QotW: What’s the greatest forced-induction JNC?

Aoshima Nissan Skyline C210 Seibu Keisatsu Machine RS2 model kit

The Skyline Japan GT-EX kicked off the Age of the Turbo when it debuted in April 1980. Not only was it the first Skyline to rock a snail, it was deemed so important by Nissan that it was positioned successor to the mighty GT-R and became star of its own 80s cop show. From there, Japanese automakers embarked on a turbo- and super-charging arms race.

What was the greatest forced-induction JNC?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s your most anticipated 25 Year Club addition?” 

Toyota Camry XV10 TRD Touring

1991 was a good year, apparently. Nathan Judy‘s suggestion of the SW20 MR2 to Dave‘s recommendation of the B13 Sentra SE-R prove it was a tuner boom. There were cars we hadn’t thought of, like D‘s choices of the Nissan Pulsar GTi-R and Starlet GT Turbo, and Robin‘s selection of Jodie Foster’s EG Civic. While it seems clear that the FD Mazda RX-7 was the clear winner, with impassioned votes from the likes of Tom Westmacott and Dankan, it was AKADriver‘s proposition of the XV10 Toyota Camry that made us go “hmmm…”:

The Honda Beat and Suzuki Cappuccino hit it later this year, those are my twin picks.

In terms of historical significance and ignoring importability or even collectibility, the XV10 6th gen Camry hits 25 soon, and that’s one of the most important Japanese cars ever made. I don’t think I’d ever own one – I have its arch-rival, a CD5 Accord, which suits me better. But the Camry was much more influential.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash


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17 Responses to QotW: What’s the greatest forced-induction JNC?

  1. Robin says:

    Im just here to say DAMN that picture of that Camry, got me feeling all sorts of goodness haha.

    Well seeing I am here I might as well make the best of this QOTW. I will speak about what was the greatest F.I. JNC from a South African’s perspective. Locally we did not get all the cool cars/variants like Japan/Europe/ Australia and even the USA.

    However, we got some good turbocharged (no supercharged though, i could be mistaken but im pretty sure) vehicles and one that comes to mind first is the Nissan Exa and Langley (1985 pulsar in Japan) Turbo. It had those 80’s instrument cluster… and stripes for days on the side to let you know there is something rather special about this one.

    And lets not forget that easily recognizable TURBO decal in the typical 80’s font, TURBO not only being on the exterior but continued to let anyone inside the know they were driving in something special.

    F.I. in the 80’s to early 90’s locally did not really take off and companies used reliability and cost effectiveness to boost (no pun intended) sales, so the words TURBO was reserved for Porsches; Lotus’ and the likes.

    We had the Mitsubishi Tredia Turbo as well but this was not as handsome as the Langley/Pulsar and the pop up lights of the Exa was a must have back then.


  2. Ant says:

    For me, the Honda City Turbo. Honda has been, and always will be known for its amazing naturally-aspirated engines. But the City Turbo was proof the guys know their way around a snail, too.

    I’m not sure there’s ever been a more belligerent-looking small car, either.

    • jivecom says:

      I’ll throw my support to this as well. The City Turbo/Turbo II looks like a normal City spent freshman year being picked on constantly, and so it spent all summer getting totally shredded. Then it came back ready to square up with anyone who said anything

  3. Will B. says:

    I would say the best Boosted JNC is a variant we did get stateside, and really fixed the only flaw with the N/A car. Im talking about the Supercharged AW11 MR2, a car lauded by the press at its release for being a world class handling car capable of keeping up in the corners with the best cars on the market, Ferraris and Porsches included, but that lacked straight line power due to its low displacement (but wonderfully-high revving) 4age. By as early as 1986 Toyota had answered the critics, putting out the 4gze-powered MR2 SC model, a beast of a car with some very impressive engineering to stuff a roots supercharger in on top of an already cramped engine bay, to greatly improve the straight line acceleration, which really helped to fix that car and round it out into an all around amazing car, especially when you start tweaking on it, as those little cast iron block toyota motors can take a LOT of boost before they really start to show any signs of fatigue, and the 4agze blocks are prized for turbo swaps into corollas for that reason.

  4. Nakazoto says:

    Gotta be the Nissan March Super Turbo! Borrows a design from the Lancia Delta S4 and puts it on a miniscule 930 cc inline 4 cylinder. It only made 110 hp, but the car only weighed a touch over 750 kg. I had one for a while and the thing was a tiny little rocket ship. It would hang with bigger DR30s with no problems at all! Man, now I want another one. Time to head on over to Goo Net and start my search again…

  5. melvin says:

    Mitsubishi Lancer EX 2000 Turbo a.k.a. Evo 0

    Mitsubishi counts as pioneer in turbocharging. They made turbo engines available on all their models. Petrol and diesel (Galant Turbo Diesel, 1980) They even build turbochargers.

