January 5, 2024
Best JDM Cars: Top 7
There are many JDM cars that we all dream of but we've put together a list of only 7 that are our top picks for the best JDM cars.

Today, we're diving deep into the exhilarating world of Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) cars. Renowned for their reliability, performance, and unique style, JDM cars have carved a niche in the automotive world that resonates with enthusiasts globally. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the top 7 JDM cars that have not only left a mark on the industry but also on the hearts of car lovers everywhere.

The Best JDM Cars - Top 7 Picks

Toyota Supra - The Supercar Slayer

The Toyota Supra MK4, a renowned sports car from the 1990s, holds a legendary status among automobile enthusiasts.

MK4 Toyota Supra

Engine and Performance: At the heart of the MK4 Supra is its 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six engine, known as the 2JZ-GTE. This engine is revered for its durability and high-performance capabilities. In its most potent form, it produces up to 320 horsepower and 315 lb-ft of torque, enabling the car to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just under 5 seconds. The engine's robust construction and ease of modification make it popular among tuners and racing enthusiasts.

Transmission: The Supra offers two transmission options – a 6-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic. The manual version is particularly sought after for its engaging driving experience and precise control.

Design and Aerodynamics: The MK4 Supra features a sleek, aerodynamic design that is ahead of its time. Its long hood, smooth lines, and iconic rear spoiler not only contribute to its aesthetic appeal but also enhance its performance by reducing drag and increasing downforce.

Suspension and Handling: The Supra is equipped with an advanced suspension system, featuring double wishbones at both the front and rear, ensuring responsive handling and a smooth ride. This setup allows for excellent road grip and stability, especially in high-speed cornering scenarios.

Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34) - The Legendary Icon

The Nissan Skyline GT-R, particularly the R34 model produced between 1999 and 2002, is an iconic sports car that continues to captivate car enthusiasts around the world.

Nissan Skyline GTR R34

Engine and Performance: The Nissan Skyline GT-R is powered by the famed RB26DETT engine, a 2.6-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six. This powerplant is renowned for its remarkable engineering and high tuning potential. In its standard form, the RB26DETT generates approximately 276 horsepower, though this figure is commonly considered to be understated to comply with Japanese auto industry agreements. The true output is often believed to be significantly higher. This engine's reliability and capability for high performance modifications make it a favorite in the tuning community.

Transmission and Drivetrain: The Skyline GT-R features an advanced all-wheel-drive system called ATTESA E-TS and a 6-speed Getrag manual transmission. This combination delivers a dynamic driving experience, with the all-wheel-drive system providing exceptional traction and handling capabilities, particularly in challenging driving conditions.

Design and Aerodynamics: The R34 Skyline GT-R boasts a distinctive and aggressive design. Its muscular stance, combined with aerodynamic elements like the front splitter and rear wing, gives it not just visual appeal but also functional benefits in terms of stability and aerodynamic efficiency.

Technology and Innovations: One of the most notable aspects of the Skyline GT-R is its sophisticated technology. It includes the Super-HICAS four-wheel steering system, which enhances maneuverability at high speeds and tight corners. Additionally, the R34 model introduced an advanced display system, providing the driver with real-time information on the engine and vehicle performance.

Handling and Suspension: The GT-R's suspension system is engineered for high performance and agility. It features a multi-link setup both at the front and rear, ensuring a balance between ride comfort and responsive handling. This makes the car exceptionally capable on both the road and the track.

Mazda RX-7 (FD) - The Rotary Revolution

The Mazda RX-7, particularly its third generation (FD3S) model, stands as a paradigm of innovation and design in the world of sports cars.

Mazda RX-7

Engine and Performance: The RX-7 is most renowned for its unique rotary engine, the 13B-REW. This 1.3-liter twin-turbocharged engine is a marvel of engineering, known for its compact size and high power output relative to its displacement. In its most advanced form, it produces around 255 horsepower and 217 lb-ft of torque, allowing the car to achieve rapid acceleration and a top speed that competes with larger, more traditional engines. The rotary engine's smooth power delivery and high-revving nature contribute to the RX-7's thrilling driving experience.

