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-Class. 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.
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.
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.
Characteristics of VIP:
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 air ride or 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.
Cars in Association with VIP:
Most VIP Style cars are Japanese luxury cars like the Nissan President, the Toyota Celsior, the Toyota Aristo, and the Nissan Laurel, 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). As automotive enthusiasts began to do their own versions of bippu, 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.