Ask any JDM automobile fanatic or proprietor why they love a specific automobile, they usually received’t inform you as a result of it’s front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive, or all-wheel-drive. These automobiles signify greater than the platforms they’re constructed on. A time when automobile producers primarily cared for the driving force’s wants and different elements of the car was thrown into the wind. Enthusiastic drivers don’t need automobiles that can beep the ears out of them after they depart a lane; all they wished was to play checkers.
However why do most JDM automobile patrons choose rear-wheel-drive automobiles to all-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive automobiles? You would possibly suppose it’s as a result of they deal with higher resulting from an virtually equal weight distribution however no. It’s as a result of they make glorious drift automobiles. Even the tiny Suzuki Cappuccino will go all out on corners no matter its 60-horsepower 3-cylinder engine recreating a scene from Tokyo drift. We received’t point out how straightforward it’s to float a 3200-pound Toyota Chaser.
For some house owners, shopping for an RWD JDM automobile doesn’t essentially imply they are going to use it for drifting. It’s the superb dealing with that such automobiles provide, and generally AWD techniques might be defective. Thus upkeep and restore prices are a bit increased. Additionally, some automobiles have been solely made as rear-wheel-drive with out an all-wheel-drive choice. Skipping to purchase due to that isn’t an choice.
For this piece, we’ve mixed an inventory of a few of the greatest rear-wheel-drive JDM automobiles. Costly, low-cost, luxurious sedans and people who would possibly make nice drift automobiles alike. You received’t discover any Subarus on this record, which is a bummer. However stick round; there are a couple of automobiles you could possibly purchase and drive when your engine is blown.
There might be a number of Toyotas on this record, however none tops the legendary Toyota Supra. Is it one of the best that Toyota has ever made? It’s disputable because it all is dependent upon private choice. But it surely’s assured that you just received’t pull a crowd at a automobile meet or obliterate muscle automobiles on the drag strip with a Toyota HiAce or Land Cruiser. Each automobile fanatic sings praises of the 2JZ, and hardly will you hear anybody reward the Toyota Supra for its rear-wheel-drive system, let the driver-focused inside.
When Toyota launched the Supra to the Japanese market, it had a rear-wheel platform, which wasn’t misplaced with the “nonetheless new” MK5A90 Supra. Early generations have a stable rear axle, however a Restricted Slip Differential was supplied on sportier specs such because the second-gen Supra P-type (Efficiency sort). The MK4 Supra was the one technology with a differential as a normal characteristic.
Base spec variants with a 5-speed guide or 4-speed automated received an open diff as commonplace. Patrons may go for the Torsen LSD from high-spec variants with the 6-speed guide transmission and the notorious 2JZ-GTE. The MK4 Supra with a 2JZ-GTE has a 51:49 front-to-rear weight distribution which is healthier than 60:40 within the Nissan R34 Skyline. For newbies, the rear tires rotate independently if a automobile has an open diff, they usually rotate on the identical pace if it has an LSD, no matter whether or not there’s a lack of traction on both wheel.
What began as a Halo automobile for Mazda turned out to be the most effective automobiles they’ve ever made. And like some other rotary-powered Mazda, the Mazda Cosmo is rear-wheel drive with an open diff or LSD, relying on the spec. Right this moment it’s thought-about considerably underrated because the Mazda RX-7 stole the highlight from all Mazda automobiles, together with the Rotary pickup. Additionally, it didn’t do effectively in export markets, together with america. Thus, Mazda reserved it for the Japanese market to the final technology Mazda Eunos Cosmo.
Few automobile lovers know that the Mazda Cosmo was the primary Rotary/Wankel engine-powered automobile because the RX-7 takes an excessive amount of credit score. But, that doesn’t have an effect on pricing, as most retail for lower than $20,000. Except it’s a primary gen Cosmo which has a beginning value of not lower than $100,000, or a Eunos Cosmo with a triple rotor 20B engine as they go for figures above $40,000.
The Mazda Cosmo is the kind of automobile to take pleasure in with out driving it onerous. Positive it has a superb platform and nice tuner choices, however how would you’re feeling in case you discovered one totaled on the junkyard or thrown round on the drift monitor? Most house owners are reluctant to promote since they know the way onerous it’s to return throughout a bit of revolutionary Japanese automotive engineering.
You possibly can’t resist admiring a Honda S2000 whenever you come throughout one. It’s a kind of automobiles that don’t have anything a lot happening however are gorgeous nonetheless. To some extent, it’s even higher trying than the Honda NSX because it takes after the Honda S500, S600, and S600, a few of the best-looking JDM classics. Honda aced it with the S2000 as they constructed a wonderful roadster and a correct sports activities automobile with a front-engine rear-wheel-drive platform, in contrast to most of their different front-wheel-drive automobiles.
Why is the Honda S2000 higher than the Mazda Miata regardless of present costs which might be by way of the roof? One is that the F20 and F22 VTEC engines are a few of the greatest 4-cylinder engines. The Mitsubishi G63T engine had nothing on these engines throughout manufacturing time as they remodeled 120 horsepower per liter, which was an insane ratio throughout manufacturing time. The second cause is that the Honda S2000 has a 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution making it one of many best-handling JDM sports activities automobiles. Even high-end sports activities automobiles don’t have that.
The Honda S2000 has a Torsen LSD like most JDM rear-wheel-drive automobiles, such because the MK4 Toyota Supra, making certain energy is break up equally between the rear wheels. Honda additionally put in an built-in roll cage, damper models, stabilizers, and digital stability management as commonplace within the second-gen S2000. Would you pay $30,000 for a Honda S2000?
If automobiles had spirit animals, the spirit animal for the Suzuki Cappuccino could be a employee bee, so tiny, but it’s quick and inflicts insufferable ache when provoked. This turbocharged 650cc Kei automobile will depart sports activities automobile house owners in awe after they get gapped and ignite an curiosity to know what’s underneath the hood.
Thought of one of the best Kei automobile, the Suzuki Cappuccino has a entrance mid-mounted engine rear-wheel-drive platform, and Suzuki claimed it has a 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution even with the seat occupied. The large query is, does it have an LSD? Earlier mannequin years till 1995 have an unbiased rear suspension with no differential, whereas Cappuccinos manufactured after 1995 have an LSD.
Mitsubishi didn’t make many rear-wheel-drive automobiles, however they nailed it with the Mitsubishi Starion. It was constructed when coupes have been promoting greater than different lessons. However like different Mitsubishi coupes, it didn’t do effectively in Japan resulting from competitors from different JDM sports activities automobiles such because the Nissan Skyline, Toyota Supra, and Mazda RX-7, which had taken the market by storm. Fortunately, Mitsubishi nonetheless collaborated with Chrysler, who produced the Starion in North America because the Chrysler conquest underneath Dodge and Plymouth manufacturers which elevated gross sales.
The Mitsubishi Starion and all its badge-engineered variations are rear-wheel-drive with an LSD and single-channel ABS on the rear wheels. All are powered by a turbocharged 2.6-liter or 2.0-liter front-mounted engine. Weight distribution is at 52:48, which is superb for a automobile that weighs over 2700 kilos. The one draw back of proudly owning a Mitsubishi Starion is it has poor dealing with as a result of recirculating ball steering system, which causes horrible steering really feel, and would possibly result in oversteer or understeer.
Toyota Levin AE86
As a JDM automobile fanatic, a automobile you must expertise at the very least as soon as in your life, both as an proprietor or pleasurably driving, is the Toyota Levin AE86, in any other case generally known as the Hachiroku. It’s the automobile pushed by Keiichi Tsuchiya, one of many pioneers of drifting and beloved by drifters and lovers of the game everywhere in the world. The AE86 technology marked the final rear-wheel-drive Levin throughout manufacturing time. An LSD was non-compulsory however solely within the Sprinter Trueno spec with a 5-speed guide transmission.
Everyone loves the Nissan Fairlady Z. Whether or not it’s the Datsun 240Z or the Present Nissan Z, automotive lovers are nonetheless debating whether or not to name the 400Z or keep on with the manufacturing facility Nissan Z. Hopefully, Nissan didn’t discontinue numerical naming to suggest the final Fairlady Z.
The one draw back to earlier generations as much as the 350Z is that the majority have been reserved solely for the Japanese market, and costs are presently skyrocketing. Since all generations are rear-wheel-drive, it may be difficult to select one for a drift mission construct or a every day driver. Most patrons will lean in direction of the 350Z. When you choose sticking extra to the Nineties period of nice JDM automobiles, get the Fairlady 300ZX. Apart from, 350Zs and 370s are too widespread, don’t you suppose?
