Japanese sports cars are unique and often emphasize engineering, innovation, and affordability. These vehicles, which come from iconic car manufacturers such as Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Toyota, have a long-standing history of being incredibly reliable and competitive in style, power, and performance.
The most popular models on the market are characterized by their lightweight, agile handling, and engines that deliver great power without compromising on efficiency.
From classic coupes to modern sports cars, these machines offer an outstanding driving experience that can only be found in Japan.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most beloved Japanese sports cars that have been released over the years and examine why they remain so popular.
Why Japanese Cars Are Popular
Japanese cars are popular for a few reasons. First, they often have excellent fuel efficiency and reliability.
- This makes them attractive to families and individuals on a budget who want to save money while still getting a dependable vehicle.
- Japanese cars also tend to be more affordable than most high-end luxury brands, providing consumers with great value.
- Additionally, Japanese automotive companies strive for innovative designs and features, often introducing cutting-edge safety technologies before other car manufacturers.
- Finally, the vehicles maintain their value better than comparable models from other countries, meaning they can still fetch a good price when it’s time to resell or trade in your car.
Released in 1999, it was Honda’s first foray into the world of performance-oriented two-seater sports cars. Its combination of tight handling, a high-revving engine, and an eye-catching design made it a hit with performance enthusiasts and car fans alike.
The Honda S2000 has become one of the best Japanese sports cars of all time and remains a popular choice for those looking for a small and modern Japanese sports car.
From its launch in 1999 up to 2005, the Honda S2000 was powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder VTEC engine that could rev up to 9,000 rpm and produced 240 hp and 152 lb-ft of torque.
The relatively small size and lightweight construction made it a great option for those looking for a nimble and sporty driving experience.
In 2004, Honda released the S2000 AP1, which had a slight increase in power to 247 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque.
The Honda S2000 is an affordable option for those wanting to get into Japanese sports cars. It is one of the most reliable Japanese sports cars and is also easy to maintain.
With its timeless design and excellent driving dynamics, the Honda S2000 remains one of the best Japanese sports cars of all time.
The Datsun 240Z was a small two-door coupe that could comfortably seat four people. The 240Z was powered by a 2.4L inline six-cylinder engine and could reach a top speed of 125 mph. It had independent suspension, a five-speed manual transmission, and power steering.
Despite its small size, the 240Z was capable of handling well on winding roads.
Today, the 240Z has become increasingly popular among collectors and enthusiasts alike due to its classic design and historical significance.
Its popularity has also spawned an aftermarket of modified parts and accessories, allowing owners to customize their cars however they see fit.
While it may not have the same performance as some of today’s modern Japanese sports cars, it remains one of the best Japanese sports cars of all time.
Honda Integra Type R
The Honda Integra Type R is a small Japanese sports car that has been around since the 90s. It is widely regarded as one of the best and most reliable sports cars of all time.
In recent years, the Integra Type R has become increasingly popular amongst car enthusiasts for its lightweight and nimble driving experience.
The Integra Type R was available with a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine that produced up to 195 horsepower, making it one of the fastest and most powerful small sports cars at the time.
Despite its small size, the Integra Type R had an impressive top speed of up to 147 mph. Even today, it is still a great choice for those who want a modern Japanese sports car with plenty of performance.
The Honda Integra Type R is not only one of the best Japanese sports cars of all time, but it is also one of the most affordable.
With prices ranging from $10,000 to $20,000, the Integra Type R offers an excellent value proposition for those looking for a reliable and fun Japanese sports car.
Released in 1990, the NSX was Honda’s flagship performance vehicle and remains to this day one of the best Japanese sports cars ever made. Its mid-mounted 3.0L V6 engine produces 270 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to hit 0-60 mph in just 5.7 seconds.
The NSX was Honda’s first foray into modern Japanese sports cars, and its success paved the way for other popular Japanese sports cars such as the Honda Integra Type R and the Mazda RX-7.
What really sets the Honda NSX apart from other Japanese sports cars is its exceptional handling and suspension.
The car features an independent double wishbone suspension and 4-channel ABS, making it one of the most advanced vehicles on the road at the time.
The combination of power and handling made the NSX an instant classic, cementing its legacy as one of the best Japanese sports cars of all time.
The Lexus LFA is a supercar produced by the Japanese automotive giant, Lexus. It is one of the best Japanese sports cars of all time and is well known for its speed and power.
The Lexus LFA was released in 2010 and was developed as a halo car for the Lexus brand. It was powered by a 4.8L V10 engine that produced 553 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. The Lexus LFA also had a top speed of 202 mph, making it one of the fastest Japanese sports cars of all time.
