The Japanese have become renowned for their sports cars over the years. A huge selection of performance machines are available across a wide variety of budgets - here are some of our favourites.
Nissan GT-R Black Edition, £39,995
Many owners lovingly give their cars personal nicknames, but the Nissan GT-R has earned its own already – and ‘Godzilla’ is richly deserved. It started with the R32 Skyline GT-R, which stormed to the 1991 Australian Touring Car Championship title ahead of the previously dominant Ford Sierra Cosworth, leading the Aussie media to name the car after Japan’s famous ‘king of the monsters’.
We’ve got our eyes on the R35 GT-R, produced since 2007. It was launched with a hand-built twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V6 that made a ground-shaking 479bhp and 433lb ft, while four-wheel drive helped to provide a 0-62mph time of just 3.0sec – faster than contemporary supercars such as the Ferrari 458 Italia and Porsche 911 (997).
It will still do a number on many supercars today, and few were able to top its blistering 7min 26.7sec Nürburgring Nordschleife lap.
The GT-R cost a relatively meagre £52,900 at launch, which played a key part in cementing its appeal.
Power was uprated to 523bhp in 2010, when the model also received a stiffer body for improved stability. A new carbonfibre strut was implemented into the engine compartment, too, as were larger front brakes and modified dampers. A few changes were made to its exterior design as well, with the addition of a wider front grille and a carbonfibre diffuser that helped to increase downforce by 10%.
A jump in price joined the jump in power, with the GT-R then costing £70,000.
The GT-R received two further facelifts in 2011 and 2017, adding extensive design changes and power increases, plus there are myriad special editions and the hardcore Nismo, which costs £184,000 new. But if you’re after an affordable pure driving machine, an early car will have you grinning from ear to ear.