Japanese Cars That Don’t Suck!


I am of the opinion that Nissan, like Porsche, should up the VR38 engine to 4.2 liters and come out with a 630 hp version of the GT-R with an 8-speed dual clutch transmission to keep it on top of the supercar pile. Consistent, 10 second quarter mile times and sub 3 second 0-60 times (not just on an ideal day), a 200 mph top speed and a sub 6 minute time around the Nurburgring will keep interest high.  Also, no hybrids. Try to stop content creap and keep the car below 3800 lbs.

What should Nissan do with the GT-R? I think to ignore the criticism that it is fat, unrefined and soleless and keep doing incremental improvements to keep it near the top of the supercar performance heap. When introduced, the GT-R was so world-shaking that other supercar manufacturers have woken up and produced some stellar cars. The GT-R's performance is now supercar middle of the road. 

One problem with Japanese manufacturers is they keep on reinventing their model lines and have planned obsolesces of models. I think for iconic models, like the GT-R, they should continue to refine and improve the platform and build a legend- an invincible brand like Porsche has with the 911. Yes, Nissan, realize that the GT-R is a giant killer and don't turn it into a comfortable touring car like a Porsche Turbo, keep it like a soleless hitman professional killer.  That's its legacy- make it better at what it does best. 


Love or hate the looks of the new Civic Type R. If you don't admit that its specs are impressive, then something is wrong with you!

2017 Honda Civic Type R

So, I have never been a Honda fanboi, but I have always grudgingly admitted that until the 2000 model year, Honda made the world's best FWD subcompact car, PERIOD. The Civic was lightweight, available with the great B-Series engines, had superior multilink suspension and looked really good. The Civic also had the world's greatest aftermarket support, and you could literally build a super fast drag racer or road racer by buying off-the-shelf, readily available parts!

All you have to do to become a believer is to drive a Honda Civic racecar, like a NASA Honda Challenge H4 or H2 car around a track or to race against them to instantly know what I am talking about!

Honda's greatness also became part of the bad side of the Civic nation. With its popularity, all sorts of idiots spent a great deal of time building awful cars out of Hondas, and Hondas became associated with the derogatory term, “ricer”. We used to make fun at all of the Type-R badged, automatic transmission Accords with floppy body kits being driven around. 

Then Honda, like many Japanese brands, seemed to get lost building several generations of decontented, uninspired civics with bland styling and simple wheelbarrow-like suspensions. Honda even managed to mess up the mighty K engine but that's another story. 

Things were looking pretty bleak for Honda as a performance brand, and when Honda renewed the Civic into its latest version that is cursed with a mixture of passive aggressive weird styling, things looked really bad.

Then, Honda announced that they were bringing back the Type-R nomenclature to North America. Knowing how Honda was, we thought this would be an exercise in badge and floormat engineering. Boy were we wrong! Thank God we were wrong. 


We often joke around the MotoIQ Megashop that Honda messed up the K motor so much that it's only good for turboing now. Well, Honda is only a few miles from MotoIQ headquarters and they must have heard us and did just that. 

The Civic Type-R is going to have a 2.0-liter turbo K motor that puts out an impressive 306 hp and 295 lb/ft of torque. You can bet the aftermarket is quickly going to be able to find a few extra horses in there. 

The Type-R is going to come with a limited slip differential, electronically controlled dampers, and big Brembo brakes as standard equipment. Recently, a Civic Type R circulated the Nurburgring in 7:50.63, a speed that put quite a few fast cars to shame, fast like a BMW M4, and SL65 Black Edition, several Ferrari's and several versions of the Porsche GT3!

What we hate about the CTR is that it is several steps away from what a Civic used to be; it is now quite a big car- the size of what the Accord used to be with a rumored weight of over 3000 lbs. This is not the small, spritely Civic we fell in love with. Now, we know that today's crash and emissions standards will never allow cars like that again but really Honda? You could surely have made this car a little smaller and less than 3000 lbs? 

The worst thing about the car is that it is amazingly ugly, looking like it is trying way too hard. It is like someone put a hideous and gaudy aftermarket aero kit, like a Veilside, on at the factory. Just about everyone we know hates the way the car looks. The best compliment we have heard is, well it's not as ugly as it first looks once you get used to it! I mean come on Honda, at least make it STI or Evo ugly but most of that ugly on those cars is functional, and they are still not as over the top as the Type-R. The GT-R styling was inspired by Japanese Gundam. Maybe the Civic Type-R really is a Gundam?  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *