What is VIP Style?

I know a lot of people end up on this blog by randomly clicking around or searching, and those people typically aren’t aware of what “VIP Style” really is. So here’s a brief document to give you an idea of the origin and general style that we call, VIP. To jumpstart this page I’m going to jack the Wikipedia article on VIP. It’s a decent overview without too many errors or omissions.

VIP style

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

VIP Style refers to the modification of Japanese luxury automobiles to make them more fashionable and even more luxurious. VIP Style are typically large, expensive, rear-wheel drive sedans, though automotive enthusiasts use other cars like minivans and Kei cars. Once associated with the yakuza, VIP Style modifications now are a subset of automotive modification.


VIP Style modifications and history have often been linked to the yakuza. It is claimed that VIP Style came to be due to the risk of gangsters riding around in high-profile European sedans like the Mercedes S-Class or BMW M-Series. The attention could either bring about police action or retaliation from rival gangs. By using Japan domestic market cars with modifications associated with the creation of limousines, gangsters could avoid detection by the police and rival gangs.[1]

Both Osaka street racers and Kanto area Bosozoku gangs adopted VIP Style in different ways. Osaka street racers, after suffering numerous police crackdowns on the Hanshin Expressway in the early 1990‘s, turned to sedans after police targeted sport compacts as a way to cruise while remaining incognito. Many design cues were taken from Mercedes-AMG cars. Kanto area bosozoku gangs took a somewhat different approach, by modifying sedans with cut coils and mufflers and were often bold and loud. They also drove recklessly, such as causing traffic jams and avoiding paying tolls. To mimic their yakuza counterparts, “Bos Bippus” used large black sedans.[2]

Automotive enthusiasts adapted beyond luxury sedans, utilizing minivans and Kei cars. One advantage presented to enthusiasts is that such modifications can make a car luxurious without being expensive.[3]


Cars associated with VIP Style usually have common characteristics; usually large diameter rims (usually broad faced designs) with low offsets that sit flush with the fender, exhausts that stick out past the rear bumper (although not so much emphasized these days), a full bodykit or lip kit, glossy paint and a lowered ride height (usually with coilovers or air ride). In Japan, cars use primarily coilovers. It is not uncommon to see extreme negative camber on many vip cars. Traditional colors of VIP Style cars are usually black, white, grey and silver.


Most VIP Styled cars are Japanese luxury cars such as the Nissan President, the Toyota Celsior and the Toyota Aristo, and although many European cars are also known to be modified in such ways (most of them German luxury sedans such as the Mercedes S-Class) these cars are VIP-styled and not true VIP platforms. As automotive enthusiasts began to do their own versions of VIP, everything from minivans like the Toyota Estima and Honda Odyssey, to keicars like the Suzuki Cappucino and Toyota bB have received similar modifications.

United States enthusiasts use USDM equivalents, such as the Lexus GS and LS series and Infiniti Q45.

More Reading on ‘WHAT IS VIP STYLE’?

Article excerpt from Urban Dictionary entry on VIP

VIP cars stated approximately thirteen or fourteen years ago in Japan. However, they were not known as VIP cars. Originally, VIP cars came from a team named Black Cockroach in Wakayama Prefecture. That team’s cars were published in the national car magazine for the first time in Japan. The Black Cockroach had black Cima, Cedric, Celsior and Crown, which were very unique and exemplified the owner’s personalities. Many have VIP cars tied to the Japanese mafia, better known as the Yakuza, to the beginnings of the VIP scene in Japan. Afterwards, a team named VIP Company evolved that belonged to Mr. Taketomi, the eventual owner of Junction Produce, a leader in VIP styling in Japan. It was popular in Osaka Sooner and later, Sendai city in Miyagi prefecture. The popularity of VIP cars spread to Sendai city and Young Auto magazine, which brought Chibaragi, a name of remodeling cars, to the public. Before naming VIP Car, those cars including racing, motorcycle gang and remodeled racing cars were called a Haiso car (high society salon cars), a Kowamote car (coercive atmosphere car) and an Oshidashi car (push car). The Young Auto established a corner of the customizing scene by restyling luxury cars. They coined named VIP CLUB when the owners displayed their remodeled luxury cars. These cars would become what we know as VIP.
The VIP scene eventually lead to the establishment of VIP Car Magazine., a company and magazine that was started by a publisher from Young Auto Magazine. VIP Car Magazine showed remodeling luxury cars called a VIP Car. The VIP Car magazine has been distributed for ten years, mainly in Japan. In Osaka, there a VIP company team, which dressed up VIP cars and started by Mr. Taketormi, was a pioneer who drove the popularity of VIP cars approximately fourteen years ago.

