Top 5 JDM Icon Cars That You Need To Own Before You Die

The internet has caused a massive sensation for tuner cars. Once teenagers loved American made sports cars, now they love “JDM” sports cars. With all the different brands and different models out there, which JDM cars are the best? Well, here are five examples of awesome Japanese engineering.

5. Nissan 300ZX TT


Nissan made the 2nd generation 300ZX from 1989 – 2000 and came with the 3.0L V6 VG30DE and a twin turbo variant. The 300ZX featured a host of performance upgrades over the previous generation; dual overhead cams, variable valve timing, and the optional “Super HICAS” four-wheel steering system. The twin turbo variant produced 300 horsepower, which gave the 300ZX a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds, putting it in the same league as the Mitsubishi 3000GT. Z32s are often called one the top ten best-looking cars ever produced because they looked so advanced for their time.

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Z32s are often called one the top ten best-looking cars ever produced because they looked so advanced for their time. Even to this day in could probably blend in with brand new 2017 model cars. Unfortunately, Z32s are becoming harder to find, so now is the time to scoop one up before they all disappear, or become expensive.

4. Toyota Supra MK4


Toyota made the 4th generation Supra from 1992 – 2002 and designed it to compete with high-end sports cars. The Supra came with, the 3.0L inline-6 2JZ-GE, and a twin turbo variant. The twin turbo models had an astounding 320 horsepower, which rocketed the Supra from 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, and the 1/4 mile in an impressive 13.1 seconds. The twin turbos were sequential, and not parallel, meaning that a small turbo creates boost for low rpm power, and a big turbo creates boost at high rpms. The Toyota Supra has become an internet icon over the past 10 years, and videos of 1000+ horsepower Supras are all over the internet. Whether for the better or worse, the Toyota Supra has forever changed the “JDM” scene as we know it.

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The Toyota Supra has become an internet icon over the past 10 years, and videos of 1000+ horsepower Supras are all over the internet. Whether for the better or worse, the Toyota Supra has forever changed the “JDM” scene as we know it. Good MK4 Supras are almost always $20,000+, and they’re rising in price every day. Get one while you still can!

3. Subaru Impreza 2.5RS


The Subaru Impreza 2.5RS, although very similar to a stock Impreza, it managed to become a worldwide rally icon. Subaru made the 2.5RS from 1998 – 2001 and only produced around 14,000 units, making them rarer than a Ferrari 360. The 2.5RS had a power output of 165 horsepower, which really isn’t a lot. But, thanks to motor import laws and that there are WRXs lying around, it has become extremely easy to swap a much more powerful motor into a 2.5rs.

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Not only can you swap a more powerful WRX or STi engine in. You can swap things such as suspension, brakes and steering from later WRX and STi models into the 2.5RS chassis. The 2.5RS is a relatively cheap, but it’s a little hard to find. If you’re looking for a performance car on the cheap, this car should definitely be on your list.

2. Nissan Skyline R32


Nissan debuted the R32 in 1989 and made it available as a 2-door and 4-door, and used several versions of the RB series engine. Most models came with the “HICAS” system, just like the 300ZX. Nissan’s target for the R32 was the Porsche 959. Part of its large success was from it dominating the Japanese and the Australian Touring Car Championship, and it was so good that it won almost every race from 1989 to 1997.

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The Australian press nicknamed it “Godzilla” because it was an automotive monster from Japan. The GT-R has become a legendary car and is used for all things motoring. Due to America’s import laws, the R32 can now be easily imported since it’s now 25 years old. So now is the time to import one if you want to own one the most iconic JDM cars of all time.

1. Acura NSX


Honda/Acura made the NSX from 1990 – 2005 and they changed the world of modern supercars as we know it. It was the first production car to use an all-aluminum monocoque body, making it lightweight. Powering the NSX is a 270 horsepower 3.0L VTEC engine which screamed to 8,000 rpms and propelled the NSX from 0-60 in 5 seconds. A more powerful, 3.2L VTEC engine was available in 1997 and increased horsepower to 290.

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The NSX is lightweight, powerful, handles amazing and has all the reliability of a Honda. The NSX has often been called the “God Father” of supercars. Unfortunately, the NSX has become extremely sought after for their greatness, and they sell insanely quick.


