QOTD: Stunning Nineties Sports Car Design From Asia?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd stunning nineties sports car design from asia

We return to our Nineties sports car design discussion this week. Previously, we covered America and Europe; this week we end on the continent which arguably provided the broadest variety of excellent car design in the decade — Asia.

The triumvirate of rules this week is the same as in weeks prior:

  1. All selections must be model years 1990 to 1999.
  2. Picks must be from a Japanese manufacturer, even if sourced from an import.
  3. Any body style is eligible as long as it’s sporty.

For my selection today, I’ll leave the more obvious answers alone and go for a design with which I have first-hand experience:

It’s the second-generation Lexus GS. The Grand Sedan debuted its sophomore album for the 1998 model year. Sleeker and more aggressive styling done in-house at Lexus replaced the Giugiaro-designed first generation. Like before, GS shared its platform with the Toyota Crown. Wheelbase was up, overall length was down, and inline-six and V8 engines were available as in the first generation. There was also a twin-turbo inline-six for Supra Sedan Action, but those were confined to the Japanese domestic market.

In 2001, a visual refresh front and rear meant tail lamp lenses which no longer faded to pink in the sun. Coinciding with the update, the GS 400 received the new 4.3-liter V8, becoming the 430.

That’s when I bought in — used, naturally. From 2010 through the fourth quarter of 2013, the GS was my daily driver in good weather (in bad weather I drove a ’97 Impreza L wagon). In silver over grey, it had standard everything and pixelated DVD-based navigation. It was an excellent car; I sold it to a man from Michigan at 109,000 miles. He bought it without driving it, loaded it on a trailer, and took it to the land of heavy salt (Ann Arbor).

The GS lived on in second-gen format through 2005, by which time it desperately needed replacement. But it still looks good today, and a clean one that’s been maintained will still catch the eye. These cars came in interesting colors too, like bronze and mist green. A design classic, it’s only let down by slightly chunky door handles.

Let’s hear your Asian selections for sporty Nineties designs.

[Images: Mazda, Lexus]

Join the conversation
2 of 38 comments
  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Oct 02, 2019

    1. Lexus SC300/400 or the Nissan 300ZX The Lexus still looks amazing, not at all dated (I think the Supra hasn't aged as well). The 300ZX is the most 90's looking car built...It is the decade on wheels yet to this day it isn't dated.

  • STS_Endeavour STS_Endeavour on Oct 02, 2019

    I think my favorite was the Subaru SVX. But the Toyota Sera was kinda intriguing.

  • CEastwood Seven mil nitrile gloves from Harbor Freight for oil changes and such and the thicker heavy duty gripper gloves from Wally World for most everything else . Hell we used to use no gloves for any of that and when we did it was usually the white cloth gloves bought by the dozen or the gray striped cuff ones for heavy duty use . Old man rant over , but I laugh when I see these types of gloves in a bargain bin at Home Cheapo for 15 bucks a pair !
  • Not Previous Used Car of the Day entries that spent decades in the weeds would still be a better purchase than this car. The sucker who takes on this depreciated machine will learn the hard way that a cheap German car is actually a very expensive way to drive around.
  • Bullnuke Well, production cuts may be due to transport-to-market issues. The MV Fremantle Highway is in a Rotterdam shipyard undergoing repairs from the last shipment of VW products (along with BMW and others) and to adequately fireproof it. The word in the shipping community is that insurance necessary for ships moving EVs is under serious review.
  • Frank Wait until the gov't subsidies end, you aint seen nothing yet. Ive been "on the floor" when they pulled them for fuel efficient vehicles back during/after the recession and the sales of those cars stopped dead in their tracks
  • Vulpine The issue is really stupidly simple; both names can be taken the wrong way by those who enjoy abusing language. Implying a certain piece of anatomy is a sign of juvenile idiocy which is what triggered the original name-change. The problem was not caused by the company but rather by those who continuously ridiculed the original name for the purpose of VERY low-brow humor.