This week at Dyler, we’ve been having a bit of a JDM love-in, which is well-and-truly reflected in the our latest stories, and the contents of this latest edition of our weekly This Week in Cars feature.

To begin with, we look at how the popular Japanese anime cartoon, Initial D, elevated the humble Toyota AE86 from a well-balanced, modestly-powered sports coupe to a JDM legend.

We’ve been on a bit of an (online!) adventure, too and to celebrate the start of the 2021 World Rally Championship season, we tracked down the classic rally car collector who rescued the very last Subaru Impreza WRC driven by four-time WRC title winner, Tommi Mäkinen.

To top our week of JDM mania off, the five cars included in this edition of TWIC are just some of the JDM classics available for sale on our site

Domo arigato!

Team Dyler

1986 Toyota AE86

The humble, 124bhp Toyota AE86 is a JDM classic thanks to its reputation as a drift car and its starring role in the Initial D anime series
The humble, 124bhp Toyota AE86 is a JDM classic thanks to its reputation as a drift car and its starring role in the Initial D anime series
© Dyler

As we found out this week, the Toyota AE86 is a bit of a cult hero amongst JDM fans. Not only did it win the hearts of driving enthusiasts the world over with its starring role in the Initial D anime TV series, the Toyota was relatively cheap to buy, parts were aplenty, and thanks to rear-wheel-drive and almost 50/50 weight balance, it was a hoot to drive. The AE86 had a relatively short lifespan - in fact, it was only in production from 1983 to 1987. Over 30 years on, there aren’t many of these cars left and the ones that are, expect most of them to have been used as drift machinery at some stage in their life. That said, there are still some low-mileage, well-loved cars out there - just expect to pay well over the £35,000 mark for one.

PRICE:
P.O.R.
LINK TO CAR AND DEALER:
Independent Seller

1993 Toyota Supra

The Toyota Supra is one of the JDM cars that inspired a whole generation of PlayStation gaming kids during the 1990s
The Toyota Supra is one of the JDM cars that inspired a whole generation of PlayStation gaming kids during the 1990s
© Gateway Classic Cars

With its current range of rather nice and relaxing hybrids, and quirky hydrogen-powered machinery it seems strange to think that just over two decades ago, Toyota used to make the Supra - a GT car that sat comfortably between the MR2, and the fire-spitting, WRC-inspired Celica GT4. An immediate rival to its JDM peers, the Nissan Skyline GT-R and the Honda NSX, Toyota’s frighteningly-big, bewinnged sports GT pretty much immediately gained iconic thanks to Gran Turismo. And The Fast and The Furious. And Smokey Nagata. And Castrol TOMS. Alongside being one of the cars that defined the PlayStation Generation, its status as a JDM icon was also rooted in its 2JZ-GTE straight-six motor, which could be tuned to produce many 1,000s of horsepowers. Yet despite its active aerodynamics and twin-turbo V6, the Supra - like the NSX - was reliable and easy to drive. Unlike many of its rivals at the time, it was also comfortable. Toyota took the Supra out of production in 2002 after a nine-year run as it switched its focus to more sustainable, greener products. In 2019, it revived the Supra and brought the iconic name back from the dead. However, the new Supra is based on the latest iteration of the BMW Z4, and it’s made in Graz, Austria.

PRICE:
USD 130,000
LINK TO CAR AND DEALER:
Gateway Classic Cars

2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI Tommi Mäkinen Edition

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI Tommi Mäkinen Edition is of the all-time-great modern classic JDM cars of the early 2000s
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI Tommi Mäkinen Edition is of the all-time-great modern classic JDM cars of the early 2000s
© Tom’s Car Connections

Without a doubt, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI Tommi Mäkinen edition - one of the quintessential JDM classics of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The car was named after Mitsubishi’s very own Flying Finn, who took four consecutive World Rally Championship titles from 1996 to 1999 and came very close to snatching a then record-breaking fifth in 2001 before heading off to Subaru the following year. It was after Mäkinen’s fourth-and-final title that Mitsubishi decided they should give their all-conquering driver his own special edition roadgoing rally car. The Tommi Mäkinen Edition Evo VI - or TME in JDM speak - was a rare bird when it came out in 2000. Only 2,500 of them were made for the entire global market, and you could tell one apart thanks to its more aggressive body kit over the standard Evo VI, Enkei alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, and a ‘Tommi Mäkinen’ sticker on the back. With the exception of Subaru’s equivalent Impreza 22B, not much could touch the TME on a twisty road. With its turbocharged, 275bhp motor fully uncorked, the TME provided plenty of thrills, and the four-wheel-drive system meant that even some of the least gifted drivers could push the laws of physics. Want one yet?

PRICE:
EUR 43,900
LINK TO CAR AND DEALER:
Tom’s Car Connections

2000 Subaru Legacy GT

The Subaru Legacy - if it’s good enough for the Dyler Editor, it’s good enough for you
The Subaru Legacy - if it’s good enough for the Dyler Editor, it’s good enough for you
© YoungTimerCar.eu

Unlike the rest of the cars that have made this list, the Subaru Legacy isn’t the first machine that springs to mind as a JDM classic. Yet dig a little deeper below that family-friendly body, and you’ll find a machine that is a better-built Impreza without the police-baiting looks. The Legacy GT is the turbocharged edition of Subaru’s answer to the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 quattro, and the model you see here - the B4 GT - is often considered to be amongst the best iteration of the Legacy amongst enthusiasts thanks to its twin-turbo, 2.0-litre motor which puts out 280bhp. Combined with Subaru’s extremely good all-wheel-drive system which comes standard on all Legacys from 2000 onwards, you have yourself a Sleeper Car that can handle pretty much anything you throw at it with traditional Japanese reliability, understated looks, and buckets of performance. Don’t believe us? Our Editor has one and he loves it.

PRICE:
EUR 3,500
LINK TO CAR AND DEALER:
YoungTimerCar.eu

2016 Nissan GT-R

It might be getting old now, but there are very few cars around that as capable as snapping your neck as the Nissan GT-R
It might be getting old now, but there are very few cars around that as capable as snapping your neck as the Nissan GT-R
© Imperials

It may have been around since 2007 in this guise, but make no mistake - even now, there are very few cars out there that are as capable as the Nissan GT-R. Ever since it launched, the 545bhp Nissan supercar has been an example of what happens when a carmaker pours all of its resources into one machine. From its handmade, twin-turbocharged engine to its construction in a hermetically-sealed, climate-controlled factory, the attention to detail on the GT-R is little short of astonishing. At 14 years old at the time of writing, the GT-R to some car enthusiasts may be starting to look a little long in the tooth to some JDM fans. Earlier models haven’t aged fantastically in comparison with contemporaries from Porsche and Ferrari, and on the inside, the computer screens and general layout are a bit PS3. Yet as a visceral, technical masterpiece that’s comfortable-yet-capable of snapping your neck, very few cars can match the GT-R. It will be a very sad day when it’s finally killed off.

PRICE:
GBP 58,948
LINK TO CAR AND DEALER:
Imperials

These cars were also listed in this week’s edition of the Dyler newsletter, which you can register for by clicking this link. We’d love to hear from you, so please tell us via email, Facebook, or Instagram what cars you’d like to see us feature in next week’s edition of This Week in Cars