Super Cars – These Japanese Tuner Cars Are Still Ridiculously Cheap
American and European carmakers have consistently worked to improve the quality of their cars. Most of them are indeed superbly created and rank very high in terms of reliability and durability. Ford trucks and British Land Rovers are good examples of these efforts. But the Japanese beat everyone else by balancing quality and price. Over the years, the Japanese have found ways of flooding the mass market with quality affordable cars loved by drivers.
The story goes that the focus on quality was partly a result of World War II. Whereas Ford had pioneered the mass market and was doing quite well at the time, other automakers were consistently looking for ways to get a slice of the pie. Countries were rebuilding their nations, and factory workers couldn’t gamble with their jobs, so they gave it their best. The Toyota Production System, for instance, was very elaborate. It emphasized a low cost of production while maintaining high quality. They also introduced standardization, continuous workflow, and other elements key to efficient production. These processes became a huge success.
Sports cars, supercars, and other performance vehicles are among the most expensive to build and even more expensive in the market. But the Japanese have found ways of making lovely machines that can be tuned up without breaking the bank.
These Japanese tuner cars will cost you less to buy and pimp to your taste.
10 1988-2000 Honda Civic ($4,500)
The Honda Civic brings on board lots of competitive driving abilities without being too pricey. You can get the Civic as either a sedan, coupe, or hatchback, all of which offer great versatility in terms of what you can do to satisfy your driving desires. If you want to get onto the Honda Civic tuning path, start with performance, suspension, chassis wheel, and tire upgrades. Essentially, this tells you it’s an adventurous path.
With a range of model years to choose from, the final cost of the tune-up is entirely a choice you have to make. The ease of revamping an engine, the interior, and the exterior make a Honda Civic a loved choice for tuners. You can buy a used Honda Civic for anything between $ 1,800 to $7,500.
9 2004-2008 Mazda RX-8 ($2,500)
Mazda built the RX-8 between the early 2000s until 2012, making its debut appearance at the North American International Auto Show in 2001. Its sporting abilities are among the reasons why this car became a tuners’ favorite. The lightweight gives it perfect balancing. The Wankel engine and its throaty sounds is certainly an attractive gimmick.
Mazda’s cool approach to this small sports car and others is to make them lightweight but rev them up with engines that push them to high ends of achievement. This is well reflected in the Mazda RX-8. The price spectrum of the RX-8 is between $1500- $3500, making a good choice any day.
8 1990-1996 Nissan 300ZX ($3,000)
The Nissan 300ZX has several variations depending on the market where you find it. It was marketed in the United States as the 240Z, while within the Japanese Domestic Market(JDM), the moniker Fairlady Z is more popular.
The architecture is the same across the board with a consistency that has ensured it remains a very able sports car. The Nissan 300ZX gained huge sales success with its first model built from 1983 to 1989. In 1996, Nissan made the Commemorative Edition Turbo. Only 78 pieces were produced, making it a rare gem worth keeping. At $3,000, you can get a piece of this Japanese machine for your everyday drive.
7 1992-2001 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo ( $2,600)
The Mitsubishi Lancer needs little introduction to many lovers of sports sedans. It has ranked fairly well and remained consistent over the years. Also, the Lancer is a car for the masses with few restrictions. You can tune it to explosively high performances.Pick any model of the Mitsubishi Evo between 1992-2001 and you have something worth preserving for a long time.
The Evo (Evolution) comes ready for a pure thrill, and tuning it is never a big deal. The Evolution I was intended for the 1992 World Rally Championship and carried a 2.0 L turbocharged DOHC engine. If you get a good deal ranging between $2,600- $3,500, then you can drive it straight home.
6 2012 Toyota 86 GT ($10,339)
In North America, Asia, and Australia, this car is marketed as the Toyota 86. In South America and South Africa, you will find it as the GT86, while you will find both references in New Zealand and parts of Europe. Whichever the case, it references the car built through a collaboration between Toyota and Subaru. This car shares a platform with the Subaru BRZ. It remains one of the outstanding.
Whereas horsepower is an integral part of sports car motoring, the 86 makes a good balance by giving 205hp, which can be spruced up to the owner’s liking. A first-generation Toyota 86 GT, 2012 model will cost you about $8,000 to $10,339.
5 2006-2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse ($3,000)
The four generations of Mitsubishi Eclipse produced between 1989 and 2012 will remain admirable for a long time to come. The 2012 version carried a four-cylinder engine that can be spiced up to V6. The 2012 Eclipse comes with a five-speed manual transmission as the standard engine.
You can drive it off from an average price of $3,000 and tune it up to give it a spicy interior and exterior. The options are quite extensive as to what you can do with this Mitsubishi Eclipse. It’s considered one of the best economy sports cars of the last decade. The Miata is still popular, and the base price is determined by the condition you find it in, but there lots of economically viable tuning options.
4 1990-1999 Mazda Miata ($5,000)
The popularity of the Mazda Miata makes it a legend in its class. It’s managed to cut across several generations since its debut in 1989. With 400,000 units moved between May 1989 and 1997, the Mazda Miata set itself on the right track to long-lasting glory.
3 2004 Acura TSX ($4,800)
Consumer reports summarize the Acura TSX as a “Well-rounded package providing a good mix of performance, sportiness, and luxurious amenities.”
When you get such a package at an average price of $4,800, then you have a good reason to give it your taste of options. The Acura comes from Honda’s luxury division, which makes most of its base elements quite incredible. A well-maintained Acura TSX engine will ride 300,000- 500,000 in its lifetime.
2 1994 Acura Integra ($2,410)
The Acura Integra is also known as the Honda Integra in some markets. The nameplated lasted 20 years from 1986 and left several admirable footprints on its path.
In its good old days, the Acura delighted the American market with lightweight and modest power, which put it at the top of the performance list for a long time. The later versions of the Acura Integra have a dealer-installed spoiler, giving them a sensational style that’s really attractive to sporty car lovers. You can get a used Acura Integra from $2,400, making it a great bargain when you want to tune it up.
1 1987-1991 Toyota Supra ($3,000)
Toyota explains that the name Supra means above, to go beyond or to surpass. The performance of the Toyota Supra does justice to this nameplate. The Supra was produced from 1978 to 2002 and then from 2019. To make it even more distinguishable, Toyota gave it a logo of its own, just as its predecessor, the Celica, from which it derives several attributes.
The modern Supra is a great custodian of speed and power, which makes it step up into the league of big players. Nonetheless, the older models are equally great picks for tuning on a budget. At about $3,500 all the way to $9,000, you will drive home a Toyota Supra good enough for massive tuning.
Next: Ranking The 8 Greatest Toyota Sports Cars Ever Made
8 Of The Most Underrated American Sports Cars On The Used Market
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Super Cars – These Japanese Tuner Cars Are Still Ridiculously Cheap
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