Today a global leader, Japan was a late bloomer when it came to the automotive industry. Still, thanks to its global expansion during the 1970s, Japanese cars were quick to catch up and outdo the competition in various segments, sports cars included.
In the last few decades, every major Japanese brand left its mark in the sports car market by delivering cars that not only handled like a dream and sounded stunning but were also reliable, highly tunable, and affordable to a younger demographic. Needless to say, these cars also brought a different kind of beauty—clearly influenced by prevailing trends of their respective eras, but all with their own idiosyncrasies.
These ten Japanese sports cars are not all-time greats only for their not performance and clever engineering but for the shockwaves they made through the industry, shaping manufacturers, the culture and the whole automotive world.
#1: Toyota 2000GT
In the 1960s, the prospect of a high-performance Japanese automobile seemed distant, at least until Toyota made a pioneering move in the segment in 1967, creating the 2000GT. In its basic proportions, this alluring fastback echoed European styling, yet it was still unlike any other car on the planet. It was the birth of the Japanese sports car.
Being produced in just 351 copies, it was a scarce car and hardly a sales success as it wasn’t offered outside of Japan, but thanks to some movie magic, the 2000GT gave Toyota much needed global exposure. Tailor-made into a convertible for Sean Connery’s lean frame, the first Japanese sports car famously starred in the 1967 Bond movie You Only Live Twice.
Adding to the legend, this car also had a stellar racing career in Japan, competing in SCCA, where three cars were prepared by none other than Carroll Shelby. Today, Toyota 2000GT is the most valuable Japanese classic car and one of the most influential ones as well.
#2: Datsun 240Z
Initially known as a Fairlady Z, the Datsun 240Z was an instrumental car in shifting the global attitude towards Japanese sports cars. It was introduced to the North American market just before the oil crisis hit and it stayed there as the homegrown performance movement crumbled over financial, ecological and safety concerns. With a 2.4-liter inline-six placed in a graceful and compact body, the 240Z soon became a worthy alternative to both American and European sports cars.
Little by little, it started captivating the press and the public, becoming one of the greatest sports cars of the decade and also giving birth to the Datsun Z Series. In fact, the upcoming Nissan 400Z is a tribute to the primordial Z car rather than being a visual evolution of its predecessor, the 370Z.
This sports car’s importance transcends just the Nissan brand, as it almost single handedly awakened hunger for Japanese sports cars in North America, which gradually became the biggest export market for performance cars coming from other manufacturers as well.
#3: Mazda RX-7 FD
Rotary-powered Mazdas have been
By: Djordje Sugaris
Title: Top 10 Japanese Sports Cars of All Time
Sourced From: sportscardigest.com/top-10-japanese-sports-cars/
Published Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2022 19:52:05 +0000
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Klassischer Charme: The new BMW R nineT 100 Years
The iconic BMW boxer engine has been around a little longer than some folks realize: a hundred years, to be exact. It powered the very first BMW motorcycle, which broke cover in 1923.
That was the shaft-driven R 32, designed by Max Friz. It featured the familiar opposed cylinder engine layout, although the internals bear little resemblance to the modern-day powerplant.
A 100th anniversary always calls for a celebration, so BMW Motorrad has created a pair of ‘100 Years’ special editions for its Heritage range: the R nineT Roadster and the R 18 Cruiser. And very appropriately, both models are limited to 1,923 units each.
We’re especially smitten with the charming BMW R nineT 100 Year shown here, which harks back to the monochrome aesthetic of classic BMW oldtimers.
By: Chris Hunter
Title: Klassischer Charme: The new BMW R nineT 100 Years
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/bmw-r-ninet-100-years
Published Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2023 17:01:31 +0000
Prizefighter: A custom Ducati Monster 600 built for a Turkish actor
The Ducati Monster is widely credited with saving the Italian marque in the 90s. Part of its success lies in its minimalist brawler aesthetic—and part of it lies in the fact that Ducati has always offered the Monster in myriad engine sizes at varying price points. If you couldn’t quite spring for an M900 back in 1994, the Ducati Monster 600 looked just as cool, cost less, and still made adequate power.
Decades on, the Monster is a very different beast and has even shed its trademark trellis frame. But the mid-90s Monster still has appeal—and it’s got tons of custom bike potential, as evidenced by this custom Ducati Monster 600 from Turkey’s Bunker Custom Cycles.
