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Life As A Car Guy, SEMA 2013 Part 4: Top 10 Import Tuner Cars, aka JDM/KDM Love

We call them JDM, but in the United States, they call them imports. The term can mean any car make that isn’t American, but when you say the term “import” to a gearhead (the American term for “petrolhead”), they usually think Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Subaru or Mazda. The Japanese makes still dominate the import scene, but slowly the Koreans are making their way into the conversation, particularly since the introduction of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

In this edition, I list my 10 favorite import tuner cars.

Honorable Mention:


Mazda 6 Clubsport Diesel Concept – 173 bhp and 310 lb-ft torque!


1983 Toyota Corolla AE71 by Rota (check out the ITB’s under the hood).


Super clean Civic Si by Evasive Motorsports.

Number 10: EGR Hylighter Veloster Turbo


10-b Great graphics. The LED stuff is overkill, but part of the car’s theme. That aside, the car looks sweet in those DPE wheels.

Number 9: Speedelement Scion FR-S Rocket Bunny


9-b The Rocket Bunny kit was quite common, but looks-wise, this car had the total package.

Number 8: Bisimoto Honda Odyssey


8-a 8-c
A van??? Hell yeah. Stanced, sleek, and boosted to 1,029 horsepower. Yeah. A van.

Number 7: Honda NS-X


7-b Still the best looking modern JDM car.

Number 6: R’s Tuning BenSopra GT-R


6-b 6-c If this car looks familiar, it’s because it was in the Fast and Furious 6 movie. Oh, and it’s got almost 700 wheel horsepower.

Number 5: deviantART Lexus IS 350 F Sport


5c 5b The detail on this body kit is amazing, and the cuts and creases and sharp edges are unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Number 4: Philip Chase Lexus IS 340


4-a 4-c That’s not a typo. the IS 340 is named for the 3.4L stroked 2JZGTE under the hood, packing 600+ whp!

Number 3: Jon Sibal Hyundai Genesis Coupe


3-d 3-c I’ll admit a slight bias towards a Filipino designer. But this Genesis Coupe pulls off being aggressive and clean at the same time.

Number 2: GReddy Racing Scion FR-S Concept


2-b 2-c Another ToyoBaru, another Rocket Bunny, another 2JZGTE. Put them all together and you get a GranTurismo Award for Best Import!

Number 1: Liberty Walk GT-R


1-b 1-c 1-d Perhaps the most striking JDM car was also the most polarizing. Some love it and some hate it, but nobody can deny that the LB GT-R has PRESENCE. Kudos to Wataru Kato for continuing to push the boundaries of car modification!

additional photos courtesy of thealbert

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