Most reducers have never heard of these rare JDM cars


As we all know, some of the cars we would love to drive are from the land of the rising sun. Japan is home to some of the world’s largest automakers, and they have consistently been in the top three countries with most cars manufactured since the 1960s. Only now have they been overtaken by China on the list of countries that produce the most cars.

That being said, it’s common for automakers around the world to offer only a few select models in certain markets, and in the case of Japan some of the best and rarest are even sold there exclusively, making way for the term JDM, or Japanese domestic market. It’s unfortunate that we never get to see these things on our local roads, but these have never heard of JDM cars are just great. Let’s take a look at them.

Nissan r390

Nissan r390

Via Reddit

For those who didn’t know, Nissan faced Porsche and McLaren at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the late 90s with the Nissan R390 GT1. And at the time, the GT1 homologation rules state that you must build at least one example of a road car that looks like the race car.

Street-Legal's 1998 Nissan R390 GT1 put out 550 horsepower, letting it fly from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds, at jaw-dropping top speeds of 200 mph

Via Pinterest

And that’s exactly what Nissan did – they’ve only built one R390 for the road, and it can hit speeds of over 220 mph. One can only wonder what Nissan’s place would be in the automotive world if they had mass-produced this supercar. But right now, the only R390 road car can be found in its permanent place in the Nissan Heritage Collection in Zama, Japan.

RELATED: One-of-One: Remembering the Nissan R390 GT1 Road Car

Subaru SVX

Subaru SVX

Via cars and offers

Subaru isn’t exactly the world’s leading manufacturer of performance luxury cars, but they actually gave performance luxury a boost in the ’90s with the Subaru SVX, a Japanese sports car built to compete with the Jaguar XJS.

Via Bring a Trailer

Designed by Giorgetto Giugaro, the SVX is a stark contrast to the rally Impreza, as it was built for cruising, not for going all-out. It’s such a rare car that, according to MotorTrend, even Subaru enthusiasts have a hard time identifying it.

RELATED: 10 Interesting Facts About The Subaru SVX

Mazda Eunos Cosmo


Designed to be more of a GT car than an outright performance car, the Mazda Eunos Cosmo was the only car to leave the factory with a triple-rotor engine, making it more powerful than the iconic RX-7.


In fact, the Eunos Cosmo was an advanced car for its time, as it featured a digital dashboard and colorful touchscreen infotainment system with air conditioning and the car’s GPS system, all surrounded by plush beige leather.

RELATED: Mazda Eunos Cosmo: Costs, Facts & Figures

Autozam AZ-1

Mazda Autozam AZ-1


The Japanese kei car market has produced some of the most original cars of all time, and the Autozam AZ-1 is no exception. It is a mid-engined, rear-drive car with butterfly doors – all the hallmarks of a supercar.

Autozam AZ-1 - Rear Quarter

Via Bring a Trailer

However, since this is a kei car, it could only have had a turbocharged 657cc three-cylinder from Suzuki, which only produced 63 hp and 63 lb-ft of torque. But the lack of power is more than made up for by its lightness, since it weighs only 1,580 pounds.

Toyota Will

Toyota Sera, red, parked on the street, butterfly doors.  Pinterest


You wouldn’t really imagine a Toyota econobox coming off the assembly line with gullwing doors, but the Japanese auto giant did with the Toyota Sera, another product of the Japanese economic boom of the 1990s that produced unique cars.

Toyota Sera, gray, Lambo doors, rear, Pinterest


Powered by a front-mounted 1.5-liter 16-valve engine developing 104 hp, the Toyota Sera inspired the design of Gordon Murray’s McLaren F1, which as we all know is one of the most great supercars never built.

Nissan MID4

Nissan MID4

Via Carscoopes

This is another classic case of what could have been with Nissan’s MID4, an experimental mid-engined sports car that initially featured an all-wheel drive system and HICAS four-wheel steering that eventually caught on. to the iconic R32 Skyline GT-R and the 300ZX.

Nissan MID4

Via Wikimedia

The VG30 engine from the MID4 eventually made its way to the 300ZX and, as we all know, it was it that was selected to go into production. However, with the Acura NSX’s success as a mid-engined Japanese sports car, we’ll never know if Nissan made the right choice.

Suzuki GSX-R / 4

GSX-R4 (wikipedia)

via wikipedia

Part car, part motorcycle – that’s exactly what the Suzuki GSX-R / 4 was, a mid-engined, rear-drive concept car manufactured by Suzuki in 2001.

GSX-R4 (evo)

via evo

Suzuki took the 1,300cc engine from the Hayabusa sports bike and placed it on an aluminum space frame. And as a result, the GSX-R / 4 weighed only 1,410 pounds and was capable of reaching speeds in excess of 180 mph. If Suzuki had built it for production, it certainly would have faced today’s Ariel Atoms and BAC Monos in the battle of light specials.

Mazda Lanti Type R

Mazda Lantis parked outside


The Mazda Lantis Type R was a rare Japanese performance version of the 323, or the Astina sedan in other countries. It used an optimized version of Mazda’s 2.0-liter V6 called the KF-ZE, which produced 170 hp.

Mazda Lantis parked outside


To add to this, a limited slip differential was fitted to the Lantis Type R, along with a host of body modifications to make it unique and separate it from non-Type R models. In the rare episodes of Best Motoring, the Lanti performed well when he took on the Honda Integra and was one of the best in the comparison tests.

Nissan Mars Super Turbo

Front 3/4 view of Super Turbo

The Nissan March Super Turbo was one of the small Japanese cars designed to be enjoyed by enthusiasts because of its fast components. To put it in perspective, the supermini came out of the factory with a dual-charge motor.

Super Turbo rear 3/4 view

That’s right, the March Super Turbo’s eight-valve 930cc engine was boosted by low-end torque from the supercharger, and the rest was supplied by the turbo. It’s very strange to see a double-loaded engine on a city car, but anyway, it’s fascinating that it has come true.

TommyKaira ZZII


Tommykaira, a now defunct Japanese sports car maker, produced the ZZII, a mid-engined, lightweight supercar with a transmission borrowed from the Nissan Skyline GT-R.


Tommykaira tuned the RB26DETT engine to produce 542 hp and was installed in an all-aluminum chassis and all-carbon fiber body. However, there were many issues that prevented the car from reaching production car status, and ultimately the promising car never made it.

What is a JDM car? 10 things you didn’t know

JDM (or Japanese Domestic Market) can mean a lot when it comes to cars, from models to parts. Here’s what you might not know!

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