The exterior of the Lexus LFA was designed with sleek lines and curves, creating an aggressive look. The interior featured high-quality materials such as leather and carbon fiber, giving it an opulent feel.
The Lexus LFA was also equipped with many advanced technological features such as an LCD instrument cluster, navigation system, and satellite radio.
The Lexus LFA has become a collector’s item due to its rarity and performance.
Mazda Eunos Roadster (Miata)
The small two-seater was first introduced in 1989 and has become one of the most popular Japanese sports cars of all time.
The Mazda Miata is affordable, reliable, and easily upgradeable, making it a great option for those looking for a classic Japanese sports car. It’s a great choice for those looking for an affordable entry into the world of Japanese sports cars, as well as those who want to customize their vehicle.
The Miata has become an icon of Japanese sports cars, having spawned numerous editions over the years ranging from special editions to modern Japanese sports cars.
The Mazda RX-7 is a classic Japanese sports car, produced from 1978 to 2002. It has earned its place among the best Japanese sports cars of all time and is still beloved by many enthusiasts today.
The original RX-7 was one of the first small Japanese sports cars, with a 2-door coupe body style. It was powered by a Wankel rotary engine, which provided impressive performance in a lightweight package.
The Mazda RX-7 saw several iterations over its 24-year production run, including the FC3S model from 1986-1991 and the FD3S from 1992-2002. These models featured more powerful engines, improved suspension, and more aerodynamic styling.
The FD3S was the pinnacle of the RX-7 series, with a twin-turbocharged engine that put out over 280 horsepower. It was one of the most advanced modern Japanese sports cars of its time, with features such as a 5-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential.
Today, the Mazda RX-7 is still revered for its timeless style, impressive performance, and iconic status as a classic Japanese sports car.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII has been around since the 90s and continues to be one of the best Japanese sports cars of all time. The car features a 4-door sedan design, making it one of the few 4-door Japanese sports cars on the market.
The car also comes with an AWD system, allowing for better handling and control in a variety of driving conditions. It is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged engine that produces up to 276 horsepower and 286 lb-ft of torque.
Plus, its four-door design makes it perfect for families who are looking for a reliable and stylish vehicle. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII is one of the best Japanese sports cars of all time and will continue to be popular for years to come.
Both models are part of the legendary Z car lineup, which has been around since 1970. Both the 350Z and 370Z offer plenty of power and performance for any driving enthusiast.
- The 350Z is a classic, small Japanese sports car that debuted in 2003 and quickly became a favorite amongst enthusiasts. It features a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 287 horsepower, which makes it capable of 0-60 mph acceleration in just 6 seconds.
- The 370Z is its modern successor, released in 2009 and boasting an upgraded 3.7-liter V6 engine with 332 horsepower. It also features improved handling, braking, and suspension components that make it even more fun to drive.
The Silvia is a small Japanese sports car that is known for its powerful performance and stylish looks. While the first generation was produced in the 1960s, modern Nissan Silvias are more likely to be found from the 90s onwards.
This classic Japanese sports car is available as a 2-seater coupe or hatchback, and both versions offer good value for money.
The Silvia is a great choice for those looking for a cheap Japanese sports car that offers plenty of power and style. With their lightweight design, they are also nimble and great fun to drive.
The modern Silvia’s have been updated with technology and performance advancements, including AWD (all-wheel-drive) systems, turbocharged engines, and larger brakes. The new S15 model even has a V8 engine, making it one of the most powerful Japanese sports cars of all time.
The Nissan Skyline is a legendary Japanese sports car that has been around since 1957. With a history of producing some of the best sports cars of all time, the Skyline is a true icon in the Japanese automotive industry.
Over the years, the Skyline has evolved from a small 2-door coupe to one of the most popular modern Japanese sports cars available today.
- The first generation of the Skyline was produced in 1957 and it was powered by a 1.5-liter inline-four engine with a single overhead camshaft. This model was known as the Skyline S54 and it was the first of its kind with an independent rear suspension setup. The Skyline S54 was a very reliable and comfortable car that was loved by many.
- In 1989, the R32 Skyline was released and this model featured a 2.6-liter turbocharged inline-six engine that produced 206 horsepower and could reach a top speed of 155 miles per hour. This model was very successful in the Japanese Touring Car Championship and it became one of the most iconic models of the Skyline series.
- The R32 Skyline is also one of the most sought-after classic Japanese sports cars and it still commands high prices in the used car market.