Transmission: Mazda offered the RX-7 with a choice of a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The manual transmission, in particular, is favored for its engaging driving experience, providing drivers with precise control and a direct connection to the car's performance.

Design and Aerodynamics: The FD RX-7 is celebrated for its sleek, flowing lines and lightweight construction. Its iconic, timeless design features a low, wide stance and pop-up headlights, which not only contribute to its aesthetic appeal but also enhance its aerodynamic efficiency. The car's lightweight body, made possible through the use of materials like aluminum and fiberglass, further improves its performance and handling.

Handling and Suspension: The RX-7's handling is characterized by its agility and responsiveness. It is equipped with a sophisticated suspension setup, featuring double wishbones at all four corners. This design ensures tight cornering and stable handling, making the RX-7 a favorite on both winding roads and race tracks.

Cult Status and Legacy: Beyond its technical specifications, the Mazda RX-7 has achieved a cult status among car enthusiasts due to its unique rotary engine, distinctive design, and its representation in popular culture, including movies and video games. This legacy continues to endear the RX-7 to a broad audience, maintaining its popularity as a classic sports car.

Honda NSX - The Everyday Supercar

The Honda NSX, particularly in its first generation which spanned from 1990 to 2005, stands as a revolutionary vehicle in the realm of sports cars.

Honda NSX

Engine and Performance: The original NSX is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine, equipped with Honda's VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) system. This engine, known for its precision and reliability, produces up to 270 horsepower in its initial versions, later upgraded to 290 horsepower in models equipped with a 3.2-liter engine. The NSX's engine is celebrated for its smooth, high-revving characteristics, delivering a balance of power and efficiency.

Transmission: The NSX offers a choice between a 5-speed manual and a later 6-speed manual transmission, as well as a 4-speed automatic. The manual transmissions, especially, are acclaimed for their crisp shifting and engagement, providing a pure and connected driving experience.

Design and Aerodynamics: The NSX's design is a blend of elegance and function, inspired by an F-16 fighter jet cockpit, giving it a low profile and excellent visibility. Its aluminum bodywork is a pioneering feature, contributing to its light weight and rigidity. The sleek, timeless design not only offers aesthetic appeal but also contributes to the vehicle's aerodynamic efficiency.

Handling and Suspension: The handling of the NSX is renowned for being intuitive and responsive, largely due to its lightweight aluminum construction and mid-engine layout. The car is equipped with an advanced suspension system, which includes independent double wishbones at all four corners, ensuring precise handling and a balanced ride.

Innovation and Legacy: The Honda NSX broke new ground in using advanced materials and engineering techniques, such as its all-aluminum monocoque body and chassis. It was developed with input from Formula One legend Ayrton Senna, which is evident in its focus on driver experience and performance. The NSX is often credited with influencing other sports car manufacturers to place greater emphasis on handling and driver experience.

Subaru Impreza WRX STI - The Rally Champion

The Subaru Impreza WRX, particularly its versions from the late 1990s to early 2000s, has etched a formidable reputation in the realm of performance cars.

Subaru Impreza WRX STI

Engine and Performance: The heart of the Impreza WRX is Subaru's signature flat-four 'boxer' engine, turbocharged to deliver robust performance. Early versions of the WRX were equipped with a 2.0-liter engine, typically producing around 218 horsepower, with later models seeing a bump in displacement and power. This engine configuration is known for its low center of gravity and balanced power delivery, contributing to the car's dynamic performance and distinctive engine note.

Transmission: The WRX comes with a choice of a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. However, it's the manual transmission that's particularly esteemed for providing an engaging and direct driving experience, allowing drivers to fully exploit the car's performance capabilities.

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive: A key feature of the WRX is Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, which offers superior traction and handling in a variety of driving conditions. This system, in tandem with the car's well-tuned suspension, provides exceptional grip and stability, making the WRX highly capable in both dry and wet conditions, and particularly adept at rally-style driving.

