At one time many thought that vehicles produced from Japanese car companies were pieces of junk. That perception has largely changed and now these same automakers produce some very dependable cars.
Beyond daily drivers they all make some very good performance cars. These range from the Mazda MX-5 Miata roadster to the supercar beating Nissan GT-R. Without further hesitation we announce our nominees for our Import Car of the Year.
The Scion FR-S is a fun to drive lightweight rear-wheel-drive sports car. The car may not be the fastest machine in the world, but it is a well balanced car perfect for a back road.
The car is affordable, but that means that higher-end feeling trim is not often used. That was until now. The exclusive Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0 offers a more luxurious performance machine and only 1,000 examples will be produced.
“The FR-S is well known for being a fabulous sports car, and now we’re taking it up a notch in the luxury arena,” said Scion Vice President Andrew Gilleland. “It’s the perfect car to take from the race track during the day to the red carpet that evening.”
Today, I was filming an episode of our upcoming, nearly daily, vlog called My Depreciated Porsche (more on that next week). In it we spotted a Scion FR-S and this brought up some conversation about if it is better to drive a new Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ or an inexpensive Porsche Boxster.
If you look at the two cars they are very similar in many ways, at least on paper. The early 986 Boxster has about the same horsepower, weighs about the same and launches from 0-60 mph in about the same time. Both the FR-S and Boxster are good handling fun to drive cars.
Click past the jump (or scroll down if you came directly to the full article) to find out more about the 986 Boxster versus Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ.
Now the road going FR-S (or Subaru BR-Z for that matter) is a fun to drive sporty vehicle that many feel would be just incredible with a bit more horsepower. The purpose built machine that will make the climb is a Mackin FR-S that was first shown at SEMA. Besides the needed safety equipment there is something that we would like to see in a production FR-S sitting under the hood.
Click past the jump (or scroll down if you came directly to the full article) to find out more about the Mackin FR-S and the driver that will take on Pikes Peak.
We have already choses our American Performance Car of the Year (2014) and now it is time to choose our Asian Performance Car of the Year (2014). This past year there were a few Asian performance machines that stood out and we have put together a list of the contenders.
Take a look at the cars that we will be choosing from and then let us know which car you would choose. All comments will be taken into account when making our selection.
Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ
While no big changes happened to the Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ, we did see some special editions and the rear-wheel drive machine is just plain fun. The only thing we would love to see is something like a turbocharged option to up the performance.
Nissan 370Z NISMO
The NIssan 370Z NISMO is at track ready machine. It is fast and has plenty of power. Plus, the styling is very cool.
In 2014 Mazda introduces the new MX-5. The new car will try to return to the roadsters lightweight roots and offers updated styling. The one thing that wasn’t offered was a big power increase, but that isn’t the point of the MX-5 (not that we wouldn’t like to see it).
You don’t mess with Godzilla. The GT-R punches way above its price range. It is a technical wonder that can keep up with just about any other high performance machine, especially in NISMO form. We love the current model, but are looking forward to the debut of the next generation GT-R in 2015.
Now let us know which of these machines should be chosen for our Asian Performance Car of the Year (2014) in the comments.