Nissan used two completely different differentials within the 300ZX. All Z31s made earlier than 1987 have a Nissan R200 open rear diff, additionally utilized in Nissan Skyline GTST fashions and base spec Silvias. Later fashions, together with Z32s, have a clutch LSD, besides the Z31 SS (Shiro Specials) models which have a viscous LSD. The distinction between the 2 is that the clutch LSD is locked full-time, whereas the viscous LSD locks the rear wheels solely when there’s a lack of traction. A 300ZX with a clutch LSD will serve higher in case you’re into drifting because the viscous LSD takes some time to lock.
The Toyota Celsior isn’t the kind of sedan that involves thoughts whenever you consider a quick Toyota sedan, as others, such because the Toyota Chaser and Mark II, dominate in that space. Such sedans are purchased for his or her extremely tunable JZ engines, and anybody who buys the Toyota Celsior is especially after its timeless seems. Additionally, some lovers imagine UZ V8 engines are superior to JZ engines with befitting mods. The symphony of a rumbling 1UZ OR 3UZ could have you melting on the delicate, woolen seats in your commute to work.
Sometimes, you’ll spot a Toyota Celsior or its Lexus counterpart, the Lexus LS sequence, on the drift monitor and surprise how anybody would drift a 4000-pound boat, not to mention break an ideal luxurious sedan. Any rear-wheel-drive JDM automobile can drift, and the Toyota Celsior is not any exception.
Only a few Celsiors have been offered with an LSD, however some house owners say that the automobile drives prefer it has one. You’ll must dig a bit in case you’re seeking to purchase one or a Lexus LS with an LSD. However with a automobile such because the Toyota Celsior, an LSD isn’t a precedence. It’s going to look higher at automobile reveals with aftermarket wheels and lowered on coil-overs or an air suspension. Driving one virtually makes you’re feeling like a rich Japanese businessman with sushi joints throughout city.
Nissan additionally made magnificent sleeper sedans, and the Nissan Gloria is among the many most sought-after, sitting beneath the Cefiro. It has no mechanical distinction from the Nissan Cedric, solely that the Gloria has sportier touches similar to a extra aggressive grille, aspect skirts, taillights, and completely different emblems. Other than its justifiable share of luxurious options, the Nissan Gloria is rear-wheel-drive and has some nice tuner engines, similar to a 2.5-liter turbocharged RB25DET within the Y33 Gloria.
However in contrast to the Toyota Celsior, all Nissan Glorias made after 1987 have an LSD that was commonplace throughout all trims throughout manufacturing, thus making it potential to float one even with none mods. Would you do it contemplating how clear the Toyota Cedric seems? It makes a fantastic every day pushed automobile, and the Nissan Cefiro makes a greater drift automobile since it isn’t that showy. Additionally, most have been offered with an automated transmission unsuitable for hardcore driving.
Nonetheless, on JDM luxurious rear-wheel-drive automobiles, the Toyota Soarer is the kind of automobile you’d get if the Toyota Celsior and Toyota Supra could possibly be combined in a paint mixing machine however for automobiles. Luxurious and sports activities automobile DNA in a single automobile, which is uncommon in most JDM automobiles from the 90s. Toyota constructed the first-gen Soarer on a rear-wheel-drive platform adopted from the Toyota Supra MK2/A60 and stored it rear-wheel-drive till it was discontinued in 2000. Technically, Toyota solely dropped the “Toyota Soarer” identify, and the Lexus SC identify changed it till 2005.
The Toyota Soarer has the identical Torsen LSD and engine choices because the MK4 Supra apart from the 4.0-liter 1UZ-FE V8 engine. It has a barely uneven weight distribution at roughly 50:40 in JZ-powered Soarers and a staggering 70:30 within the V8 Soarer. But the Toyota Soarer makes an ideal cruising automobile, and it’s very a lot potential to show one right into a drift automobile by dropping all of the pointless weight, particularly within the inside.
Mazda Rotary Pickup Truck
Rotary-powered Mazda sports activities automobiles are cool, however a rotary-powered pickup is even cooler. Mazda made the Rotary Pickup between 1974 and 1977 with a 1.3-liter 13B engine driving the rear wheels. Getting one in america is straightforward since all 15,000 models have been manufactured in North America and offered throughout America and Canada. Positive, you don’t get the Rotary Pickup with an LSD, however the truth that it’s a pickup with a rotary engine is sufficient to make you need one.