Best Japanese Cars of All Time

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Japanese car manufacturers are famous for pushing the boundaries of innovation. Each new product that hits the world market solidifies their  position at the forefront of the global automotive industry. The following premier vehicles illustrate Japan’s quest to spearhead changes in the automobile world.

Toyota Supra, A80


Launched in the early ’90s, the fourth-generation Toyota Supra quickly gained public approval, captivating enthusiasts with its sleek, aerodynamic mainframe and the legendary 2JZ-GTE engine. Esteemed for its extraordinary durability and versatility, this powerhouse could effortlessly be modified to produce immense horsepower, making it a revered classic in the automobile tuning community.

Nissan Skyline GT-R, R34

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The Nissan Skyline GT-R R34, dubbed “Godzilla,” represents the zenith of Nissan’s engineering excellence. Its sturdy RB26DETT inline-six engine and cutting-edge ATTESA E-TS Pro all-wheel-drive unit offer unparalleled performance. GT-R also provides hi-tech aerodynamics, a rigid chassis for maneuverability, and a sophisticated Multi-Function Display, solidifying its status as a technological marvel.

Mazda MX-5 Miata, NA

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Introduced in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 Miata transformed the sports car segment, offering an unmatched merger of pleasure and affordability. Its lightweight build, peppy four-cylinder engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, precision, open top, and near-perfect weight distribution made it an instant success worldwide.

Honda NSX, First Generation

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The Honda NSX, with its mid-engine layout, redefined supercars by merging a responsive V6 with everyday drivability and steadfast reliability. Ayrton Senna’s involvement in its development ensured a focus on efficiency and ease of handling. With components encased in an aerodynamically optimized aluminum frame, the NSX balances aesthetics and functionality, setting new benchmarks for future supercars.

Nissan Fairlady Z, Z32


A technological marvel lies under the hood of the Nissan Fairlady Z: the twin-turbocharged VG30DETT V6 engine delivers formidable capacity. This powerhouse combines advanced features such as Nissan’s Super-HICAS four-wheel system for exceptional movement. Additionally, the cockpit exudes a sense of purpose, with intuitive controls and supportive seats for maximum comfort.

Toyota Land Cruiser, J80 Series

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Released in the early 1990s, the Toyota Land Cruiser quickly gained a reputation for its robust construction. It has a solid ladder frame chassis, sophisticated suspension, and formidable four-wheel-drive capabilities, so it effortlessly conquers challenging terrain. The J80 is powered by different potent engines, including the 1FZ-FE 4.5-liter inline-six, offering ample torque for any situation.

Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Version 22B

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The Subaru Impreza seamlessly integrates turbocharged power with all-wheel-drive traction. The WRX STI, recognized for its impressive capabilities, features advanced differentials and suspension tuning, offering superior control and empowering drivers to confidently tackle corners. Whether carving through winding mountain roads or conquering rally stages, the Impreza remains an untiring symbol of excellence.

Toyota AE86, Hachi-Roku


Affectionately known as the Hachi-Roku, the Toyota AE86 commands respect in automotive folklore. Produced from 1983 to 1987 and immortalized in popular culture by manga and anime series, this lightweight rear-wheel-drive vehicle is well-known for its outstanding balance and prowess. Hachi-Roku’s power source is either a 1.6-liter 4A-GE or a 1.6-liter 4A-C engine, and its affordability ensures that it continues to command respect.

Mazda RX-7, FD

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The Mazda RX-7 (FD) ‘s sleek, aerodynamic design, characterized by pop-up headlights, still captures attention today. The car’s legendary rotary engine, known for its high-revving nature and impressive power delivery, is at its heart. The RX-7 FD, with its twin-turbocharged 13B-REW rotary engine, finely tuned suspension, and responsive handling, is celebrated for its agility and precision on both road and track.

Lexus IS F

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At the core of the Lexus IS F lies a potent 5.0-liter V8 engine, promising a symphony of horsepower and torque that propels the IS F to remarkable speeds. Upgraded suspensions and responsive maneuverability ensure precision, allowing drivers to navigate twists and turns effortlessly. The cabin envelops occupants in lavish materials and cutting-edge technology, creating an environment of comfort and luxury.

Nissan 370Z Nismo


The 370Z Nismo exudes a commanding presence with its enhanced styling and aerodynamics. Under the hood, it has a sturdy 3.7-liter V6 engine, a refined six-speed manual transmission, or an optional seven-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Its Nismo-tuned exhaust system emits a distinctive growl with every rev, and the cockpit features Recaro seats and an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel.

Honda S2000

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Celebrated for its potent 2.0-liter VTEC engine, the Honda S2000 revs eagerly to its 9000 RPM redline. Perfectly balanced chassis and easy steering make cornering a joy, offering drivers an unmatched connection to the road. Also, its top-down design provides immersive open-air driving, unlike any other convertible sports car.

Subaru Forester STI

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The Subaru Forester STI seamlessly combines the practicality of an SUV with the heart of a performance-oriented vehicle. A turbocharged engine, symmetrical all-wheel drive, and upgraded suspension deliver a thrilling driving experience on and off the road. The STI variant adds a touch of sportiness, featuring enhanced performance capabilities that cater to users seeking a blend of utility and excitement.

Toyota Chaser, JZX100

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Under its unassuming exterior, the Chaser conceals a turbocharged 1JZ-GTE engine renowned for its power and reliability. This robustness has made the Chaser a favorite, especially among those in the tuning and drifting communities. With its agility and responsiveness, the JZX100 Chaser perfectly balances everyday usability and exhilarating dynamics.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX

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The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, often revered as an automotive legend, seamlessly blends sportiness with everyday practicality. Driven by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine, the Evo IX delivers relentless acceleration thanks to its sophisticated all-wheel-drive and advanced suspension setup. In addition, Evolution IX’s cabin exudes a sporty ambiance, with supportive Recaro seats and intuitive controls.

Written by Johann H