Top 28 Japanese Sports Cars to Try

Japanese Sports Cars
Photo by Kartik Bhattacharjee

Sports cars are fast, sleek, and powerful. Japan has some of the best sports cars on the market. They are being praised worldwide by car enthusiasts and casual drivers alike. 

If you’re looking to buy a new sports car, this article will introduce you to the top twenty-eight Japanese sports cars.

Be sure to consider them before making your final decision.

Table of Contents

  1. List of Japanese Sports Cars
    1. Honda Integra Type R    
    2. Subaru BRZ  
    3. Toyota 86  
    4. Nissan 370Z  
    5. Mazda MX-5 Miata    
    6. Honda S2000  
    7. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII  
    8. Nissan Silvia  
    9. Nissan Skyline 
    10. Toyota Corolla AE86  
    11. Toyota Supra  
    12. Subaru Impreza 22B  
    13. Lexus LFA  
    14. Honda NSX  
    15. Mitsubishi Eclipse
    16. Yamaha OX99-11  
    17. Mazda Cosmo  
    18. Honda  
    19. Acura NSX  
    20. Mazda RX-7 (FD) 
    21. Toyota Sports 800
    22. Acura Integra Type R
    23. Datsun 240Z  
    24. Autozam AZ-1  
    25. Suzuki Cappuccino  
    26. Datsun Roadster  
    27. Toyota MR2  
    28. Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4

List of Japanese Sports Cars

Honda Integra Type R

The Honda Integra Type R is among the unique Japanese sports cars. It was only made for a few years, and each year, they produced fewer. This makes it quite rare today, especially in its home country.

There are many of these cars that were left untouched by their owners. This is not because they were neglected, but because they were too valuable. There was nothing they could do to make them better or faster. 

In addition, the Integra Type R comes equipped with a 1.8-liter engine. It has a turbocharger with an impressive 195 horsepower and 175 lb.-ft of torque.

Those figures are enough to get it up to 70 miles per hour in just 7 seconds! That’s fast!

Subaru BRZ

Are you looking for a high-performance car with exceptional styling? Then you need to know about Subaru’s BRZ. It is fast, but it is one of the well-known Japanese sports cars. 

It also has a low center of gravity and sharp handling that allow it to corner like no other. You can pick up an automatic model for around $25,000. Even faster manual model for just under $27,000. 

Furthermore, Its 2+2 seating is comfortable and spacious. This is perfect for weekend getaways with friends or long drives through winding mountain roads.

 If you want excellent Japanese performance at a reasonable price, look no further than BRZ!

Toyota 86

The Toyota 86 is a top contender for one of the best Japanese sports cars today. Its combination of rear-wheel drive and responsive handling characteristics. These characteristics make it a standout choice among driving enthusiasts.

 Its affordable price tag makes it an excellent option for someone with a limited budget. That’s why we think it deserves special mention. If you’re looking for an affordable performance car, look no further than Toyota 86

Nissan 370Z

If you’re looking for a sports car with classic lines and impressive handling, you can’t go wrong with a 370Z. This is Nissan’s retro-themed modern take on its popular 1970s Z cars. It comes with a solid lineup of amenities—if not traditional sportscar looks. 

With twin cams and 305 horsepower, it won’t blow away more upscale competitors (such as Porsche or Mercedes). It will prove reliable over time. If reliability is your number one concern, look elsewhere. 370Zs have been known to suffer engine failure occasionally. 

Overall, it’s one of the affordable Japanese sports cars that will please drivers on most days. It also gets good gas mileage for its size and has surprisingly little road noise.

Mazda MX-5 Miata

Are you looking for a fun, mid-size sports car that’s easy on gas and an absolute blast to drive? Then look no further than Mazda’s MX-5 Miata.

They have crisp handling and classically gorgeous looks. It doesn’t hurt that Miatas are also relatively inexpensive compared to other Japanese sports cars.

