Japanese Sports Car Buying Guide

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Japanese Sports Car Buying Guide

By definition, a sports car includes any vehicle designed with the following factors in mind: the ability to travel at high rates of speed, a high rate of acceleration to reach such speeds, a high level of control, and a small, compact body designed to hold only two people comfortably. Japanese sports cars are vehicles designed by Japanese automotive companies, including Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, and Subaru.

Fast and manoeuvrable like its American and European counterparts, the Japanese sports car has gained a following among car enthusiasts around the world. When buying a Japanese sports car, shoppers need to determine the types of cars they want, such as coupes or convertibles, and examine several important factors before purchase, including the drive systems, aerodynamics, power, handling, and speed. Safety features, fuel economy, and overall cost are also important considerations. Japanese sports cars can be found at local dealerships and online on eBay.

Types of Sports Cars

Determining what type of sports car to buy can be a difficult decision. Essentially, vehicle shoppers have two basic designs to consider, coupes or convertibles. The following table describes both sports car types.

Sport Car Type



Roof enclosed

Offers better security

Allows for more storage space

More aerodynamically sound

Roofs easier to maintain


Come in soft or hard top models

Less cargo space when top retracted

Lower vehicle security

Requires more maintenance

Shoppers who want the aerodynamics and security that coupes offer, combined with the freedom and open-air driving of convertibles can buy hard-topped convertibles. They can take the tops off when they want to drive in the sun and then easily secure the tops back in place when parking or driving on freeways where aerodynamic performance is more important.

Different Drive Systems

Sports cars use one of three drive systems: rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive. Vehicle shoppers can find a description of all three systems in the table below.

Drive System


Rear-Wheel Drive

Provides power through the rear wheels

Increases overall handling in turns

Can cause oversteer

Requires more skill to drive

Front-Wheel Drive

Power provided through the front wheels

Easier to control on slick roads

Pulls as opposed to pushes, making corrections easier

Four-Wheel Drive

All wheels provide the driving power

Neither front or rear wheels are stronger than the other

Best option for driving in inclement weather

The type of drive system chosen depends solely on the sports car buyer's preferences and the offerings for each vehicle model. Rear-wheel drive vehicles require more skill to drive safely as compared to the other two types.

What to Look for in a Japanese Sports Car

Shoppers need to look at certain characteristics of a Japanese sports car before buying. These include vehicle performance, handling, speed, durability, and other considerations.


Sports car performance is the terminology for how a car handles in turns, cuts through the wind on the open road, and its overall top speed. These elements of aerodynamics, handling, and power are important considerations.


The aerodynamic handling of a sports car helps determine how it handles when driving at high speeds along motorways and roads. Aerodynamics play a big role in improved fuel economy, as well, as sports car manufacturers attempt to make the fastest and sleekest vehicles on the road today. From low front ends that reduce drag to spoilers in the rear to help with stabilisation, aerodynamics have proven to be one of the key ways to increase overall speed while maintaining excellent handling.


Handling is the ability of a vehicle to take tight corners, especially at high rates of speed. Both grip and aerodynamics have an effect on handling. A low front end keeps the air flowing over and around a sports car. Most sports cars add a spoiler for better control. Another way to increase handling involves improving grip, and this is accomplished through the use of high-performance tyres. Weather conditions can also affect the handling ability of a sports car, with tyres made especially for adverse conditions available.


Overall engine power drives a sports car. Coupled with the vehicle's aerodynamics and handling ability, the power of the engine can be both a help and a hindrance. Too little power and the vehicle could have trouble getting up to speed, but too much power and control becomes an issue. Engine power is a balancing act of control and acceleration. Tyres with good grip provide a way to control some of a vehicle's power.


Speed provides the final performance factor when considering which Japanese sports car to buy. A vehicle's speed, affected by most of the above factors, determines how fast a vehicle can accelerate as well as its top speed. For a sports car, acceleration is measured in seconds based on how fast a car can get up to a certain speed. Manufacturers perform most of the testing on closed courses using professionally trained drivers to determine top speed.

Other Factors

Vehicle shoppers need to consider a few other non-performance factors, as well, including durability, safety, fuel economy, and cost. These details are equally important to long-term satisfaction with a sports car.


A sports car's durability indicates how the vehicle holds up to the stresses of driving. This includes both the short-term and long-term effects of driving and how often a vehicle breaks down. The expense of a sports car demands that the owner care for it by having maintenance performed on a regular basis. The more durable a vehicle, the longer it lasts when regularly maintained.


Vehicle safety represents another important factor when trying to decide which sports car to purchase. Vehicles should remain safe through all phases of driving, including at slow, cruising, and fast speeds, as well as when stopped. Safety systems include front and side air bags, safety belts, and various external systems, such as the vehicle chassis and body. One of the drawbacks of driving a sports car involves its small size. This can often lead to increased damage when struck by a large vehicle.

Fuel Economy

Sports cars straddle the fence when it comes to fuel economy. Their sleek styles and aerodynamic forms help them reduce wind drag while driving, which leads to better overall fuel consumption. The more powerful engines, on the other hand, can consume fuel with a vengeance. Tyres also play a part in fuel economy, as under-inflated tyres are both dangerous and decrease overall fuel economy. Tyres inflated to the proper levels improve riding comfort and the amount of fuel consumed. For the most part, modern sports cars break even when it comes to the amount of fuel they consume, but older models tend to be fuel guzzlers.


A final consideration that potential vehicle owners must consider includes the cost of various sports cars. This single factor often represents the most important determining factor for why a shopper chooses one sports car over another. Also factored into a vehicle's cost is how well it holds its resale value.

Popular Japanese Sports Car Makers

When searching for a sports car, shoppers can choose from a wide selection of vehicle manufacturers. Buyers who want Japanese sports cars can consider models by the following manufacturers:

Buying a Japanese Sports Car on eBay

If you want to purchase a Japanese sports car online, you can visit the eBay marketplace for a variety of product options. Start searching the marketplace by typing keywords into the search box on any eBay page. Use terms like 'red Honda sports car&' or 'Mazda RX-8&', for example, to begin your search. Remember to keep the terms as relevant to the product as possible to bring up the best matching product results. After viewing the results that pop up, narrow the choices down with filters if the list is too long. To get help on searching eBay for products, including vehicles, go to the Search Tips page.

When you click on any listing that looks interesting, read through the listing for information that you need to know, like product cost, item condition, colour, shipping details, and any other relevant terms of sale. Contact the seller directly if you have other questions by clicking the Ask a Question link on the seller’s listing page. He or she should respond to you quickly. Finally, before purchasing a product, check the seller’s feedback rating to make sure other shoppers had a positive experience when buying from him or her.


One of the joys of owning a Japanese sports car lies in the feeling of power that the car gives the driver, including feeling the engine's power through the steering wheel as the vehicle takes the sharpest of turns with ease. As one of the finest tuned machines, a well-balanced sports car provides the best power, performance, handling, and speed, all highly desired characteristics for sports car enthusiasts.

When buying Japanese sports cars, shoppers need to keep a few factors in mind. In addition to the various performance considerations that help determine the overall feel of how a vehicle moves through turns and accelerates, a shopper must also consider the vehicle's durability, safety, overall fuel economy, and cost. All of these factors help potential buyers determine which sports cars to choose in a sea of available options. When purchasing Japanese sports cars, shoppers can find them at local car lots and online through various sites, including eBay.

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