    The ‘box type’ Lancer EX 2000 Turbo (1980) can be considered the father of all Evo’s, hence Evo 0.


  6. Scotty G says:

    I’m all over the Honda City Turbo (and I mean, all over it), but, being a Subaru guy I’ve got to go with the 1985-’87 XT. It wasn’t the first, it wasn’t the most agile, it wasn’t the most powerful, and it wasn’t the most beautiful (dang, that sounds like me in high school).. but, being available with 4WD certainly made it one of the most unique offerings in the mid-80s, without question. And, who doesn’t like that crazy shifter?!


  7. Ryan Senensky says:

    I’m going to go with the EA82 Subaru GL10/Leone turbo. Mainly because these were Subarus first foray into rallying and we all know how that went.

    Plus it’s a wagon with a digidash.

  8. Claire says:

    I think the Toyota Supra is the greatest forced induction Japanese car of the 1980’s. The Supra introduced this sort of motor in an accessible way to Americans and spawned one of the most famous Japanese car names to exist around the world.

  9. donovan says:

    I agree with the supra. the supra was a popular in both America and Japan. lots of people will say the skyline, but how could it be the greatest when the company making it didn’t belive that it would sell here.

  10. ahja says:

    The 280ZX is one of if not the first turbo Japanese cars available in North America. Also it sold very well, sadly it has gone extinct and forgotten as enthusiasts have flocked to its predecessor. But honestly if I was shopping for a new car in 1982, a 280ZX turbo would have been near the top of the list. Its SUCH an underappreciated car at this point, I can’t get over it (obviously). The L28ET was highly sought after by Z enthusiasts a few years ago, when nobody into Japanese cars gave a hoot about originality or period correctness. Maybe it still is. But it was a badass engine especially for not even being cross-flow. I’m waiting for people to wake up to the charms of the 280ZX with its turbo and 2-tone. It laid ALL the groundwork for the 300ZX turbo, which in the US, is like THE iconic turbo 80s car. That would be another good pick too, but I’m going to go with the 280ZX because if I don’t, no one else will.

    Here’s somebody’s pics so you can pop a semi. http://www.scottiedog.com/zcar/index.htm

    • Will Hayward says:

      I have that exact car myself. You can see mine on Instagram @81DATZUN and see the transitions it’s gone through from stock to modified.

  11. Will Hayward says:

    I can’t say what forced induction JNC is the best because frankly I haven’t owned or driven enough to formulate an opinion worth noting. What I can say is I have a 1981.5 Datsun 280ZX Turbo, the first ever released Turbocharged Z Car, and I’m absolutely in love with my car. I think about it every day and while its in storage for the winter I am genuinely anxious to see it. I plan to keep it for life and modify it further, year by year.

  12. Nathan says:

    Since the question didn’t specify that the vehicle had to be a road car, I’m nominating the almighty Toyota Eagle MkIII, which dominated the late years of IMSA’s GTP series. Why?

    Forced induction is done to extract as much power as possible from an engine without having to increase its capacity, which adds weight, especially if the block is made of iron. The absolutely psychotic powerplant campaigned by Dan Gurney’s AAR team is arguably one of the best examples — if not the epitome — of this concept. The Eagle MkIII was powered by Toyota’s 503E, a 2.1L, single-turbo inline 4. TRD spared nothing, reportedly destroying 4 dynamometers in the development of the engine. In qualifying trim, this boosted mechanical monster was good for a claimed 800+ horsepower, although some competitors estimated horsepower was 900+. For the 1993 season, IMSA slapped the Toyotas with additional weight and a smaller restrictor in an effort to maintain parity with the rest of the field, but they still managed to belt out over 700 hp and continued to have their way with the competition.

    While the car is best remembered for what it did in 1992 and 1993, it debuted in 1991, so it is technically a nostalgic this year. If that’s not a good enough reason, then the following numbers certainly are:

    – 27 races
    – 21 wins
    – 18 poles
    – 16 fastest laps
    – 2 championships

  13. Scott says:

    3TGTE, over engineered and capable of many HP.
    However for it’s day it was well ahead of it’s time.
    1.8L 4 cyl turbo in a RWD car.

    Toyota raced them in the world rally in the 80s with some success.

    I think they are relatively unknown but punch above their weight.

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