Suppose you want a fun car that can make any trip better, grab an MX-5 Miata today! You won’t break your bank. Get a Price Quote Make Model

Honda S2000

Honda’s S2000 is unlike any other car on our list of Japanese sports cars. This is because it’s not an actual sports car but rather an enthusiast roadster. 

It features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. This puts out 237 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

Tipping the scales at less than 3,000 pounds, Honda’s S2000 can hit 60 mph in under six seconds. Also, it has a top speed of almost 150 mph.

Furthermore, inside are racing seats covered in leather and carbon fiber trim throughout. This car looks very sporty.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII

As a company, Mitsubishi has been in business for over 100 years. They introduced one of their most famous cars to celebrate its anniversary. The Lancer Evo VIII stands out as one of the few rear-wheel-drive vehicles. 

However, this is because it still uses a turbocharger for its engine. It has a base MSRP of $33,540 and a top speed of just over 170 miles per hour.

It is an excellent option for anyone looking for one of the affordable Japanese sports cars with some real power behind it.

This is not your parent’s muscle car—it handles more like a proper racecar than anything else on today’s market.

Nissan Silvia

The Nissan Silvia is one of the most iconic Japanese sports cars. It first debuted in 1964 and was produced until 2008, making it Nissan’s longest-running sports car. 

There have been several different variants over time. One thing that has remained constant is its famed handling, thanks to its inline-four engine and rear-wheel drive.

One look at a Silvia, and you’ll realize why they call it Godzilla, or what some in Japan refer to as Shirobara. In other words, sleek and bold are two ways many describe it!

Nissan Skyline

If you’re an enthusiast of Japanese sports cars, you’ve heard of Nissan Skyline, considered one of Japan’s first production cars. They have produced a handful of vehicles since their introduction in 1955.

These Japanese sports cars have collected a loyal fan base throughout their long history. Several different models have reached iconic status. Their most famous Skyline model is likely R32 and R33 from 1989-1998 (GTS).

They are available with the 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine producing between 190 and 280 horsepower. They are also mated to a five-speed manual transmission.

These performance vehicles feature a rear-wheel-drive configuration with an independent front suspension design for better handling.

Toyota Corolla AE86

For many car enthusiasts, Toyota’s Corolla is nothing more than transportation. But in North America, where it’s sold as a first-tier sports sedan, it’s practically a nonexistent entity. 

In Japan and Europe, though, its reputation is much different. Known as Hachi-Roku (or 8-6) in Japan, fans call AE86 one of the most iconic Japanese sports cars ever made.

Nowadays, you can find them almost anywhere in good shape. They’re regularly imported from Japan by collectors and other enthusiasts.

Toyota Supra

This Toyota’s mid-engine, the rear-wheel-drive sports car is one of their most iconic Japanese sports cars. Tree generations have come out since it was first released in 1978.

It was officially discontinued in 2002, but rumors about a fourth generation have been circulating for years. If you’re looking for a sports car that can get away with more than just a weekend toy, you need Toyota’s Supra.

From its sleek design to its durable engine, many reasons why so many drivers enjoy driving it. They love to go these models on both road and track.

Of course, like any sports car worth its salt, they don’t come cheap. If performance is what you’re after, money shouldn’t stand in your way.

Subaru Impreza 22B

When it comes to affordable performance, many people think of Subaru. They produce high-quality and dependable cars that are known for their handling capabilities. They’re not just limited to rally racing anymore.

Today’s Subaru lineup includes performance variants like the WRX STI and BRZ. These Japanese sports cars are at home on a road course or an open stretch of pavement.

In particular, everyone seems excited about the 2016 models of Subaru STI and BRZ. They each come with upgrades in horsepower that make them even more fun than before.

Lexus LFA

The Lexus LFA is a prime example of Japanese supercar-building. Though some complained that its price tag wasn’t as impressive as its performance—its listed price was $375,000.

When it launched in 2010—there’s no denying that, with all-wheel drive and a V10 engine, it could go 0–60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. It reaches speeds up to 201 mph.

