7 March 2018

The Supra has returned so which other Japanese sports cars should make a comeback?

By Mitchell TulkMitchell Tulk
I'll die a happy man if we get another RX-7 or at least a successor.

The '90s was an unforgettable era for Japanese performance cars.

Last night, Toyota unveiled its new Supra in GT3 racing trim and the internet went crazy.

Joining the likes of the Honda NSX and the Nissan GT-R R35, the Supra is the next sports car from the ‘90s to be reborn.

This got us thinking, what other Japanese coupes would we like to see return?

Mazda RX-7

  • Styling that doesn't age. Styling that doesn't age.
  • Please, please make this Mazda. Please, please make this Mazda.

This is one the rotary diehards have been crying for ever since the RX-7 ended production in 2002. While the RX-8 kept the rotary flame alive until 2012, it lacked the hardcore performance of the RX-7.

The FD generation used a twin-turbo, 13B wankel rotary which in Spirit R form produced 206kW/314Nm.

Mazda has been hinting at a new rotary-powered car for some time especially with its RX-Vision concept from 2015, however nothing has come of it thanks to challenging emissions standards, meaning there is no production version on the horizon.

Mitsubishi GTO/3000GT

Mitsubishi's answer the the Toyota Supra and Nissan 300ZX. Mitsubishi's answer the the Toyota Supra and Nissan 300ZX.

Known as the 3000GT here and GTO in other markets, this Mitsubishi was essentially a computer on wheels with automatically adjusting spoilers, electronically controlled suspension, all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering.

The coupe wasn’t the lightest sports car to come out of Japan but thanks to its twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 producing 238kW/427Nm (more than the ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’), the 3000GT was able to reach 0-100km in 4.8sec.

Production wrapped up in 2000 and Mitsubishi never had a follow up model.

Subaru SVX

One of the forgotten gems of the '90s? One of the forgotten gems of the '90s?

Not the fastest car on the list but just as interesting, the Subaru SVX was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro.

Using a 3.3-litre flat-six, the engine produced 172kW/309Nm which was too powerful for Subaru’s manual gearboxes, so all cars were fitted with four-speed autos.

With naturally aspirated six-cylinder sports cars a rare thing these days, it would be great to see Subaru create a modern SVX that would complete with Nissan’s 370Z.

Nissan Silvia

Good luck finding a stock S15. Good luck finding a stock S15.

Nissan's last four-cylinder, rear-wheel drive sports car was the Silvia (200SX here) which came to an end in 2002.

The S15 was the ultimate version with the 2.0-litre turbo making 184kW but was only sold in Japan. Us Aussies had to settle for a detuned version with 147kW.

These cars have a massive following and the market could always use another cheap(ish) four-cylinder, RWD sports car.

Toyota MR2

Apparently sports cars in the '90s where either red or yellow. Apparently sports cars in the '90s where either red or yellow.

During the '90s, Toyota's "mid-ship, runabout, two-seater" was truly a poor man's Ferrari.

Compensating for the extra weight, there was a turbocharged version (never officially sold here) that produced up to 180kW, even more if it had the TRD treatment.

While the MR2 lasted until 2007, the third-gen was only sold as a convertible and lacked the outright pace of the previous models.

Toyota nowadays could use a sports car that slots in-between the 86 and Supra.

What ‘90s Japanese sports car do you want to make a comeback? Let us know in the comments.