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.

  • ToolGuy VW (marque not group) and Tesla very nearly switched positions on a YTD basis.
  • RHD Inexpensive gasoline appears to be a thing of the past. ILO is correct - we have enough sunlight, wind and emerging ocean wave energy to power the entire country and then some. Clean air is nice, and being free of the whims of OPEC, geopolitics and hugely profitable oil companies will do all of us a world of good.
  • Raymond Segura Can you tell me where I can get the rear bumper for 69 impala?
  • Art Vandelay some of the crazy numbers I get. Percentages look bigger with any fluctuations with low volume makes and brands leaving the market will see massive month over month changes. But what’s with Buick? I still see the occasional ad on TV and yet the drop is disproportionate even compared to all the other GM brands.
  • Master Baiter "There is no mandate for consumers to buy EVs, not in any country or state. That’s made up."Right. And you are not mandated to purchase a toilet that only uses 1.6 gallons/flush. You could choose to not have a toilet--just go in the woods, like the bears do.