on a Toyota Hilux pickup truck. Photo by @syu_beat
Toyota Land Cruiser 70 white
Retro-modern Toyota Land Cruiser 76-Series is definitely one of the most popular off-road 4×4 platform on a 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon. Photo by @tire8kariya

Another cool model featured across various booths was the Toyota Land Cruiser 76-Series, with its retro-modern design. It is one of the trucks many wish was available in the United States, since it features that iconic rugged 4×4 look and comes equipped with low range, locking differentials and other analog off-road tech that is proven reliable in the most demanding conditions. With its timeless styling and off-road credentials, the Land Cruiser 70-Series remains a popular platform for builds at the Tokyo Auto Salon and a reminder of Toyota’s 4WD heritage.

Toyota Land Cruiser 70 black
Retro-modern Toyota Land Cruiser 76-Series is definitely one of the most popular off-road 4×4 platform on a 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon. Photo by @tire8kariya
Toyota Land Cruiser 70 off road build white
Photo by @rvpark_takasaki

Since its initial release in summer 2023, the Mitsubishi Triton (also known as the L200 in European and other markets) has made quite an impression. It seems Mitsubishi has chosen the right design direction for their entire model range and begun producing very attractive trucks.

6th Gen Lifted Mitsubishi Triton L200 off road build
6th Gen Lifted Mitsubishi Triton L200 Snow Shredder Concept. Photo by @yugaauto

The refreshed off-road version of the Outlander was also shown at TAS 2024, exemplifying Mitsubishi’s focus on bold styling and capability. With the new Triton and Outlander receiving positive reactions, one wonders if we might see the return of the legendary Mitsubishi Pajero off-roader in a year or two, once excitement around the newly-unveiled Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus GX550 models settles down. For now, Mitsubishi appears poised to continue garnering attention with trucks like the head-turning new Triton – but a revived Pajero flagship could be the next logical step to build on their momentum in the SUV space.

Vans & Minivans

Fifth Gen Mitsubishi Delica D5 With Off road bumper, Roof rack and LED light bar
Fifth Gen Mitsubishi Delica D5 With Off road bumper, Roof rack and LED light bar. Photo by @arukari_tan3

The Mitsubishi Delica D5 has represented the brand in the 4×4 minivan market for quite some time now and has gained huge popularity in the Japanese domestic market and abroad (check this Delica overland build to find out more). The new iteration of this model in the Kei car segment is the Delica Mini, which was showcased on Mitsubishi’s booth decked out with cool off-road inspired upgrades like all-terrain tires, a roof rack and other overlanding accessories.

New Nissan Elgrand off Road van with overland accessories
Redesigned Nissan Elgrand minivan with off-road-style upgrades and a roof top tent @hocchi_racing. This mode has got a pretty big following on the Asian off-road scene. Find out more about it in one of our exclusive features.

Crossovers

LiftedNissan X-trail T33 Off road build with bumpers and A/T tires
Photo by @yutaka_sss

In the crossover segment, Nissan’s exhibition was the biggest standout for me with the new Nissan X-trail T33 Rock Crawler (sold as the Rogue in the US). Painted in bright pink with neon green accents, this concept pays homage to extreme rock crawler builds made for tough trails. Of course as primarily a show model, it likely does not include heavy duty upgrades to the drivetrain such as a low range transfer case, robust axles, and differential locks which would make it truly trail-ready. However, chunky fender flares reminiscent of a Jeep, mud tires, Raptor-coated bumpers, rock slider rails, a roof rack, and other tweaks give it an awesome look.

LiftedNissan Rogue T33 Rock Crawler Off road build
Photo by @yutaka_sss
Lifted Honda WR-V off-road build presented on Tokyo Auto Salon 2024
Photos by @kjj_traveller

It was also nice to see other cool-looking crossovers with off-road inspired mods, such as the Honda WR-V compact and the freshly redesigned Subaru Outback outfitted with 235/65R18 Toyo Open Country AT3 all-terrain tires. Even mainstream crossovers are tapping into adventure readiness through the Japanese aftermarket scene.

See Also
BMW X5 Off Road build: E53 and E70 with overland mods

With upgrades suited for going off the beaten path, these examples showcase fresh potential for models typically destined for urban or suburban surroundings. Whether made to post up on show floors or actually hit the trails, seeing small crossovers embrace rugged accessories points to the outpaced popularity of going off road – at least in aesthetic spirit.

2024 Subaru Outback with off road mods
Freshly-redesigned new Subaru Ourtback with off-raod modifications in Toyo Tires booth. Photo by @takuro1985

Kei Cars

Japanese off road Kei truck
Photo by @yasuhironishimura

Kei cars are a uniquely Japanese phenomenon not found anywhere else in the world. They get modified in all sorts of creative ways. While seeing tiny Kei cars outfitted with off-road inspired upgrades is not new, witnessing builders push the boundaries of what’s possible with these small vehicles is always refreshing.

At the Tokyo Auto Salon, Kei cars customized for rugged adventures or dressed up with tough styling serve as a testament to the culture of imagination flourishing in Japan’s compact car scene. Oversized wheels, lift kits raising pint-sized bodies, and aggressive add-ons breathe playful personality into machines normally seen buzzing about cities.

Daihatsu Granmax with Ford E250 inspired front end and custom winch-mount off-road bumper
Kei van Daihatsu Granmax with Ford E350 inspired front end and custom winch-mount off-road bumper. Photo by @hiroakiakaji

Another trend on display at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon was Kei trucks and vans modified with American-inspired conversions. Some of the standouts included a Daihatsu Granmax with a Ford E350 van front-end graft and custom winch bumper, as well as a tiny Kei pickup mimicking GMC van styling up front.

Blending Japanese micro-haulers with imposing full-size American truck and van fronts makes for an unexpected fusion of flavors. Despite their diminutive actual proportions, these creative builds draw bold attitudes from the lifted looks of US workhorses.

kei van with GMC-inspired front end by DAMD custom shop
Kei van with GMC-inspired front end by DAMD custom shop. Photo by @damd_naga

The 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon showcased the incredibly diverse and vibrant tuner culture in Japan. Enthusiasts displayed tuned variations ranging across all vehicle types – from rugged SUVs and trucks customized for extreme off-roading to tiny Kei cars punching above their weight with imposing accessories.

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