Here’s how the best Honda and Toyota sports cars compare over the years

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Beginning in the late 1960s, Japanese automobile brands slowly made a name for themselves as unique, elegant and powerful. Starting with Honda in the late 1960s the S600, although not specifically a sports car, was sporty enough to excite the public for sleeker cars with more under the hood.

Similarly, Toyota began developing branded sports cars in 1967. The iconic 2000GT paved the way for a host of incredible vehicles that took to the roads and tracks around the world. Each company has a legacy that they carry on today by devoting resources to produce ever more incredible sports cars. We can’t wait to see what everyone does next.

Related: This Is How Honda Sports Cars Have Evolved Over The Years

ten Honda S800


Honda S800
Via wikipedia.org

The Honda built on the success of the S600. While the S600 wasn’t exactly a sports car, it fueled the desire to build a sports car dedicated to the Honda brandand in 1965 what the world got was the S800.


Honda S800 front third quarter view
Via: Automobilemag.com

The S800 featured a 791cc inline-four that could develop 70 horsepower. Despite the relatively low horsepower rating, the S800 was Honda’s first 100 MPH car. The smaller engine also did wonders for gas mileage not typically seen in sports cars, even for the 1960s at 35 MPG!

9 Toyota 2000 GT


Toyota 2000 GT
Toyota

To kick off Toyota, the JDM company developed the 2000GT in partnership with Yamaha. This collaboration worked rather well in favor of Toyota since the 2000GT made its first appearance in 1965 in front of an enthusiastic public.


1967 Toyota 2000GT expensive JDM sports car
Via: Mecum

The Toyota 2000GT didn’t go into production until 1967. When it finally hit the streets, it did so with a huge (for the time) 2.0-liter straight-six. Although not as big as some crazy V8s found in American muscle cars, the straight-six was good for 148 horsepower and a top speed of 130 MPH.


8 Honda CRX Si


1991 Honda CRX Si
by YouTube

Honda’s CRX gets a lot of hate, but the upgraded Si is worth a look. First produced in 1985, the CRX Si is a perfect example of what honda is doing to its base economy cars. It was a sporty little two-seater with front-wheel drive configured with a solid 27 MPG rating.


1991 Honda CRX Si
Via youtube.com

For the Honda CRX Si, a 1.5L four-cylinder direct injection engine was used. It made around 105 horsepower, but the US version saw the 93 horsepower version noticeably weaker. It wasn’t mind-blowing speed, but it could still put on a great show on the road with a top speed of 112 MPH.

Related: 5 Best & 5 Worst Toyota Sports Cars Over The Years


7 Toyota Supra


Toyota Supra 1993
By Facebook

When looking at a list of iconic JDM sports cars, the Supra is one of the coolest. It was so cool that Toyota had to bring it back! Toyota first used the Supra name in 1978. Over the decades they slowly transitioned to twin-turbo which is absolutely amazing.


2022 Toyota GR Supra in motion
throughToyota

The Toyota Supra Twin Turbo could deliver an astonishing 320 horsepower to the rear wheels. Although the speed was limited to just 155 MPH, everyone knows it can go much faster. The modern version develops 382 horsepower from a BMW engine. Much to the chagrin of purists, it’s still a fantastic vehicle.

6 Honda Civic Del Sol


1994 Honda Civic Del Sol cropped
Via commons.wikimedia.org

Honda does make tiny two-seaters. This includes the Civic Del Sol, which was a two-seat super lightweight Targa convertible. And by superlight, we mean 2,300 pounds of light. Like every other Civic, the Del Sol is front-wheel drive and comes with a five-speed manual transmission.


Honda Civic Del Sol red
via classic.com

The Honda Civic Del Sol’s VTEC engine was good for 160 horsepower. At this rating, the Del Sol achieved a higher power-per-cylinder ratio than the Mustang GT 5.0. Take that, muscle cars! This Civic knew how to play, and it’s a shame that the finish is not offered today.

Related: 10 Greatest Honda Sports Cars Ever Made

5 Toyota MR2


White 1999-2007 Toyota MR2 W30 (Third Generation)
via bring a trailer

A direct competitor to the MX-5 came out in the mid-1980s. This competitor is the Toyota MR2. The mid-engine, rear-wheel drive car first appeared in 1984. The MR2 carried on a legacy of fantastic Toyota sports cars that lasted well into the new millennium.


1987 Toyota MR2 sports car
Via: BringaTrailer

Before the less good Spyder, the MR2 had a variety of engines, from a 200-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder to a turbocharged version not available in the US that could push out 240 horsepower. The MR2 is a small two-seater and, like the MX-5 Miata, has earned a place in the hearts of gearheads around the world.


4 Honda NSX


1992 Honda NSX-R front quarter view
via Net Motor Show

The first generation Honda NSX is perhaps the most excellent JDM car that has ever existed. This set the stage for great cars to come from Japan. Considered an Acura in North America, the NSX saw several high-performance variants available only in Japan, but many of these have since been imported to the United States.


Honda NSX
Auto-Express

The Honda NSX inspired Gordon Murray to produce the F1 supercar. One of the most fantastic JDM cars ever made sported a 290 horsepower V6 engine. Additionally, the NSX had a successful career in motorsport and inspired a modern second generation that would have to be discontinued.

Related: The 10 Sickest Toyota Sports Cars Ever (And 10 That Completely Missed The Mark)


3 Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD


Celica Turbo 4WD Via Commons Wikimedia
Via Wikimedia Commons

Toyota continued to manufacture successful sports cars into the 1990s, including the Celica Turbo 4WD. As the name suggests, the Celica 4WD was indeed a four wheel drive car, which is virtually unheard of even today!


Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD Via Wikimedia Commons
Via Wikimedia Commons

The Celica Turbo 4WD was heavily influenced by rally racing and quickly became one of Toyota’s most successful WRC cars throughout the 90s. It featured a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produced 200 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, the Celica Turbo 4WD had a five-speed manual transmission for true sports car fun.

2 Honda Civic Type R


2021-Honda-Civic-Type-R-2
By SmailHonda

Toyota created the pinnacle of turbocharged four-cylinder hatchbacks with the Civic Type-R. It takes the “hot hatch” title to the extreme, and, more impressively, it’s a front-wheel-drive car.


Honda Civic Type R - Front quarter
Via Honda Auto News

The top comes in the form of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out an impressive 306 horsepower. The Type-R also set the Nürburgring record for FWD cars in April 2017. Since then the record has been broken, but the 2022 aims to complete a lap under 7:40.

1 Toyota GR 86/ Supra/ Yaris/ Camry


Toyota GR Yaris Sport GT7 Edition Featured Image
via Toyota Spain

Not to be outdone, Toyota has stepped up investment in its Gazoo Racing department. They took the time to upgrade many of Toyota’s bland vehicles and even sports cars specifically for the race track. It’s quickly becoming what STI is to Subaru, a performance-minded powerhouse.


Toyota GR 86 2022
Toyota

Models that sport the GR treatment include the boring Camry and Yaris, as well as the 86 and Supra. Each of these upgraded sports cars features power upgrades, track-inspired suspension upgrades and, of course, GR badging everywhere imaginable. Either way, the GR treatment proves that sports cars are alive and well. The future looks bright!


1993 Toyota Supra MKIV Sports Car
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