3 Japanese Cars That Are Famous Worldwide

Japanese cars are popular worldwide. And among those many cars, models with a long history are still popular since they have kept their traditions while adapting to the changing needs. Here are the 3 cars that have been popular for a long time.

Cars that even a non-enthusiast know

Mazda MX-5 NC
Mazda MX-5 NC

Japanese automakers have many world-famous cars. And in recent years, classic Japanese cars have been fetching high prices at auctions, especially in the United States. Among them, there are some cars that you can imagine just by hearing their name.

Nissan Skyline GT-R

The first-generation GT-R
The first-generation GT-R

The first GT-R was the Skyline 2000GT-R (PGC10/KPGC10), which was introduced in 1969. Commonly known as the Hakosuka, this third-generation Skyline was equipped with an S20 engine and was created for competing in touring car races.

Nissan launched the second-generation GT-R, which is the KPGC110 model in 1973. But to meet the emission regulations, Nissan only manufactured 197 units in 3 months, making the model an extremely rare car to see. Surely no racing program was undergone with this model.

After the discontinuation of the KPGC110, the GT-R name has faded in its history. But after 16 years, Nissan introduced a new generation with a completely new engine, which is the BNR32 in 1989. The BNR32 is one of the models whose popularity has been regained overseas.

The fourth-generation GT-R is the BCNR33 launched in 1995. Comparing to the previous model, it has been bigger and wider in body size. This led to a downturn in popularity at that time, but like the BNR32, the price has been rising in the used car market.

And the fifth-generation GT-R, the BNR34, is the last model to be given a Skyline name. This car is undoubtedly the most popular because of its appearance in various car movies. The BNR34 ended its life in 2002 after 3 years since its launch, just like the KPGC110.

The current GT-R, the R35, marks the sixth-generation, being developed on a completely different platform. Skyline disappeared from its name, and the R35 became a true performance car with the introduction of the VR38DETT 3.8-liter V6 twin-turbo engine. The price was not inexpensive, with the first model started from 7.77 million yen (about $75,000), which became a hot topic not only in Japan but also around the world.

Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota Land Cruiser J200
Toyota Land Cruiser J200

Toyota’s flagship SUV, the Land Cruiser, is the popular choice for off-road lovers worldwide. The Land Cruiser was born in 1954, and with over 60 years of history, the car is the longest manufactured model in Japan.

Its roots can be traced back to 1950 when the Japanese National Police Reserve demanded a completely new compact four-wheel drive vehicle.

The vehicle was also ordered by the United States Armed Forces to be used in the Korean Peninsula. Central Japan Heavy-Industries (today’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries), Toyota, and Nissan came forward to produce the vehicle. And that was when the predecessor of the Land Cruiser, the Toyota Jeep Type BJ was born as a prototype in 1951.

The name originally was called the “Jeep BJ” but due to trademark issues, Toyota changed its name to the “Land Cruiser” in 1954. The new name was given to prove its outstanding performance off-road.

Since then, the Land Cruiser has evolved over the years by adding derivative models like the smaller, light-duty Prado, and another model that shares its platform, the FJ Cruiser. Lexus also introduced a luxury SUV model, the LX450, which was based on the J80 series.

One of the reasons why the Land Cruiser is still popular is because of its durability and ability to handle rough roads, which Toyota has built up over the years.

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