The 1998-model Monster 600 belongs to the Turkish actor Kadir Doğulu, who went through considerable effort to obtain it. The story goes that the bike was one of four imported to Turkey in the late 90s as show bikes for a major local 4×4 event. Kadir spotted it in the corner of a parking garage gathering dust and hassled the owner for ten years before he finally agreed to sell it.
By then, the Monster 600 was desperately in need of rescue. A decade of being parked had given the elements time to work, leaving the chassis, fuel tank, and a whole whack of alloy parts covered in rust. Kadir held onto the bike for a while, then called in the brothers at Bunker Custom Cycles, Mert and Can Uzer, to revive it.
By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Prizefighter: A custom Ducati Monster 600 built for a Turkish actor
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-ducati-monster-600
Published Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2023 18:57:09 +0000
Where Is the 2024 Honda CB750 Hornet Naked Bike?
Honda’s CB750 Hornet was officially unveiled in Europe last year, and has appeared in other markets globally—just not the US. (Honda Europe/)
It’s been 25 years since Honda’s massively popular 600cc Hornet wheelied onto European tarmac, so when word got out a couple of years ago that a new Hornet was in development the buzz (sorry) around the internet was palpable. The first and second-gen Hornets were almost universally beloved for their light weight, revvy characterful engine, and uh, down-to-earth price tags. Fun, practical, and cheap? It’s no wonder crowds of riders signed up to own one. And while the naked-bike segment has evolved tremendously in the ensuing years, a midsize model with those same characteristics along with the reliability and build quality Honda’s known for—at the right price—might still put up a good fight against its Trident 660 and MT-07 rivals.
The Hornet’s chassis is dominated by a new lightweight diamond steel frame and Showa suspension front and rear. (Honda Europe/)
Sure enough, Honda pulled the wraps off its long-anticipated CB750 Hornet at the 2022 Intermot show in Germany, and it had all the goods we could hope for: a rollicking 91 hp twin engine (not an inline-four like the old model), a robust menu of standard features, and a better-than-expected electronics package. The compact 755cc Unicam eight-valve parallel-twin engine was entirely new, as was the diamond steel frame, and the bike sported throttle-by-wire, ABS, four ride modes, traction and wheelie control, a six-speed transmission, and more.
Initial reports praised its fat midrange, agility, and unique sound (for a parallel twin). It weighed less than 420 pounds, and for a naked middleweight, the price was right; less than 8,000 euro (about $8,500 USD).
Related: 2024 Honda XL750 Transalp First Look Preview
The new Hornet shares its all-new compact 755cc parallel-twin engine with Honda’s just-released XL750 Transalp, though there are slight differences. (Honda Europe/)
You can bet plenty of US riders immediately thought, “Great, North America will get it next year.” And really, that didn’t seem like an outlandish idea. The bike had been teased since at least 2021, beginning with computer illustrations and then more fleshed-out reveals of a concept version; it had now become a familiar formula, with Honda then usually releasing a full production model in Europe, followed a year later with entry into the North American market. But here we are at the end of 2023 and many of the 2024 US models have already been announced, including the reborn 2024 Transalp model, which—it almost feels like a slap in the face—uses the same exact 755cc engine as the Hornet. A bike with the same drivetrain as the Hornet, that wasn’t expected in the US at all this year, and yet…
A 5.0-inch color TFT display allows access to rider modes, traction control, engine-braking, and anti-wheelie settings. (Honda Europe/)
As we said, the engine is all-new, with the parallel twin using Honda’s latest vortex airflow ducting to improve intake flow in the low-end and midrange. Peak power is 90.5 hp at 9,500 rpm, with max torque of 55.3 lb.-ft. coming on at 7,250 rpm. The Hornet’s 755cc mill also uses a 270-degree crank for an uneven firing interval that injects more character to its delivery as well as its sound.
To be fair, the Transalp’s mill is ever so slightly different, with the airbox inlets being longer to give it more midrange, and its back
By: Andrew Cherney
Title: Where Is the 2024 Honda CB750 Hornet Naked Bike?
Sourced From: www.motorcyclistonline.com/news/honda-cb750-hornet-coming-soon-rumors/
Published Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2023 22:17:08 +0000
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