But if you want one of your own, you can forget about it. Only 500 were ever built, making them rare Japanese sports cars on American roads.

Honda NSX

Honda’s NSX is one of their most popular Japanese sports cars. It was named Sports Car of the Century by Motor Trend in 1992.

First produced in 1991, Honda initially targeted a small niche market, including performance car enthusiasts. 

It was costly when first released at $60,000 (1991). Since its production in 1991, it has been awarded several different awards, such as the Most Beautiful Supercar of All Time and Coolest Car Ever.

Mitsubishi Eclipse

The Eclipse was one of the first and most affordable Japanese sports cars. It came with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produced a mere 130 horsepower. It was enough for good handling and decent performance, but not great acceleration.

 However, there were plenty of aftermarket upgrades available for those looking for more power. Since 1991, Mitsubishi has sold nearly 1 million Eclipses in both coupe and convertible models worldwide. It is easy to see why these Japanese sports cars have become so popular!

Yamaha OX99-11

The Yamaha OX99-11 is a Japanese sports car that has achieved success on racetracks worldwide. Unlike most other Japanese sports cars, however, it had only one year of racing before it was retired by its manufacturer. So why is it listed among Japan’s best? Read more to find out! 

It debuted in 1997. It comes with lightweight materials like aluminum and carbon fiber—particularly in its chassis—that give it an excellent power-to-weight ratio and handling.

This helped it win races. This includes seven race wins out of 14 stars in international championships during 1998 and 1999.

Also, it used supercharged engines with 600 hp and 400 lb/ft of torque to achieve acceleration from 0–60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. Top speed wasn’t recorded but must have been near 200 mph due to air restrictors at both Daytona Speedway.

In these places, a lap record was set, and at Suzuka Circuit where another lap record was established shortly after.

Mazda Cosmo

Founded in 1966, Mazda has more than four decades of experience with pretty awesome cars. One of these cars is called the Cosmo, and it’s one of the best-selling Japanese sports cars.

 This car has experienced a lot of success in Europe, where it continues to sell new models today. It’s hard not to love everything about a sports car that gets less than 12 miles per gallon. Also, especially when you consider all its other unique features. 

Honda

This car is one of Honda’s most iconic Japanese sports cars, and it is often referred to as a cult car. It was also used in several popular racing games

What makes it so great? It has a robust and lightweight chassis that allows for excellent acceleration. Not only that, but its top speed can reach 180 km/h (around 112 mph). 

To achieve these impressive results, you have to be careful. Repairs can get expensive quickly if you aren’t up-to-date on your knowledge of how these cars work.

It would help if you also were wary of theft—this model has an above-average risk of being stolen. Overall, though, it’s a good choice if you want something both affordable and reliable.

Acura NSX

Are you looking for a sports car with a unique look and Japanese flair? No worries; we’ve got you covered. Acura has been making cars in Japan since 1986.

They’re well known for producing some of the best luxury Japanese sports cars on four wheels. If you’re looking for something that embodies speed, performance, and agility, it’s hard to beat what Acura has going on. 

Mazda RX-7 (FD)

If you’re looking for a vintage sportscar experience with modern reliability, then look no further than a Mazda RX-7 (FD). Produced from 1993 to 2002, these cars have revived in recent years. 

If you know where to look, it’s possible to find one for under $5,000, as with any classic car entering its second decade of life and can still run over 100 mph. Though, rust and maintenance issues are going to be an issue.

However, they seem much rarer than your typical Corvette or Camaro Z28. Unlike those two cars, however, buying one won’t hurt your wallet too severely—provided you can wait patiently.

Toyota Sports 800

In 1962, Toyota created a whole new category of a car when it released its Sports 800. It was no supercar, but at $1,295, it was affordable and fun.

It also featured a front-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive—unusual for most Japanese sports cars of that era. 

Yet only about 2,000 were sold. To survive in an increasingly competitive market for sports cars, Toyota modernized its model by introducing a front-mounted V4 engine with four valves per cylinder (F4), displacing 1.5 liters in 1965.

