Top 10 Japanese drift cars of all times – the best JDM imports!

Top 10 Japanese drift cars of all times – the best JDM imports! Drifting is a driving technique where the driver intentionally over steers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tires, while maintaining control for the entirety of a corner. A car is drifting when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle, to such an extent that often the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn.

It is known that Japan was one of the earliest birthplaces of drifting. Therefore, it is no surprise that Japanese drift cars are the most popular when it comes to this sport. This list isn’t made by any standards and it’s not necessarily in the correct order. It’s simply top 10 Japanese drift cars according to us here at ridingmode.com.

Top 10 Japanese drift cars of all times – the best JDM imports!

10. Nissan 370ZTop 10 Japanese drift carsThe 370Z is the sixth-generation of the Nissan Z-car line, succeeding the 350Z. It has been awarded JD Power and Associates Highest Ranked Compact Premium Sporty Car in Initial Quality 2009; Kelley Blue Book’s Best Resale Value Award in 2010 and Consumers Digest Automotive Best Buy Award.

9. Toyota Levin/Trueno AE86. The AE86 generation of the Toyota Corolla Levin and Toyota Sprinter Trueno is a small, lightweight coupe or hatchback introduced by Toyota in 1983 as part of the fifth generation Toyota Corolla lineup. Most famous for Initial D, a Japanese sports manga series written and illustrated by Shuichi Shigeno. The story focuses on the world of illegal Japanese street racing, where all the action is concentrated in the mountain passes and rarely in cities or urban areas.

8. Mazda RX-7 FD3S. mazda rx7The FD RX-7 was Motor Trend’s Import Car of the Year. It went on to win Playboy’s Car of the Year for 1993. The FD RX-7 also made Car and Driver’s Ten Best list for 1993 through 1995, for every year in which it was sold state-side. June 2007 Road & Track proclaimed “The ace in Mazda’s sleeve is the RX-7, a car once touted as the purest, most exhilarating sports car in the world.” After its introduction in 1991, it won the Automotive Researchers’ and Journalists’ Conference Car of the Year award in Japan.

7. Nissan Skyline R34The R34 GT powered by the RB20DE NEO, coupled with a five-speed gearbox, became the most fuel-efficient straight-six Skyline to date.

6. Nissan Silvia S13The S13 Silvia won the Car of the Year Japan Award at its introduction in 1988. The Silvia was no longer exported, however; rebadged 180SX were instead sold in most markets. The S13 was based on the first generation Nissan Cefiro, the A31. Following industry trends, the S13 Silvia switched to relampable fixed headlights.

5. Toyota Chaser JZX100. Although X100 Chasers took part in the Japanese Touring Car Championship in the 1990s, the Chaser truly shone in drifting events, due to its traditional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Numerous Toyota Chasers, especially the later X90s and X100s, have been modified for use in drifting. Versions of the Chaser have also been highly modified to take part in the “super battle” time trial series in Japan.

4. Subaru Impreza GD. subaru imprezaThe Impreza brought Subaru three consecutive WRC constructors’ titles (1995–1997, the latter season the first for the newly introduced World Rally Car class) and a driver’s championship for McRae in 1995, the late Richard Burns in 2001, and the Norwegian, Petter Solberg in 2003. Subaru debuted an Impreza WRC in hatchback form for the first time from the 2008 Acropolis Rally onwards, on which event Solberg scored a second-place finish.

3. Nissan 350ZThe 350Z has been given extensive coverage in the automotive press, and has obtained generally positive reviews. Automotive journalists tend to praise such features as the 350Z’s value, performance, handling, and braking. Criticisms tend to be directed towards the grade of interior plastics, greater curb weight than its competitors, cabin ergonomics and engine refinement. Other reviews have criticised reflections off the back strut in the rear window. The 350Z has been recognized as Japanese Performance Car of the Year 2007 TopSpeed Magazine; 10 Best Cars 2003 Car and Driver; Canadian Car of the Year 2003 Automobile Journalists Association of Canada; Car of the Year 2004 Top Gear Magazine, and many many more!

2. Toyota SupraToyota’s second place on our Top 10 Japanese drift cars is well deserved. Toyota Supra was used for top level drifting events. Fredric Aasbø has been driving Supras in both Norwegian and US drifting events since 2008, Mark Luney has also prepared a high-powered Supra to compete within UK events in 2010. The A60 was awarded the Import Car of the Year by Motor Trend. It also made Car and Driver magazine’s Ten Best list for 1983 and 1984. In 1994, the A80 Supra won Popular Mechanics “Design & Engineering awards”.

1. Nissan Silvia S15. Top 10 Japanese drift carsThis car has enjoyed great success in the sport, having won 7 D1 Grand Prix championships with 5 different drivers driving the S15 (Nobuteru Taniguchi in 2001; Ryuji Miki 2004; Yasuyuki Kazama 2005; Masato Kawabata 2007 and Youichi Imamura 2009, 2010 and 2011). Silvias have been raced successfully in the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (now Super GT) and its predecessors. The Silvia S15 of Under Suzuki has dominated the Tsukuba circuit lap time record for some time.

So you agree with out Top 10 Japanese drift cars list? Would you add or remove something? Tell us in the comments!


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