Traditional Definition:
VIP car is very simple. Usually pronounced V-I-P (vee-eye-pee) and meaning Very Important Person, the true pronunciation is VIP, or bippu, where it’s pronounced like a word. Cars that fit into the VIP category are predominantly rear wheel drive Japanese luxury platforms such as the Celsior, CIMA, Cedric/Gloria, and Crown, just to name a few. These cars are usually the more expensive models and are usually purchased by the more affluent car owners. It’s not a VIP Car unless it starts with one of these cars. Many VIP purists will not consider any other platforms as VIP, even though other cars can take the styling cues from the larger VIP sedans. This is commonly known as VIP Styling.

VIP Characteristics:
VIP cars can loosely be translated to “Low and Wide”. Many have argued that VIP cars can include European and even American cars. These can be considered VIP Style as long as they follow in the VIP guidelines, but they will never be VIP Platforms. Some general characteristics of VIP Style are: Large/wide wheels (many times with big lips and low offsets) that are flush to the fender
Stretched tires in order to tuck the wheels under the fenders. Low stance via adjustable suspension or air ride
Substantial body kits to achieve the “Wide” look
Custom body work to accentuate the “Wide” look
Custom video and audio components and installations
Wood grain interiors with additional trays and extensions on the dash. Custom seats and mats
Additional and upgraded internal and external lighting
Louder exhausts with larger tips
Engine/performance work (though not as popular)

VIP Culture:
When VIP car enthusiasts in Japan build their car, they immerse themselves in the culture of VIP Car. Accessories like Noburi Flags, clothing, lighters, teddy bears, fans, and every accessory that a company makes are purchased and proudly displayed. Many automotive events and gatherings in Japan are steeped in the tradition of the VIP culture. Simple gatherings of enthusiasts can turn into major events. As usual in the Japanese culture, the cars are the stars, but socializing and even food are main attractions. VIP Car has a sense of pride within the Japanese community on its luxury vehicles.

VIP Styling
VIP styling is taking the aspects that was started in Japan with the VIP Cars and merging them onto cars that aren’t really considered VIP car platforms. Some platforms that are gaining popularity are the K-cars (Vitz, Scion, and other econo-box cars), vans (Odyssey and Previas) and many other vehicles (G35, IS300, 300Zs) that have been heavily influenced by the VIP Style. That also has trickled into our US market with the larger cars like the Chrysler 300C and Dodge Magnum.. European cars can also be influenced by the VIP cars, and have been gaining popularity in the US.

US Market for VIP:
Where does this all fit into the US market? With companies who’s operations are based here are now trying to define the VIP market as Bentleys, Benz’s, and other high end Euro cars, it basically leaves out the cars where it all began, the Lexus GS and LS, and the Infiniti M and Q series. Yes, the US automobile market may not have the choice of Japanese luxury cars found in Japan but we make due with what we are provided. However the view of VIP Car or VIP Style Cars is being EXTREMELY skewed in the US and leaves the hardcore VIP Car enthusiast with a sour taste in its mouth. VIP Car starts with the platform first. 350Zs, G35s, Scions, Accords, and other cars are defining the VIP Style Car… VIP Style Cars was mainly a term devised to help define the difference from a VIP Car platform and a car accessorized with VIP styling. This website has room for everyone. I created this site for the reason to give these people a home to learn and educate each other. Whether you own a VIP Car or own a VIP Style Car… Yes, we will have to define our own definition of VIP Style Cars but we can’t stray too far from the foundation of it all. There will be those of us who will stick to our VIP Car platforms and those who will decide that their Scion fits the platform as well. Both sides are correct in that matter. What is wrong is to decide that our VIP Car platforms are not acceptable platforms of VIP here in the US.

