The insane McLaren 600LT meets crazy JDM models from the 90s
McLaren’s launch campaign employs the clever catch phrase, “The edge is calling” to entice millionaires to push themselves beyond their current limits and reach for something more — more power and handling than ever before offered in a street-legal McLaren.
It’s the kind of serious performance that borders on insanity, and the cinema-quality launch video for the McLaren 600LT captures this wonderfully through a dark, almost sinister atmosphere, horror-movie sound effects, truly impressive driving on a desert track, and memorable lines like “on the edge of sanity lies genius”.
In other words, you have to be crazy to drive a car with Formula One performance on public roads. Then again, maybe only geniuses driven to extremes are successful enough to afford a McLaren 600LT, which boasts a sticker price of $242,500.
The rest of us can only dream of what it would be like to drive a McLaren 600LT supercar. None of us will ever own the pinnacle of supercar technology. And few of us will ever test drive anything remotely as fast.
But we can still reach for extremes.
In the early 1990s Japanese auto manufacturers went out of their way to build some crazy cars for dreamers like us in Japan. Cars that captured the imagination and provided a taste of excitement at the edge of sanity — without having to spend an arm or leg.
Now that many of these crazy JDM (Japanese domestic market) cars are over 25 years old, they can be legally imported to the United States and driven on American roads. Here are some examples with doors reminiscent of those on the McLaren 600LT.
The Autozam AZ-1 is a turbocharged mid-engine, rear-drive sports kei car with gull wing doors, pop-up headlights and Testarossa-inspired side. It was made by Suzuki but sold by Mazda at Autozam dealers in Japan from 1992 to 1994. Now Americans can finally import the Autozam AZ-1 in accordance with the 25 year rule. Extremely small but packed with personality, it offers excellent performance, quick steering and super traction, making it extremely fun to drive and own.
The Suzuki Cara is basically the same as the AZ-1, but with Suzuki branding and minor changes such as the addition of fog lights. It was sold at Suzuki dealers from 1993 to 1995 and is also now available for export to the United States. Only 531 of these rare, highly collectible vehicles were produced!
The Toyota Sera stands out with its mostly glass roof and butterfly doors (the same type of doors featured on McLarens). Otherwise, it’s a pretty standard three-door hatchback of standard size and power offering the dependability, high quality and performance you’d expect from Toyota. Imagine the stares and comments when you park at your local supermarket and open those doors!
There are plenty of other extreme JDM models from the early 1990s to choose from, like the Honda Beat, Suzuki Cappuccino, Nissan Figaro and Subaru Vivio T-Top, which are all super lightweight and fun to drive. Americans in the know have been importing these outrageous models since 2015, and tuners have been modifying them to boost horsepower up to 300%.
Japan Car Direct can help you directly import the used JDM model of your dreams. If you’re attracted to automotive extremes without extreme prices, there’s no better choice than the used Japanese car market where Japanese used vehicle dealer auctions offer a huge range of affordable choices. Contact Japan Car Direct and compare!
Allows bidding on one vehicle up to 1 million yen.