- The next generation of the Skyline was released in 1993 and it featured a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that produced 276 horsepower and could reach a top speed of 155 miles per hour. This model was also known as the R33 and it was widely regarded as one of the best-performing Japanese sports cars of the 90s. It was also the first model to feature four-wheel drive, which made it even more capable on twisty roads.
- The latest iteration of the Skyline is the R35, which was released in 2007. This model features a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that produces 480 horsepower and can reach a top speed of 196 miles per hour. The R35 is often praised for its incredible performance and modern features, making it one of the best Japanese sports cars of all time.
With its incredible power, exceptional handling, and iconic styling, the Skyline has stood the test of time and remains one of the most beloved Japanese sports cars of all time.
Nissan Skyline GT-R KPGC10
The Nissan Skyline GT-R KPGC10 is considered one of the best Japanese sports cars of all time and has become a staple in the classic car community.
The KPGC10 was the first Skyline GT-R model, and it was an absolute powerhouse. Its 2.0L inline-6 engine produced 160hp, making it one of the most powerful small Japanese sports cars of its era.
The KPGC10 is still popular today and is highly sought after by collectors.
It is also relatively cheap compared to other classic Japanese sports cars, making it a great choice for those on a budget looking for an iconic Japanese import sports car.
Subaru Impreza 22B
The 22B was considered one of the best performance cars of its time and is still admired today. It was a limited edition car with only 424 units produced, making it a true collector’s item.
The 22B had an impressive 2.2-liter boxer engine, producing 280 horsepower. It was also well known for its improved suspension system and its larger brakes. It had a four-wheel drive system and could reach speeds up to 155mph.
The car featured an iconic look, with widened fenders and 17-inch wheels. The interior was basic but included a Momo steering wheel and a special edition stereo.
Overall, the 22B is a legendary Japanese sports car that has been revered for decades. It is the perfect combination of classic design and modern performance.
Though only 351 units were ever produced between 1967–1970, the Toyota 2000GT quickly became one of Japan’s most iconic sports cars.
It boasted an advanced double overhead camshaft inline 6-cylinder engine that delivered 150 hp, allowing 0 to 60 mph times of just 8 seconds flat—quite impressive for its time period.
Considered one of the toys’ first supercars and recognized as an amazing feat of engineering despite its limited production run, this vehicle remains one of Japan’s all-time best creations when it comes to sports cars.
Toyota Corolla AE86
The Toyota Corolla AE86 was introduced in the early 80s as a small, lightweight, rear-wheel drive car and is still popular today among enthusiasts who appreciate its classic style and performance.
The AE86 quickly became a cult classic and was the basis for many popular street racers and drift cars. The AE86 was offered with a 1.6-liter engine producing over 125 horsepower, making it one of the best bang-for-your-buck Japanese sports cars of its time.
While the AE86 may not be as fast or powerful as some of the newer Japanese sports cars, it is still highly sought after by those looking for an affordable, reliable, and fun vehicle.
The AE86 also serves as a great introduction to the world of Japanese sports cars, as it offers an accessible entry point into the hobby.
Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ
The Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ was released in 2012 as a joint venture between Subaru and Toyota, and have since gained an almost cult-like following among enthusiasts.
The two cars are essentially the same in terms of design, with the only difference being slight tweaks in power output and styling.
The Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ offers an affordable price tag, great performance, and a classic sports car aesthetic, the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ is one of the best options available.
With its 2.0L boxer engine and its low center of gravity, the 86/BRZ provides sharp handling and great cornering capabilities.
Overall, the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ is one of the best Japanese sports cars of all time. With its classic sports car looks, modern technology, and affordable price tag, it’s no wonder why it’s been so popular among drivers.
Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400
The Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 is a modern Japanese sports car that was first released in 2016. It features a powerful 400-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine that provides an exhilarating driving experience.
It’s a perfect choice for those who want the power and style of a modern Japanese sports car without sacrificing comfort or luxury.
The Q60 Red Sport 400 is one of the best Japanese sports cars of all time and is sure to please even the most discerning driver.
The Toyota Supra has become a legend in the automotive world, thanks to its classic design and reliable performance. The first Toyota Supra was introduced in 1979 and it has evolved ever since, becoming one of the most desirable Japanese sports cars in the world.
In 2021, the latest version of the Toyota Supra was released, offering an impressive array of features such as a 3.0-liter turbocharged engine, advanced safety systems, and a state-of-the-art infotainment system.