How to make your car VIP style

Article stolen from Wikihow.com

VIP styling is a style of vehicle modification. The term VIP car (pronounced “vip” like whip) originated in Japan to describe the modification of certain luxury car models, such as the Toyota Aristo and Nissan President, to give them a more distinctive look. While only modified versions of these specific high-end cars can technically be called VIP cars, you can apply VIP style to just about any car.


  1. Get a car. VIP styling generally begins with a large, four-door, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedan. In the U.S., Lexus and Infiniti sedans are the most popular platforms for VIP modification, but European imports such as Mercedes are growing more common, and even American cars are sometimes done up in VIP Style.
    • Unless you’re a purist, the model of car isn’t as important as how it looks. People are increasingly applying VIP styling to Kias, Scions, and even minivans, but you want a flawless car, not a beater.
    • VIP cars are traditionally black, white, grey or silver. Try to find an appropriate car in one of these colors or have it professionally painted one of these colors. If you’re not too concerned about the constraints of tradition, you can choose any color you like.
  2. Lower the car as far as it will go. There are a couple of ways to lower the vehicle. Probably the most popular now is the use of air suspension, since many of the high-end models that are modified into VIP cars already come equipped with air suspension. Since factory air suspension won’t allow you to lower the car enough, many enthusiasts install a special air control system. Coilovers can also attain the desired lowness. Try to minimize the distance between the wheel and the fender.
  3. Install very wide, low-offset custom wheels. The wheels are perhaps the most important characteristic of VIP styling. Oversize (18-20″) wheels are essential. Another almost-universal trait is that the wheels should be flush with the car’s fenders, which requires a very low wheel offset (rear-wheel drive vehicles typically have a lower offset than front-wheel drive vehicles, but most VIP-styled cars have even lower offsets). Negative camber angle (the angle between the vertical axis of the wheel and the vertical axis of the vehicle, as viewed from the front or rear) is also very common. Wheels with large lips are common, but not essential.
  4. Mount smaller than recommended tires on the wheels so the tires pull away from the wheel’s mounting edge. Tires are usually stretched dangerously thin on the wheels, as tire stretching (hipari) allows a flush, or close to flush, wheel to fender fit. The idea is not to tuck the wheel into the fender but rather have the lip of the wheel as close to the fender’s edge as possible. Only the tire is tucked in, while the wheel is emphasized.
  5. “Widen” the car. VIP-style cars should be not only low, but also wide. A body kit can enhance both of these features. Add a body kit that emphasizes the car’s lines while adding presence. Go all out with a full aero kit, or, at the very least add a lip kit.
  6. Customize the interior. VIP style exudes luxury inside and out. Curtains on the windows are very popular, as are custom leather seats, floor mats (fur, anyone?), an accessorized dash, custom lighting and wood grain trim throughout. Tint the windows in either green or black to keep prying eyes out.
  7. Install a high-end audio system and electronic accessories. A VIP-style car without a quality system just won’t do. While a trunk full of subs is a good start, focus also on fitting your car with video and audio accessories to give it all the comforts of home. From electronic gauges to a DVD player to a navigation system, screens and monitors give the car the look of the luxury spaceship.
  8. Add the personal touch. While there are certain conventions that should be followed when modifying in VIP style, there’s plenty of room for your individual tastes. From custom taillights to interior accessories, there are plenty of options to set your car apart from the rest.
  9. Don’t forget the tassles.

If you have any additional thoughts or input on VIP Styling, please leave a comment.


3 Responses

  1. I have a BMW 540i 1995 and I’d like to pimp it into aVIP style car. Is it possible, will it be great looking?

  2. Please tell me if you have 2 wheels called Crimson Myrtle Louis in 20 x 9 and 20×10. this one has painted pockets, machined faced, and polished lip. The car is a 2006 Mercedes CLS 500 AMG. I would like to know as soon as possible.
    Thank You
    Las Vegas, NV,.

  3. I like this site a lot, its very informative!

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