The year was 1993, The Chicago Bulls completed their first 3-peat of the decade and the Toronto Blue Jays were the World Series Champs. Bill Clinton was our President of the United States and the economy was in a surplus. The import auto scene was on the rise and going strong. Mainly Hondas and Acura were pioneering the import enthusiast scene. Most of these vehicles were equipped with four cylinders ranging from 1.5 liters – 2.5 liters. As far as speed goes, with the limited parts at the time, these little fast imports were able to just handle their own kind. There was no contest when compared to a tweaked out American muscle car. These little four bangers were no match for their domestic counterparts. Everyone at the time believed that there was no replacement for displacement.
Within the same year came the mother of all Japanese compact sport cars, the 4th generation Toyota Supra, the first true Japanese muscle car. Sporting a newly redesign body and comes equipped with the new 2JZ-GTE that makes about 320hp@5600 rpm and 315 lb-ft@4000 rpm allowing this Japanese import to make its mark as a serious high performance car. The 3.0 litter inline 6 turbocharged variant could achieve 0-60 mph in as low as 4.6 seconds and ¼ mile in about 13.1 seconds at 109 mph. In 1993, that was a very impressive numbers from a foreign production car. Through the years, the Supra became a tuner’s motor with a variety of aftermarket parts. The motor yearns for more boost as some tuners were able to tune the 2JZ-GTE to about 500-600 hp with just basic bolt-on parts. The only flaws that owners say they have is the rear seats have little to no room for passengers and the relatively high sticker price, around $60,000 USD. Because of the car’s heavy sticker price the Supra was discontinued in 1998. With the Toyota Supra discontinued other Japanese manufacturer developed and brought various versions of Japanese muscle cars to American soil. Still, nothing was as thrilling and invigorating as the late Supra.
Fast forward to 2008, we are on the brink of the return of another Japanese muscle car. The 2009 Nissan GT-R will soon come to the United States as a production vehicle. Under the hood features an all-new 3.8 liter twin turbo v6 “VR38” engine. Featuring plasma sprayed bores and a special twin-turbo exhaust manifold system. The VR38 packs 480hp@6800 rpm and 430 lb-ft torque@3200-5200 rpm at 10.2 psi. 0-60mph rates at 3.5 sec. and ¼ mile time at 11.7 sec. bringing the GT-R to super car categories. With all these performance mods, the car is able to muster 21 highway mpg. The car’s numbers are so impressive that many enthusiasts are calling it “the Corvette killer”. Now that is bold comment. We will have to wait and hope that the new Japanese muscle will live up to its name.
-This post was provided by Steven B. (R1 Concepts Sales Rep.)
I will post more on the GT-R….. so stay tuned! (Martin)