Design and Aerodynamics: The Impreza WRX sports a functional and aggressive design. Characterized by its hood scoop (for the intercooler) and rear spoiler, the WRX has a distinctive appearance that hints at its performance pedigree. The sedan versions often feature wider fenders and more pronounced aerodynamic elements compared to the base Impreza models.

Rally Heritage and Popularity: The WRX gained international fame through Subaru's involvement in rally racing, particularly in the World Rally Championship (WRC). This rally heritage is deeply ingrained in the WRX's identity, contributing to its popularity among car enthusiasts and influencing its design and engineering.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution - The Performance Powerhouse

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, often referred to as the "Evo," is a high-performance version of the Mitsubishi Lancer. The Evolution was introduced in 1992 and has since gained a reputation as a capable and dynamic sports sedan.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo

Engine and Performance: The heart of the Lancer Evolution is its 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine. Over its various iterations, this engine has seen continuous enhancements, with power outputs ranging from 247 horsepower in the earlier models to over 300 horsepower in later versions. The engine is renowned for its strong power delivery, high-revving nature, and significant tuning potential.

Transmission and Drivetrain: The Lancer Evolution features a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, known as the Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC). This system, coupled with an active center differential, provides outstanding traction and handling capabilities. The car typically comes with a 5-speed manual transmission, although later models offer a 6-speed twin-clutch Sportronic Shift Transmission (SST), which allows for rapid gear changes and enhanced driving dynamics.

Design and Aerodynamics: The Evo is distinguished by its aggressive and functional design. Features like the large rear wing, vented hood, and flared fenders are not just stylistic choices but also serve aerodynamic and cooling purposes. The Evo's design evolution across its generations reflects its focus on performance and efficiency.

Handling and Suspension: Handling is one of the Evo's standout features, characterized by its sharp and responsive steering, firm suspension setup, and excellent cornering abilities. The car often uses a MacPherson strut front and a multi-link rear suspension system, optimized for high performance and driver feedback.

Rally Heritage and Influence: The Lancer Evolution's development was heavily influenced by Mitsubishi's participation in the World Rally Championship. This rally heritage is evident in its design, engineering, and performance capabilities. The Evo has a strong following among car enthusiasts and has earned respect in various motorsport disciplines, including rally, track racing, and drifting.

Nissan 240SX (S13) - The Drift King

The Nissan 240SX, known in other markets as the Nissan Silvia, is a sports car that garnered a cult following for its balance, handling, and potential for customization. Produced from the late 1980s to the early 2000s, this vehicle has become a favorite in the drifting and tuning communities.

Nissan Silvia

Engine and Performance: In North America, the 240SX was typically equipped with a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated inline-four engine, known as the KA24DE. This engine is recognized for its reliability and decent torque output, making it a solid foundation for performance tuning. In other markets, the Silvia came with a range of engines, including the popular SR20DET, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine lauded for its higher performance potential and tuning versatility.

Transmission: The 240SX/Silvia was available with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The manual transmission is particularly popular among enthusiasts for its engaging driving experience and greater control over the car's performance.

Design and Chassis: The design of the 240SX/Silvia is characterized by its simple, clean lines and a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. The car's relatively lightweight chassis and balanced weight distribution contribute to its agility and responsiveness. These features make it an ideal platform for drifting, a motorsport in which the 240SX has gained iconic status.

Handling and Suspension: The handling characteristics of the 240SX/Silvia are often praised for their predictability and ease of control. The vehicle typically features an independent suspension setup, with MacPherson struts in the front and a multi-link arrangement in the rear, providing a good balance between comfort and responsive handling.

Cultural Impact and Popularity: The Nissan 240SX/Silvia has achieved a significant following in the automotive tuning and drifting scenes, due in part to its appearance in popular media and its accessible platform for modifications. Its popularity is further bolstered by a robust aftermarket, which offers a wide array of performance and aesthetic upgrades.

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