Not too long ago, one our commenters suggested the idea of putting together a poll featuring the great Japanese performance cars of the 1990s. Today we are doing just that, with a selection of four world-famous machines from Toyota, Honda, Mazda, and Nissan.
Each one of them is very different, but for many these are the cars that defined the glory days of the high performance Japanese car. The fact that they are still so desirable today says lots about them.
Assume you it was your lucky day and someone said you could have one of these cars in your garage. For comparison’s sake, let’s say each is in totally original, showroom condition.
Would it be the AWD and RB26 muscle of the legendary R32 Skyline GT-R?
Would it be the Honda/Acura NSX with its mid-engine chassis layout and perfectly balanced handling?
Will you choose the FD3S RX-7 with its great looks, light weight, and highly unique rotary powerplant?
Or would you go with the JZA80 Supra and its bulletproof 2JZGTE inline six and world famous reputation among tuners.
Now, let the fanboy wars begin.
Feelfree to explain your choice in the comments section.
I own both the R32 and R33 GTRs and a targa supra MKIV. I cannot say anything about the NSX and RX7 as I have never driven them. In my humble opinion both the GTR's of the 90's and the supra are easy to maintain and modify. As a track weapon the GTR prevails above the supra, but the supra, if you can handle the unthinkable power and the tail happy characteristics of the car it is immensely fun to drive. Both engine are true master pieces of engineering from that era. I wish the cars nowadays had half the personality and tune-ability of the ones about as well as the other that weren't mentioned. I truly wish that the manufactures would again make them like they used to and and appreciate what those cars had done for their companies and brand reputations. These cars all deserve a place on our walls and to be remembered. Long live inline6's!!
honestly the RX-7 is one of the MOST WINIEST cars japan has ever had....even in the USA in IMSA GTO/GTU the damn thing was a beast...the Skyline is an incredible machine, but look at the Touge.....Look at Tsukuba SuperLap....who came back and came out ontop? Rotary Powered FD3S.....Japan wouldn't covet them if they weren't worth a damn.....in america they are TOO forgotten....
Typical winners... Awd turbo "almighty" Skyline (untouchable in the states), and the best HONDA ever made... I think the Supra and FD are simply overlooked to due popularity.. most people don't see em as they really are.. or what they really could be..
My Supra has a window sticker of $55k. Just purchased it for $35k, could probably be sold for $45k if I sat on a high price.
My FD I am not sure what the sticker was, but it would be lucky to sell for $10k, and it has a 600hp V8 in it!
Ah, the 90's, when sports coupes continued to become more and more bloated and overweight with luxury features and appointments, to the point that the entire genre was completely killed off.
The true HEROs of the 90's were the sporting versions of the four door compacts. The Protege, Sentra, and Civic among others. For a few short summers, the manufacturers lavished four wheel disk brakes, independent rear suspension, and potent engines on light weight chassis' and provided us with pocket rockets. And then as the century turned, these too became bloated and were detuned and defanged of disks, suspension, and power.
WHY YOU NO BCNR33?
The NSX is a piece of art... but I don't want a car to hang on a wall. I need something built like an anvil. They might not be the sexiest car ever made but the JZA80 sure is menacing.
After owning all of the cars listed above with exception of the GTR, The Supra is the one that is still in my garage after 10 years of ownership. Do not underestimate the Supra in the turns. It does everything very well... especially when modified.
Mazda RX-7. The most beautifull of all, unique in its own way, perfect weight distribution and a small 1300cc engine that can make power and hang with the best.
Since the 90's GTR did not make it to America and based on years of owning and street racing many fast cars both domestic and imports. The only car in this group I ever worried about was the Supra and to this day is hard to beat but still expensive for a almost 20 year old car.
NSX great car expensive but slow and not mod friendly like others but exotic.
300Z sweet should be on this list but was not very reliable.
RX7, i owned two (thought I had a lemon) both junk, worst cars I ever owned.
If you look around you see the GTR, RX7 and Supra much more then the NSX. That`s why I Iike it more then the rest, it`s very exclusive and the looks are amazing. I want a poster of that car on my wall just to look at it every night before I go to sleep.
I can't decide! Those are my top 4 favorite cars from the 90's era, each unique and perfect in it's own way. But for pure aesthetics it's a tie between the nsx and rx-7. Curse you for making me try and pick!
Acura NSX, even though I've been in love with Supras since I was in junior high. The NSX just has this exotic super car-esque feel to it that the others don't in my opinion. I saw one sitting on a luxury car dealer's lot about a year ago, pulled a U-turn and went back to drool over it for a fw minutes. Such a sexy car in pretty much every way.
R32 no since I prefer R33. NSX will be 'abnormal' since its mid-engined. Supra is superb but I prefer a 'younger' version, 1996 prehaps. So it's the FD for me. :)
I just can't make a choice ! it's impossible, I'd pick up one, but it isn't that I prefer it to the others, I'd like to have them all !
Can I please have a 1200p version of that R32?That is the PERFECT example, gunmetal gray with carbon fiber hood and those awesome wheels!
I think these are the right cars to have in this poll. No other cars come close in terms of reliability, performance and aesthetics.
I know it doesn't really hold a hair to any of those cars, but what bite me and got me interested in Japanesse sports cars was the 92 Civic Si. It was small affordable and fun to drive. All of those cars were totally out of reach for me in the 90s, but I was able to get my hands on a 92 Si. It is one of the only cars I wish I would have never gotten rid of.
Early RB oiling issues and the s13-like interior are the reasons why the R32 isn't the car to own. The Supra and the NSX are the best choices. I chose the Supra because of the turbos but it was close.
R32 GT-R, everyday. Its looks and delicious RB sound just move the automotive part of my soul.
The FD3S comes very close, I think it's one of the most beautiful cars ever made, and of course its brapy-brapy rotary engine is a bliss to hear. The NSX is amazing, so balanced, pure and competitive against supercars from its era.
The Supra... meh. I would say the 2JZ-GTE is one of the best engines ever made and its Getrag 6-speed is tough piece of machinery, but I don't consider it beautiful and I don't think its handling capabilities are extraordinary. It has an incredible drivetrain, but the rest of the car doesn't keep up with it.
No Silvia (13, 14 or 15)?! What a lackluster list and horrible pictures to represent the NSX and Supra....
@DemonFD I looked at buying a supra last summer from a guy at work he wanted 45k but I was not serious and he sold it for 44k to another coworker and I got the Zo6. We played a few times and I got molested by a 17 year old toyota but not to much worried about the others.
@DemonFD I'll buy the Supra for 40k and Im sure the FD is awesome with 600hp. i loved my RX7 but it truly tried my last nerve.
Also, can we officially and finally kill the pimpmaster edition gold rim NSX from the SH image library? Seriously, no pictures of a Zanardi/Mugen/JGTC/Spoon/TypeR?
@DanielSantana With Mazda cutting production of the rotary engine, its going to become very expensive to maintain those motors.
Not really expensive if you consider a stock engine can handle excess of 800hp. There are people running arond with 1000rwhp on stock engines and 1200rwhp with just Eagle rods.
@CraigLaw First time I have heard RX-7 and reliability in the same sentence.
Edit, others have also mentioned no Lancer Evo, Impreza, Civic, Integra, Miata, 300ZX, these were all great cars of the 90s..
Again, the idea was to do a "what if" scenario with four flagship performance cars from four different makers that largely competed head to head with each other. If you would prefer the keys to a Silvia or a Civic over a GT-R or NSX in this fantasy scenario, I would guess that could be arranged...