Are we seeing a return to the front for exciting, sporty Japanese cars? Or are we crossing our fingers hoping for it?
I agree with the message echoed in last Sundays TopGear on the BBC. That Japanese cars have become tame and boring. Nissan are more known for the Qashqai and Jukes in the UK than Skylines and Silvias. And with Honda, my brain goes to old people like my Nan in a Jazz than gasping at a beautiful NSX.
But this is the way of the world at the moment. To most people cars are not seen as exciting personal possessions that we love dearly. They are merely the tools for getting from one place to another, everyone has a car, and no cares. That’s why we’re surrounded by boring practicality and characterless metal boxes on wheels.
And that makes me sad. Growing up with Japanese Cars in the 90’s gave me something to aspire to. The idea of a Ferrari or a Lamborghini has always seemed out of reach. But the idea that when I was older I could get my hands on a Mazda RX-7 or a Mitsubishi Evo felt real, and exciting.
I know I could still pick up a used one, and I do regularly loom around on Autotrader, but I don’t get that same excitement from most new cars. Yet, there are always exceptions to the rules. The new Honda Civic Type-R is a great attempt to bring back out the child in me, as well as the new Toyota Supra for that matter of fact. But your still looking at a hefty wedge of cash - and to me they don’t have that appeal of a JDM cars of old.
The best I can think of from recent times is the Toyota GT86 or the Subaru BRZ. Affordable, they seem to be selling well and popping up all over the place. That means there has to be a market for decent, exciting sports cars that sit between £20-30K. But please, more from Japan with that history of making great cars to fit this brief.
Following the Supra, we're all hoping these companies are looking at the sales figures. Thinking that if it works for Toyota then maybe we’ll remake one of our classics as well.
We can only hope.
Until then Forza Motorsport will have to do.