Japanese performance cars have been renowned across the world for their excellent gas mileage, power, and speed. Also known as JDM cars, these vehicles have transformed the way people drive. From the 80’s to the 90’s, Japanese automakers focused on producing automobiles specifically designed for people with distinct taste. However, after the economic crash, the manufacturers shifted to family wagons and key cars—vehicles that bring them more sales.
If you are a JDM car enthusiast, fret not! The great news is, this is the best time to buy some of the vehicles from Japan’s golden era of performance vehicles. In this article, we are going to share some of our favorite models. So, if you are browsing through cars imported from Japan, make sure you watch out for these vehicles!
Nissan Skyline GT-R
It can be difficult to find a cheap Nissan Skyline. After all, it has been known as a premium car that has been letting other vehicles in the race track eat dirt. The Nissan Skyline became a household name in the JDM world after winning the Japanese JTCC Group A series championship four years in a row. In 1989, Australian publication Wheels coined the GT-R the ‘Godzilla’ of the race track after it delivered an impressive performance on the racing circuit. These days, this vehicle is widely exported from Japan for circuit events and drag racing around the world. While it is not common to find a cheap Nissan Skyline in auctions, this model still appears in certain listings from time to time.
Subaru Impreza WRX STI
When Subaru initially released the Impreza WRX, the automaker intended the vehicle to be a direct competitor of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and the Mitsubishi Lancer. After the launch of the standard WRX model, this vehicle was handed over to Subaru’s Motorsport department—the Subaru Tecnica International. From there, the Impreza WRX underwent various upgrades, primarily in the transmission and the engine suspension. In the 90’s, the Impreza WRX became a legend in rally races and street races.
Even before the Impreza WRX left the shores of Japan, there had been an overwhelming international hype over the vehicle. That said, when it arrived in the showrooms in North America in 2002, the model became an instant hit. It is also worth noting that the Impreza WRX is the first turbocharged Subaru in Canada. Rally racers and tuners around the world quickly fell in love with the vehicle’s chiseled, good looks, pronounced hood scoop, and signature ‘bug-eyed’ front. However, what really made the Impreza WRX popular is its outstanding handling characteristics and performance.
Mitsubishi Lancer EVO
Mitsubishi developed the Lancer EVO primarily for drivers who consider speed and handling paramount to the qualities they want in a performance vehicle. If an economy sedan would make love to a Space X rocket, the Evolution would probably be their love child. It is available in GSR models with powertrains that feature a 2.0-liter 291-hp turbo four, as well as in MR models with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The final edition features a five-speed transmission that can render 303 hp. Each version was designed as an all-wheel drive. However, after the 2015 model year was released, Mitsubishi discontinued the Evo line.
Initially, the Evo was only sold in Japan. However, its reputation stretched across the globe with the first edition making its way to the pages of popular publications in America. Its design and interior makeup definitely challenged the muscle-car norms of the early 90’s. Since then, the Evo has built a cult following for being the ideal rally race vehicle that can render superb handling and amazing acceleration. To this day, it is one of the most sought-after cars imported from Japan, tempting even those who are particularly shopping for a BMW M3.
If you’ve been playing racing video games like The Fast and the Furious, you are probably familiar with the Toyota Corolla GT. Widely referred to as the Toyota AE86, the Corolla GT is a seemingly humble coupe that has become a JDM icon because of its rear-wheel drive, powerful twin-cam engine, and its reliable handling even around the corners. Often described as the ‘Japanese Mk2 Escort’, the Toyota AE86 share some similarities family-friendly Ford cars. It is the direct competitor of hot hatches from the 80’s, including the Renault 5 GT Turbo, Peugeot 205 GTI, and the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
If you’ve only experienced handling an AE86 in a virtual race track, it is only natural to prepare yourself for disappointment when you’re about to try the real thing. However, you’re in for a surprise because this vehicle lives up to the hype built around it. As we’ve mentioned, the twin-cam engine is something to look forward to, revving up to 7,700 rpm.
However, it is worth noting that the Toyota AE86 was designed to perform well on the drift circuit and not the drag strip. You will get excited with the way this vehicle goes around the corners. Moreover, when you try the unassisted steering, it will feel wonderfully delicate. What’s more, since it is a car made by Toyota, you can expect the AE86 to be quite reliable. However, since the latest version was released almost three decades ago, you have to be prepared for religious maintenance—if you plan on getting one.
Toyota released the first Supra around the 70’s, but its fourth-generation model is what brought the line to the JDM cars hall of fame. It is a completely redesigned AE86, which features a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged 2JZ engine, a huge rear wing, and a 276 bhp. In general, the Supra is a capable car, but its turbo engine is what everybody is craving for. These days, the Supra is still popular among tuners who love starting with a good JDM vehicle.
There are many good reasons why JDM cars remain popular to this day. If you want to own one for yourself, contact Carused.jp today! You can also use our online auction tool to start bidding on your dream car!