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Introduction: Just liked I promised here is my Japanese car list. To keep is simple as possible I am doing JDM cars. JDM stands for Japanese Domestic Market. Basically these cars were sold in America. Watch out for my Euro top 10 list coming soon!

#10. The last generation 300zx is a real icon of 1990s performance vehicles. From front to back the 300zx is 1st class. The interior was pretty nice in these as well. You have a few cool options with these cars such as auto transmission, 5speed manual, t-tops, rag top, or twin turbo.

#9. I have always been a sucker for old school Datsun Z cars. I feel the best body styles are from the early to mid 1970s. The cars I am talking about range from the 240z, 260z, and even some 280z’s. It is almost endless how cool you can customize these classics into real show stoppers. What I like best a Chevy small block V8 fits in front very nice!

#8. The Honda S2000 is a hot little sports car. I think this is one of the best looking modern roadsters period. This car is made to run with its high revving V-TEC engine along with being well balanced. An S2000 handles corners likes its on rails. Single? No kids? This is an ideal ride for a Saturday night outing. 

#7. The Mitsubishi Eclipse is an import classic. The DSM cars are what you really want. DSM stands for Diamond Star Motors. The DSM cars were made from 1990-1998. Most of these cars were even made in America at Chrysler plants. Many great body styles to choose from. With its 4G series engine these little cars can be unstoppable when modified. The Plymouth Laser and Eagle Talon were in the same family in the DSM years. 

#6. I like all RX-7′s but the last generation is my favorite. What a great body style, it kind of reminds me of a mini Dodge Viper. These days most either modify the rotary engine that’s already in it or drop in LSX engines. This car is light weight and with just some power it will fly.

#5. I think most reading this have always wanted a last generation Supra. What else could you ask for this car has it all such as a targa top, six speed, twin turbo, I-6, and classic styling. This car is responsible for turning out many import fans.

#4. The Imperza WRX/STI cars have come along way. The flat four boxer engine has an excellent rumble. Subaru AWD systems are very nice and work well with these cars. I must be honest I was not a super fan when they came out, but now you see where they land on my list.

#3. The Mitsubishi Evolution has been around for about 20 years now. I like just about every body style there is of the Evo.  This cars main rival is the infamous WRX/STI. The Evo and WRX seem to go at it like the Camaro and Mustang have been doing for years now. 

#2. If you’re a friend of mine or a member on our forum you have heard me rant about this car for a while now. The Mitsubishi 3000 GT Spyder is pure bad assery. These cars are rare and rarely seen with less than 2,000 total made. Some were SL models while others were VR-4 models with twin turbo and all wheel steering. It’s a hard top convertible what else do I need to add my friend!

#1. Ah the sexy Acura NSX. This car truly has a timeless body style. Even a bone stock NSX from the early 1990s causes allot of attention on the streets. This car has a little bit of it all to make one awesome ride such as super car styling, dependabilty, fuel economy, affordabilty, supreme handling, and good overall performance. I hope to own a NSX one day.


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19 Responses to “Red’s Top 10 Japanese/JDM Performance Cars”

  1. God of green says:

    nice JDM list i would have took mr2 orver s2k none the less all these are my faves

  2. Jesse Nieto says:

    Awesome! I’ve been anxiously waiting for this list to come out, and you made my Friday by bringing it out this evening.

    I’m really proud to see the Mitsubishi love. Much respect on the specific part where you said Japanese/JDM and the distinction where the Eclipse is concerned. Of course as we all know, the 1g Eclipse is not JDM by any means, but rather designed and assembled in the US, in Normal, IL, and is as much if not more American made than most Chryslers that are seen on the road today.

    I have nothing against Japanese cars obviously, but what does bother me is when one out in public calls my ’92 Eclipse sarcastically “JDM”, and I have to waste my time giving a history lesson to some mis-informed musclehead explaining why in fact my car is no more Japanese than his 2006 GTO.

    Anyway, off topic there. Very nice article, good job Red! As always, I truly appreciate the universal love for all things automotive on your part, no matter what country they were made in. If only Top Gear could be so un-biased…

  3. Electra says:

    Nice job assembling a wide variety of cars. However I find I disagree with a few on the list and the list order. And that isn’t just my STi bias talking. LOL

  4. Rocknsnoboarder says:

    you’re just mad my Evo beat you;) I agree with the placement for the most part with the assumption that these are the cars in their stock forms they are definitely the top cars that have contributed to the automotive movement from Japan. Wouldn’t mind seeing a list or survey compiled of the top modified jdm cars.

  5. Brian Driggs says:

    Mitsubishi FTW.

    Aside from a small handful of early prototypes, as far as I know, every DSM – Eclipse/Talon/Laser – sold in the world was made in Normal, Illinois. Didn’t Mitsubishi just celebrate the completion of their 3,000,000th vehicle made at that plant?

    Important distinction on JDM being the Japanese verision of a car, as opposed to USDM. There might have been less than 2,000 3000GT VR4 Spyders sold in the US, but the car continued for a couple more years in other markets. The 3000GT/Stealth/GTO embodied the final days of the Japanese super car. Fully loaded, cars like the 3000GT, Supra, and RX-7 were well beyond $40,000 new. They soon faded from view.

    Hopefully, with the popularity of the Evo and WRX in recent years, we’ll begin to see a renaissance of the Pan-Asian sports car. The new Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a hot little number, and there’s talk of Toyota and Subaru incahoots on a boxer-powered, RWD platform in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, the last of the mainstream Japanese sports cars – the new Z (you ought to check it out, Red) – is a $40,000 car.

    Could it all be over before it begins? Let’s hope not.

  6. Zenki says:

    OMG… this list is an epic fail. Do a bit more of a research on the JDM sportscar scene. W/c has dominated in motorsports, etc.

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