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Discussion Starter #1
Throughout the 90's the RX-7, 3000GT/Dodge Stealth, 300ZX, and Supra were the cars to have. Those cars gave a HUGE BLOW to Porsche because they were faster, more reliable, (arguably better looking), and much cheaper. Things changed however from the mid 90's onward. Those cars became more expensive and the baby boomers got older. Are those the primary reasons why those cars died off? Or was it because of the SUV craze? I think it was because worthy sport sedans like the M3, GS400, and BMW 540i could handle just as well (or better in the case of the M3), keep up in the straight-aways, and offer the practicality of a sedan without giving up style. I guess cars like the IS300, BMW 3-series, and Audi's S4 are some of the reasons why those Japanese high performance Sports Cars can only be found in the used market here in the US.
Eric.....
 

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Part of the "problem" was that we started buying alot of Japanese cars (and other products) so the Yen kept getting stronger and stronger (vs. the US dollar) so the prices crept up until they weren't much of a bargain anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes the strong yen pushed the price of the Nissan 300ZX Turbo to just under $44,000 before it was discontinued at the tail of 1996. The M3 was introduced in 1995 and stole A LOT of the sales, which is why the 300ZX and RX-7 were eliminated by the end of 1996. Toyota fought back by reducing the price of the Supra by 10 grand, but that was soon gone too. ... I think cars like the IS300 Lexus will flourish because they are sports cars in disguise that are practical. Nissan made a smart move back in 1989 with its Maxima SE ("4 door sports car" was their slogan) which was basically a poor man's BMW. They sold VERY well and continue to do so...
Eric....
 

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I disagree with Teg's opinion on the exchange rate. Yes, the Yen is getting stronger, but not serious enough to cause the extinction of Japanese sport car in US.
IMO, I think US emission regulation played a big part of ending production of those TWIN TURBO sports cars. As you can see, all the flagship sports car from Japan are powered by twin turbo, so they may not be able to meet the emission regulation here. NSX is the only Japanese super car still available here and it is because it is a Non-turbo car.
You may say that there must be a way to make those car pass the emission standard. Yes, like the NSX: pass the standard, but it cost even more and a 300hp Porsche 911. You may also say that we can keep the twin turbo but tune it down, like the Audi S4, but the problem is who want to have a $50k+ super car: Supra, RX7, 300Z (or never been availabe Skyline, Impreza WRX and Evolution) to have only 250hp and run slower than a Mustang GT.

I know that my argument is not all right because 3000GT is twin-turbo charged and still in production. But my guess is that Mitshi tunes the car differently to comply with the emission regulation. The reason I said this because of the 3000GT's unusually low rpm torque. 315lb/ft of peak torque appears at only 2500rpm. This means the V6 engine with the 3.87 axle ratio provide most of the torque with only little help of the turbo. Since the turbo is not the main source of power in the 3000GT at the low rpm, they could pass the US emission standard. The downside is that the 320hp and 315lb/ft engine only run 0-60 at 5.5 seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Your argument is valid... The 3000GT is totally discontinued... It's GONE.....
Eric...
 

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Yen/Dollar exchange,
..SUV lovers,
...Emissions regulations,
....Changing market plans (move upscale...),
.....Litigious Americans,
......Rising gas prices

They all played their part in killing off sports car sales.

But the Miata reminded the industry that "hits" like the Rx7 and MR2 are still possible today, so real sports car are showing up again.

Real sports cars:
Honda/Acura S2000
Mazda Miata
Toyota MR2-Spyder
Porsche Boxster
BMW M/Z3

And we have had a real convertable renaissance...
 

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Because of the great economic condition of Japan, the companies were able to develop these sports cars. Then the bubble burst...And Americans would rather spend $30K+ on an SUV than a sports car. Emissions controls also played a part...they had trouble meeting the standards. But the Subaru Impreza WRX will be coming to the USA and the Supra is suppsedly being brought back soon.
 

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BUT notice the size of the sports cars though....The trend is more toward smaller ones (Japanese ones anyway)
 

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I just saw a commercial for the Nissan Maxima that states 0-60 in 6.7 seconds. That's impressive, and they say it brakes good. I haven't seen the EPA but I will bet it is better that 23 MPG. I knowi t's a Maxima but those are good numbers.

builder1
 

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With a manual transmission, maybe. Since it does have like 222 hp or something like that. No way with an automatic.

--k
 

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Of course, that's with a manual transmission.

