The 8 Fastest Japanese-Made Cars of the 1990s

Check Out The Fastest Japanese Cars Of The 90s!

Updated October 5, 2018

The 1990s began to show promise for speed junkies longing for a car worthy to be called fast. Dodge had just introduced the concept Viper at the end of the previous decade, and GM was making strides with their small block V8 technology that would forever change the way performance was viewed.

Perhaps even more important, is the fact that “supercars” could now justify being called by that term, without imparting any disgrace to it. Finally, this is also the decade that Japanese car manufacturers said, “wait, we can be fast, too!” In this first post of a three part set, we’ll take a look at the fastest Japanese-made cars from the 1990s:

Fastest Japanese Cars Of The 90s - Nissan Skyline

Nissan Skyline: The Skyline holds a special place in my heart because I actually lived in Japan for a year and had the pleasure of owning an R32. The Skyline GTRs of the 90s came with the RB26DETT twin turbo inline 6 cylinder engine and an all wheel drive system that helped this car achieve some of the fastest times ever recorded at Nurburghring. In fact, a 1995 GT-R completed the lap at 7:59. This is faster than many of the exotic cars on the list, to include Buggati EB110, Porsche 911 Carrera and a Lamborghini Gallardo.


Toyota Supra

Toyota Supra: Very few cars are as recognizable on the tuner scene as the Supra is. Of course, there are also none as rare. Even during my time in Japan, seeing a Supra at the local drags was a rare occurrence that marked the highlight of my week. The legendary 321 horsepower 2JZ engine was made even more famous when movies like The Fast and The Furious hit the big screen. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to find an un-molested Toyota Supra in good condition.


Fastest Japanese Cars Of The 90s - 1993 Toyota MR2

Toyota MR2: While far from the most powerful car on this list, it still deserves recognition because of the overall lightweight and excellent handling of this little mid-engine car. And, if you didn’t know any better, you’d have to give it a second look just to make sure you weren’t looking at something a bit more exotic. At its height, the Toyota MR2 was capable of running a ¼ mile in 14.2 seconds.


1999 Mazda RX7 RX-7

Mazda RX7: I had the privilege of riding along in a late 90s Mazda RX7 on a few occasions before I left Japan, and I can say that holding on for dear life was necessary. These rotary engines produce 276 horsepower and weigh much less than a piston engine does. Even though the last year of US production was in 1995, the car would see another seven years abroad. And, in 1999, the RX7 was an all out sports car with one goal in mind: world domination. In 1999, the Type RS could reach 0-62 mph in only 5.3 seconds.


Fastest Japanese Cars Of The 90s - Honda NSX Acura NSX

Honda/Acura NSX: Because I’m not a fan of anything made by Honda, it pains me to add the Acura NSX. But, I have to give credit where it is due. So, there it is. And now I’m gonna make like Forrest Gump and say, “That’s all I have to say about that.”


Fastest Japanese Cars Of The 90s - S14 Nissan Silvia

Nissan Silvia: AKA 240SX, this sport coupe came with the SR20DET 4 cylinder turbo engine. It produced just shy of 250 horsepower which helped it limp down the ¼ mile in under 14 seconds. In a world of front wheel drive entry level coupes, the Nissan Silvia stands out as one of the few made in rear-wheel drive. Which, if we are being totally honest with each other, is a necessity if you’re serious about performance. However, the real performance of the Silvia rests in its excellent ability to take tight corners at higher speeds.


Fastest Japanese Cars Of The 90s - Mitsubishi 3000GT

Mitsubishi 3000 GT: Mitsubishi had the right combination of an AWD twin turbo V6 capable of producing 320 horsepower and making the mad dash from 0-60 in just 5.1 seconds. The 3000 GT, also available as the Dodge Stealth, is a fairly rare sight. They were a bit on the heavy side, and after the quick acceleration was over, it was more of a dead fish than a torpedo.


Nissan Fairlady 300 ZX

Nissan 300ZX: Yes, another Nissan. But hey, when you’re good at what you do, you get recognized for it. The Fairlady Z broke into the middle-of-the-road American sports car market with a finely tuned 300 horsepower twin turbo V6 with lots of high-tech Japanese goodies. What kind of Japanese goodies? How about the Super HICAS steering which turned all four wheels in cornering? And, to make matters even better, the car was cheaper than almost anything else in its class.





Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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