From its great performance to its classic looks, the Toyota Supra has earned its place as one of the best Japanese sports cars of all time.
Subaru WRX STI
A powerful and reliable AWD turbocharged engine makes it a standout in the class. It’s perfect for those who are looking for a small, nimble, and fast sports car.
The WRX STI has been around since the 90s and has been continuously updated with modern features, making it one of the most popular Japanese sports cars today.
Even though the WRX STI was released in the 90s, it still remains a popular choice among Japanese sports car enthusiasts in 2022 and 2023.
The Mazda MX-5, commonly known as the Miata in North America and the Roadster in Japan, is a small Japanese sports car that has become one of the most iconic vehicles of all time.
It was introduced in 1989 and has been produced in four generations since then. The Mazda MX-5 is known for its responsive handling and agile performance.
It is one of the most affordable and reliable Japanese sports cars on the market, with the first generation being one of the best-selling Japanese sports cars of all time.
The latest version of the MX-5, the RF model, has been praised for its modern design and performance, making it one of the best Japanese sports cars of 2021. With its classic design, affordability, reliability, and performance.
Lexus RC F
The Lexus RC F is an upgrade from the previous generation of Japanese sports cars from the 90s and offers more power and performance than ever before.
The RC F has a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 472 horsepower and can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. It also features an 8-speed automatic transmission and a torque-vectoring differential for superior handling.
The RC F is one of the best Japanese sports cars of all time and its combination of power and agility makes it a great choice for those looking for a fast and sporty ride. It’s also relatively affordable compared to other luxury Japanese sports cars, making it a great option for those on a budget.
Small Japanese Sports Cars:
Small Japanese Sports Cars are vehicles that offer amazing performance, a truly top-of-the-line driving experience, and impressive styling.
Not limited to renowned sports cars like the Nissan GT-R or even the classic Honda S2000, there’s a plethora of sports cars from Japan such as the Subaru WRX STI, Mazda RX-7, Toyota Supra, and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
If you are looking for raw performance out of your ride without sacrificing your budget, then these small Japanese sports cars will make an excellent choice.
1. Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
2. Honda S2000
3. Autozam AZ-1
4. Mitsubishi 3000GT
5. Honda Beat
6. Honda S660
7. Suzuki Cappuccino
8. Mazda RX-8
9. Daihatsu Copen
Best Japanese Sports Cars in 2023:
Japanese sports cars have come a long way since the first models were released in the early 20th century. In 2023, they continue to be some of the most popular cars and sought-after vehicles on the market.
Thanks to a combination of high-performance engines, cutting-edge design, and advanced technology, Japanese sports cars are now more powerful and stylish than ever before. Whether you’re looking for an iconic classic or a sleek new model, there’s something for everyone.
When it comes to automobile engineering, Japan is definitely one of the top countries in the world. Expect more breathtaking creations from them in 2023!
- Subaru WRX
- Honda Integra
- Subaru BRZ
What is the coolest Japanese car? The coolest Japanese car is undoubtedly the Nissan GT-R. It is a high-performance sports car that has revolutionized the industry. The latest iteration is packed with advanced technology, an impressive 473 horsepower engine, and a lightweight body that allows it to achieve remarkable acceleration, power, and handling. It’s hard to beat the thrill of driving a GT-R down a winding road or on the track.
What is the most popular sports car in Japan? The most popular sports car in Japan is the Nissan GT-R. It’s been a favorite in Japan since it was first released in 2007 and still proves to be a top choice for performance car enthusiasts today. The sleek yet powerful design of the GT-R has earned its place among some of the world’s best sports cars, with its 3.8-liter engine producing 545 horsepower.
It offers an incredible driving experience and unsurpassed handling that has won over Japanese motorists for more than 10 years now.
What is the most famous sports car in Japan? The Toyota 2000GT is widely considered to be the most famous sports car in Japan. It was produced by Toyota between 1967 and 1970 and was one of the first Japanese automobiles that achieved international acclaim for its performance and styling.
Less than 100 models were ever made, making it highly sought after by collectors. Its iconic design is widely regarded as an inspiration behind modern-day sports cars from Japan.
Summary: Japanese Sports Cars
When it comes to sports cars, few countries have done it better than Japan. From the classic Honda S2000 to the modern Lexus RC F, there are plenty of amazing Japanese sports cars that have made their mark on the automotive world.
In addition to the iconic models from the 80s and 90s, there are also plenty of new Japanese sports cars for 2022 and 2023. No matter what type of vehicle you’re looking for, you’re sure to find something special in the world of Japanese sports cars.
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