All 5 of these cars have become icons for the ’90s kids, and all of them are awesome. The 300ZX has a timeless design, the Supra is just a beast, the Subaru 2.5RS can be turned into a rally machine, the R32 is one of the most iconic JDM cars ever, and the NSX is the world’s first reliable supercar. These cars are what we think represent JDM, what’s your opinion? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

VTEC vs. iVTEC: Whats the Difference?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of VTEC. But what is VTEC, and what does it do? How is it any different than iVTEC? Well, first you need to understand what VTEC is.


Variable Timing (and lift) Electronically Controlled (VTEC), is a system that uses two different camshaft profiles. One camshaft profile for low RPM, providing good torque and excellent drivability, and a camshaft profile for high rpm that has greater lift and longer duration. This system is usually set to a specific RPM (5,500) and greatly increases horsepower.

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vtech 01

Why is this system implemented? VTEC is used to used to improve optimum engine efficiency. Since the camshaft spins half as fast as the crankshaft, optimum valve over-lap and timing is different at every RPM.

This is why “muscle cars” have that lopy sound to them at idle, the camshaft is designed for optimum timing and overlap at high RPMs, thus improving the horsepower in high RPMs and generally decreasing horsepower at low RPMs.


VTEC-E is actually quite different from the standard VTEC. It is not designed for optimal horsepower at high RPMs, it is designed for optimal fuel efficiency at low RPMs. It does this by effectively forcing the engine to run as a 12 valve engine instead of its normal 16 valve. It does this by not allowing the second intake valve to fully open.

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This decreases fuel consumption, but lacks the high horsepower numbers that the standard VTEC produces. This type of VTEC is standard on many of the fuel efficient Honda models.


Variable Timing Control (VTC), is a mechanism that allows the camshaft gear to be continuously variable. This allows the valve overlap to be adjusted at any giving RPM, which further improves engine efficiency and power output.

Honda only uses this system on the intake camshaft. VTC is always active and adjusting valve overlap for optimal engine efficiency and power at any given RPM. This is sometimes referred to as “climbing onto the cam” by some tuners.


Intelligent Variable Timing (and lift) Electronically Controlled (iVTEC), is a system that combines VTEC and VTC into one unit. It has two different camshaft profiles, one for low rpms, and one for high rpms. Plus VTC, so it can optimize the valve overlap at all RPM ranges.

K20A2: The K20A2 VTEC system engages at 5,800 RPM, whilst the VTC system is always active. These two systems combined (iVTEC) produce about 10 horsepower more than just VTEC alone. The K20A2 is available in the Acura RSX Type S, and TSX.

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K20A3: The K20A3 iVTEC system is far different than the A2’s system. It is actually VTEC-E with VTC, and really shouldn’t even be classified as iVTEC. At low RPM only one intake valve opens, which decreases fuel consumption, then at 2,200 rpm it engages the second intake valve, allowing it to operate like a normal 16 valve engine.


Much like the A2’s iVTEC system, the VTC is always active on the A3. K20A3 comes in the RSX base, Civic SI, Accord, CRV, and Element.

How Does it Increase Horsepower?

How the VTEC system increase horsepower may be slightly confusing, so let me break it down for you. Horsepower is just a measure of Torque X RPM. In order to increase torque you must let more air and fuel into the engine.

To increase the air going in the engine the valves must open further (lift) and for longer (duration). Since the camshaft spins half as fast as the crank shaft, it cannot be optimized for all RPM ranges. Having multiple camshaft lobes allows you to optimize lift and duration for multiple RPM ranges.

Since the camshaft is optimized for both high and low rpm ranges, it makes more torque in those ranges. More torque, especially at high RPMs, equals more horsepower.


Basically iVTEC just combines VTEC and VTC into one unit in the K20A2. iVTEC in the K20A3 is a combination of VTEC-E and VTC, which is much more of a fuel efficiency focused system. This vastly improves engine efficiency, power output, and fuel efficiency.

I hoped this article helped you understand VTEC vs iVTEC, if you learned something be sure to share this with your friends and comment your thoughts below.