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– Words: Ryan Lewis. Photos: Rob Shaw.

There are few Japanese brands in the automotive sphere that carry the same significance as HKS. Since 1973 they have been carving a legacy centred around high performance engines and upgrades. This year they celebrate their 40th birthday, so right after Tokyo Auto Salon ended, HKS held their Premium Day at Fuji Speedway. Tuners were invited to come out and pit their creations against the other workshops and take home bragging rights.. Hard to beat an offer like that! Here’s a selection of what turned up.

Yokohama’s beautiful R34 GT-R demo car sitting pretty near the trade stands.

Is there another racetrack anywhere in the world with a backdrop this impressive?

The weather in Japan right now is cold, but getting in early is the only way to make the most of a day like this.

Stunning NSX from Espirit. Our photographer, Rob, said that it seemed to have a motorised engine cover that opened at speed for airflow. It recorded the quickest time for a RWD, driven by Tarzan Yamada.

Naturally HKS took the opportunity to show off their products and had a few R35s there showcasing the possibilities.

After it’s appearance at WTAC last year, Top Fuel’s S2000 has seen continued development. 700kg plus a stroked and boosted F20C is a potent package.

Pair of tuned R32 GT-Rs.

Pro Shop Fukuoh’s wide body FD RX-7.

From Garage Mak this S15 has a monster setup, putting out 600hp with street registration.

Top Fuel’s S2000 receiving suspension tweaks between runs.

HKS have of course spent a lot of time working on upgrades for the new Toyota 86. This one is driven by Nob Taniguchi and has the full HKS kit including their supercharger setup, albeit a little more bespoke.

Garage G-Force have a couple of mental Evo Xs in their stable, one black and one white; this one is the wilder of the two.

The same workshop behind the gunmetal S15 above, Garage Mak, also brought along their S15 Varietta convertible. One of the best we’ve seen for sure.

Another shot of the Pro Shop Fukuoh FD showing just how extreme the wide front fenders are.

Super clean Supra in front of the pit garages. This one was twin-charged with a supercharger and T51R turbo. Good for 750hp.

Garage Mak at it again with another Nissan, this time a Z33 with quite a few aero additions!

Many of these cars drove out to Fuji for a look. Neatly modified 86s are showing up thick and fast.

Ultra green S15 from Yashio Factory with unique body styling.

C&Y Sports could be my favourite Japanese tuners. No car leaves their workshop with the same engine the manufacturer put in there. Here’s one example, a Toyota Altezza now running an RB26 and T04Z combo.

Another oddball, here’s a Z32 from C&Y Sports; out with the VG30 and in with a 3-litre six of a different kind, a Toyota 2JZ-GTE.

Another Mt Fuji shot just reminding you about where you are! Or where we would rather be, for that matter.

Cockpit Tatebayashi had a couple of cars out including this R34 and a new 86.

What a sight. R34 GT-R with more than enough aero to go around.

More FD goodness, this one from FAMSPEED. Loving the Regamasters on the rear.

Plenty of nice additions to this R35 thanks to Varis and their new bodykit, all of which can be bought in carbon fibre as well.

Pisto Racing’s R33 GT-R taking a breather. You might be realising just how many tuning workshop Japan has. It’s almost impossible to keep track.

We love the commitment shown to the older models. Despite all the development for new cars like the 86 and R35, previous generations are still adored.

Tough. TE37SLs on a white body as fine as this RX-7 will always look good.

One of the most monstrous FD RX-7s on the day was this green machine from REM. It came a long, long way to be at Fuji Speedway.

The 86/BRZ class had a tonne of entrants. This one looked amazing out on Fuji’s fast turns. Check out those brakes!

Is there a more aggressive S2000 on the planet? We’ve never seen one.

Forced induction is probably the most desirable mod for any 86/BRZ owner, and more and options are showing up. Events like the HKS Premium Day are perfect for measuring them against each other.

That’s it from Fuji Speedway. One of the most interesting groups of tuner cars we’ve seen! Which is your pick of the bunch?