 Although modern versions still feature RWD and are pretty popular with collectors today. Its place in history is cemented as one of Japan’s first roadsters. This paves the way for future hits from Nissan and Honda.

Acura Integra Type R

It doesn’t matter if you’re a gearhead or not. Do you need to know about Acura’s Integra Type R. Why? Because it’s been repeatedly named one of Honda Motor Company Ltd. It’s one of the best Japanese sports cars ever built, and for a good reason. 

It is a valid driver’s car, as evidenced by its front-wheel-drive layout and mid-engine design. Its 2.0L engine is a powerful little thing capable of 183 horsepower at 8300 rpm and 127 lb.-ft. Of torque at 6600 pm.

The power allowed it to reach 60 mph in just over 6 seconds when tested by Car & Driver magazine in 1997. This made them good enough for fourth place on their 10 Best Performance Sedans list.

Datsun 240Z

One of Nissan’s earliest high-performance machines, Datsun’s flagship sports car was built from 1970 through 1978 and sold more than a quarter-million units. With its sleek and classic styling, it still looks fresh today.

It’s also available in a wide range of classic colors. If you can find one for less than $5,000, consider yourself lucky—especially if you don’t mind an older machine.

Autozam AZ-1

Autozam AZ-1 was built by Suzuki and was a production car manufactured between 1991-1999. It is known for its quirky and futuristic look.

 Some of its unique features include gull-wing doors and LED lights. This vehicle is best suited for city driving. Its hybrid electric motor offers good fuel economy and excellent low-speed maneuverability.

Suzuki Cappuccino

When you think about flashy and speedy Japanese sports cars, you may think about a sleek red Ferrari or a dashing yellow Lamborghini. These are genuinely unique cars. There’s another side of Japanese sports cars that is equally awesome.

Take, for example, Suzuki’s line of Cappuccino vehicles. They have become sought after by those who want something different. They have such a retro look from their days as microcars in Japan.

Datsun Roadster

Datsun began building roadsters in 1967, a year before Chevrolet’s Corvette. Albrecht Goertz designed it and is most famous for his BMW 507 and Mercedes-Benz 300SL designs. 

Most of these Japanese sports cars have survived because they have been passed down through families. This makes them especially valuable in today’s market. 

Due to its status as an enthusiast car when it was first released and its affordable price now, prices are likely only going up from here.

Toyota MR2

Toyota MR2 is a rear-wheel drive, mid-engined two-seater sports car. The manufacturer called Toyota produced it from 1984 until 2007 in Japan. It is also made from 1985 until 2007 in other markets, including Australia and New Zealand. 

At its introduction in 1984, it was among the most expensive Japanese sports cars. It became one of Toyota’s best-selling models, with over 1 million sold by 2005. 

Although an imported European model was sold as early as 1983 (for the model year 1985), sales were not intended to be significant outside Japan due to export delay regulations. The change of government during development imposed the rule.

Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4

One of the Japanese sports cars, Mitsubishi, launched a few sports cars in its lifetime that enthusiasts and automotive writers alike fondly remember. None was more dominant than in 1995 when it brought us a car that defined performance for years afterward.

A year later came what many consider one of Japan’s best pieces of art (even if some car people hate it). This incredible rear-wheel-drive machine with twin turbochargers was an unlikely winner from Japan.

However, with owners like Tom Selleck behind it, how could they go wrong? Last on our list is another excellent Mitsubishi product from a decade before—the mighty 3000GT VR-4. Remember where you heard about these first.

Conclusion

As I mentioned earlier, quite a few sports cars come from Japan. Since most of these vehicles have some performance and handling capabilities, they can be ideal for enthusiasts. Enthusiasts want to feel more at one with their car on rewinding roads.

After you read through my list, weigh in on your own favorite JDM sports cars. It should be easier for you to decide which model is best for you. 

Check out some used Japanese sports cars now! You’ll be glad you did!

Total
0
Shares
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.