Maxima mileage: 21/27 (manual); 20/28 (automatic)

Originally posted by builder1:
I just saw a commercial for the Nissan Maxima that states 0-60 in 6.7 seconds. That's impressive, and they say it brakes good. I haven't seen the EPA but I will bet it is better that 23 MPG. I knowi t's a Maxima but those are good numbers.

builder1
 

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The Maxima is a great deal for the price. It ~is~ front wheel drive (which is part of the reason why it gets better gas mileage).

I thought about getting one, but the IS300 will be more fun...
 

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I am sure you are right but I saw the commercial again and it clearly shows the guy stomping the gas and riding it out so they are trying to make you think is auto. It also states it brakes 60-0 in 3.1 seconds. Big brakes? Isn't it a heavy car? Oh yeah the commercial is on sand too.

Fun factor is Lexus for sure!
builder1

[This message has been edited by builder1 (edited June 07, 2000).]
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Interestingly enough, the advent of the IS300 will cost Nissan some Maxima sales considering a lot of you guys currently drive Maximas (info from earlier post).. Have any of you test driven the Infinity I30T? It only placed 6th in a recent Car & Driver comparison.. 5th Lincoln LS V-6; 4th Mazda Millenia S; 3rd Lexus ES300; 2nd Chrysler 300M; and 1st Acura TL..... Even though the IS300 is aimed at a more sports oriented buyer the I30T is a Maxima with a Bow Tie...
Eric....
 

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It placed 2nd out of 4 in a motor trend comparison, behind the TL and in front of aurora and es 300. I personally think that the new maximas are fugly, but the I30t is really nice. The inside isnt that luxurious looking though
 

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Discussion Starter #16
When the 2nd generation Maxima SE came out in 1989-90 I thought it was a great looking car. The next generation was simply grotesque looking. The current Maxima is in between the two in terms of style.. .(my opinion of course)... The I30T is better looking than the Maxima. I think most will agree.
Eric....
 

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EricK said:
>Throughout the 90's the RX-7, 3000GT/Dodge
>Stealth, 300ZX, and Supra were the cars to
>have...
> I think it was because worthy sport sedans
>like the M3, GS400, and BMW 540i could
>handle just as well (or better in the case
>of the M3), keep up in the straight-aways,
>and offer the practicality of a sedan
>without giving up style.

As someone who has had one Mazda RX-7 or another as a daily driver for the last 19 years, I just couldn't let this slide by. My credulity meter is pegging. I have not driven an M3, but to say that the GS400 and 540i handle just as well as a 3rd generation RX-7 is (let me put this as politely as possible, since I don't want to flame or be flamed) is indeed a profound streach of cedulity at best. Box stock RX-7s routinely pulled 0.93 to 0.98 Gs in roadholding tests. Being used to an RX-7's relfexes and then driving a GS400 or 540I, I find myself rolling my eyes and yawning while waiting for it to respond to steering input (Okay, that is a slight exaggeration).

Anyway, I am hoping the IS300 will have a reasonable amount of the road grip, agility and RWD manners that I love in the RX-7 as well as the rear seat I need to haul the kids around. I don't want to give up the Japanese dependability either.

jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Jerry,
Just because a car can hold the road better than another doesn't mean that it handles better. The BMW M3 was compared against cars like the Ferrari F355, Porsches, Dodge Viper.. etc. in "The Best Handling Car Over 30K" (CAR & DRIVER) ... Sure the Ferrari and the Viper had much higher skid pad figures however they didn't match the BMW in its crip turn in, exit, and general handling characteristics... The RX7 is a great handling car but you have to know how to drive it. Auto magazines have complained that the car is tricky unless you know how to drive it properly... The BMW M3 on the other hand is a fantastic performer on the road course... Maybe the best.... Many experts will agree...
Eric...
 

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Eric,

Like I said, I haven't driven an M3, so won't waste anyones time with comparing second hand opinions on that car. I just can't imagine anyone who has put many loud pedal down miles on the GS400, the 540i and the RX-7 claiming the sedans do any aspect of handling as well as the Mazda unless they are totally into quietness or "save my tail because I don't really know how to drive" type features.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I currently have a 1998 Lexus GS400, however I have owned sports cars such as the Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo. My Turbo Z was a great car, but one I chose not to drive it every day. In all honestly I'll say that my GS400 didn't hold the road as well, but it handled almost as well as my old Turbo Z. The Lexus meets my needs in terms of performance and practicality. It handles very well (I have the 17inch wheel upgrade and spoiler) and accelerates faster than most cars on the road 0-60 in 5.7 seconds.... In real world driving the GS400 meets my handling needs. The handling envelope of say an RX-7 is best pushed and appreciated on the race track...
Eric....
 
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