The Japanese sport coupe wasn’t invented in the 1990s. After all, the Toyota Celica, Datsun/Nissan SX and Z-Cars, and Honda Prelude all launched in the 1970s. But by the beginning of the 1990s, the segment had well and truly reached its zenith with a broad range of offerings from Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi and even some bearing domestic manufacturers’ logos. The “Golden Age”, then, of the Japanese sport coupe could perhaps be considered to encompass the entire decade of the 1990s, before the segment dramatically thinned out in the wake of changing consumer tastes. Which was your favourite offering from this time?
The sheer variety was staggering. Did you want a turbocharged, all-wheel-drive coupe? Mitsubishi had you covered with the Eclipse, or there were the related Eagle Talon and Plymouth Laser.
Rear-wheel-drive? Nissan offered you the 240SX and 300ZX, while Toyota had the acclaimed Supra.
Rotary engine? Who else but Mazda, with the stunning RX-7.
Maybe you placed less of an emphasis on outright thrills and instead preferred high levels of smoothness and refinement. If so, Mazda’s MX-3 and MX-6 may have appealed to you.
Of course, if you didn’t mind the racket and wanted something fleet of foot but low on price, there were the Isuzu Impulse and Geo Storm coupes.
If you wanted a traditional, domestic nameplate, Ford would sell you a version of the Mazda MX-6 with a Probe badge. There was also the aforementioned Plymouth Laser, as well as the later Mitsubishi-based Dodge Avenger and Chrysler Sebring Coupe.
These were just a few of Japan, Inc.’s offerings. There were also the *deep breath*: Honda Prelude, CRX and Civic del Sol; Acura Legend; Subaru SVX; Mitsubishi 3000GT and Dodge Stealth; Toyota Celica and MR2; Nissan NX; Lexus SC; and Acura Legend Coupe. Then there were two-door variants of the Japanese automakers’ mainstream offerings like the Honda Civic and Accord and Toyota Corolla and Camry, as well as countless JDM beauties like the Eunos Cosmo and Nissan Skyline.
What were your favorite Japanese coupes of the 1990s?