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Top 3 Japanese Sports Cars for Ultimate Driving Pleasure

The Advantages of Japanese Sports Cars
Light, Agile, and Highly Reliable
Which Sports Car Meets These Three Criteria?

Japan is known as an advanced country in the automobile industry.

In Japan, small vehicles have been mainly developed for efficient driving in unique road environments. Excellent lightweight technology enables maximum performance even with low-output engines. It uses a high-performance engine to provide strong acceleration and exceptional driving performance.

Combined with Japan’s unique, sophisticated technology, it has excellent stability and reliability, as seen in sedans and sports cars. It offers superb handling and operation capabilities, so anyone can easily drive it. We have gathered three sports cars with a Japanese sensibility that are praised worldwide.

Full of fun with manual driving: Toyota’s GR 86

The GR 86 is an FR-style lightweight sports coupe jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru and produced since 2012. At first glance, this vehicle represents the most famous legendary car, the AE86. However, the two vehicles are unrelated, and the concept and name are borrowed. It is also renowned as a car whose performance is recognized in the Japanese, South Korean, and North American markets.

The GR 86, equipped with a 2.4L gasoline engine and a manual 6-speed transmission to make driving fun, produces a maximum output of 231 horsepower. Its biggest advantage and feature is its lightweight rear-wheel drive manual sports coupe. Even though it is a sports coupe, it is realistically competitive with fairly decent fuel efficiency and price.

Representative of Japanese Roadsters: Mazda’s MX-5

Mazda’s MX-5 is a two-seater roadster-type rear-wheel drive sports car produced in 1989. It is also famous for its North American export model name, Miata. Like the previous GR 86, it has succeeded in reducing weight and is making a name for itself as a roadster that best captures the Japanese flavor with its minimalist structure and excellent balance.

For this vehicle, customers can choose between a 1.5L 4-cylinder engine and a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine based on the 4th generation model, producing up to 130 horsepower and 184 horsepower, respectively. The top speed is 204 km/h (127 mph) and 219 km/h (136 mph), and, surprisingly, this level of performance can be achieved with a curb weight of just over 1,000 kg (2,204 lbs). The 5th generation model is scheduled to be released in 2026 and is expected to be launched as a model equipped with a 1.3L 3-cylinder engine and a hybrid system.

Symbol of Japanese Motorsports: Nissan’s GT-R

The Skyline is one of the representative lineups of Japanese automobiles beyond Nissan. It is the successor model to the Nissan Skyline GT-R, discontinued in 2002, and is often seen in games, motorsports, and various media. Although its characteristics differ slightly from the two models above, it is one of Japan’s representative vehicles.

This vehicle, where customers can feel the spirit of Japanese craftsmanship as the engine and transmission are produced by hand by a skilled craftsman, Takumi, is constantly being released as a new model. The engine installed in this vehicle is a V6 3.8 gasoline engine that produces 565 horsepower. It will likely not be discontinued since it is such an iconic model. So far, we have looked at three types of sports cars that can truly feel the Japanese sensibility.

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