5 Iconic Japanese Cars No Longer Sold in Europe

Japan has produced some of the most iconic performance cars of all time and has been the backbone of generations of car enthusiasts at home and abroad.

Unfortunately, Europe’s strict emissions laws and buyers’ interest in SUVs have meant that while many of these Japanese car dynasties still exist, they are no longer available for us to enjoy. Here are five of the coolest reborn Japanese icons that we sadly won’t see on the British roads.

Nissan Z

The Nissan Z is the first on our list to be reborn for the 2022 model year, reaching showrooms in most global markets, but not in the UK or Europe for a few key reasons. Despite looking modern, the new Z is actually based on an old platform, and mated to a powertrain not currently homologated for Europe, the task of making the new Z Euro-friendly just made it too expensive given the expected sales figures.

This is a blow to fans of the Z car range, as the 395hp coupé looks fantastic, with a combination of retro and modern elements derived from over 50 years of heritage in this one model. Annoyingly, production right-hand drive cars aren’t a problem, and with a manual transmission as standard, it would certainly have caused a stir if it ever went on sale here. Especially given the newfound interest in stick shifts as we get closer to an EV future.

Subaru WRX

The bond between British buyers and the Subaru WRX is particularly intense, driven by a direct association with iconic blue and gold rally cars driven by English and Scottish champions such as Richard Burns and Colin McRae. The Subaru Impreza WRX was not only successful in motorsport, but it also formed its own culture for many Britons, one that continues to this day.

Unfortunately, not enough people have taken the plunge and bought its modern derivative to justify Subaru homologating a new-generation WRX and WRX STI for the UK. The all-new model will be the first WRX ever not sold in the UK, and while the new model is heavier and more luxurious than before, we’re told its STI derivative will deliver massive performance gains when it’s unveiled next year.

Lexus IS500 F Sport

The Lexus IS may not have as deep a hold on the British public as the Subaru above, but the compact sports sedan has certainly seen its share of success in rival cars like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. In that pursuit, in 2007 Lexus unveiled its magnificent IS-F, a car that was short-lived and never replaced, until now.

But the bad news is that Lexus has no plans to bring versions of the new IS sedan to the UK. But while the mostly hybrid-powered models are nothing to worry about, the stunning new IS500 F Sport is a real loss, as it mates an even more powerful version of the IS-F’s Yamaha-built V8 engine with a super subtle, but menacing body.

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

We’ll keep it here at Toyota, but move to the US, where its all-new Tundra TRD Pro dominates the headlines with its rugged looks. The Tundra is Toyota’s answer to the Ford F-150 in America, competing with big trucks with their massive bodies, loading bays and engines.

This all-new model is the most advanced to date and comes with a range of off-road hardware in this TRD Pro model that not only works but also looks great. Now these types of trucks may be considered too big for the UK, but unlike sedans and coupes that have seen a steady decline in popularity around the world, trucks and SUVs on the other side of the seesaw are more popular than ever. This popularity is evidenced by the fact that Toyota has spent a lot of money on the development of the new tundra. It’s just a shame we can never take advantage of it.

Acura Integra

The latest comeback of this list is the latest with Acura – Honda’s premium American arm – bringing back the Integra nameplate after 15 years out of action. Unlike the Integras we know here in the UK, this one will have four doors on its sleek body. This may sound like a mockery at the level of the Ford Puma’s transformation from Coupé to SUV in recent years, but the Integra has been available internationally as a sleek four-door in addition to the two-door, making this reinvention more acceptable.

There isn’t really much in the way of retro detailing, though. Instead, Acura (or Honda) has decided to offer something completely new, with a sharp and clean design on top of the excellent chassis shared with the current Honda Civic. Of all the cars on this list, this may be the one most likely to make its way to the UK and Europe, and if they do decide to eventually offer a Type R as well, it could be quite a loss if they don’t. .

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