MOST UNDERRATED 90'S JAPANESE SPORTS CAR!
April 30, 2018
I've owned my 95 pearl white VR-4 for 8 years now and it's been a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. This car is not for the faint of heart. You have to love this car enough not to flinch when the $5000 repair bill comes in. They are expensive to maintain! And maintain them you must of you want to avoid catastrophic failures.
These cars were packed with all the latest technology of the day: Twin cam, twin turbo, twin intercooler, V6. AWD, All wheel steering, 6 speed manual, 320hp, active aero, automatic climate control with an animated, full color LCD display, power seat, leather....the list goes on. All this stuff is fantastic when working, but after 20 years there is a good chance a lot of this stuff can break down.
The main mechanical issues are spun rod bearings from oil starvation due to a dented oil pan. So check that before you buy. Also the transmission synchros tend to wear out quickly.
That aside, it's an absolute blast to drive! It is the most underrated sports car to come out of Japan in the 90s. With the small turbos that boost at 2000 rpm and the awd, this car rockets off the line! You do start to feel the 3,700 lb weight of the thing at higher speeds. Handling is fantastic for a car this heavy! It has predictable understeer when pushed to the limits, but the awd and aws provides unyielding grip on the corners.
The styling is unique with a coke bottle like silhouette and air scoops in the front and on the side rocker panels. Is has a lot of unusual styling ques, fake plastic rear quarter windows displaying a twin turbo sticker were used to cover the large B pillars. The scoops in the side rocker panels and the rear splitter are fake. Also there are 2 blisters on the hood that were needed to clear the shock towers. It's almost like the engineering and design teams missed all their pre production meetings and ended up just tacking this stuff on as an afterthought. The result is a busy design, but it works and makes for an eye catching exterior. The car is over 6ft wide and has a very aggressive stance.
The cockpit is pure luxury with supple gathered leather seats and door cards. The soft, sculpted plastic surrounds the driver and and passenger as the doors melt seamlessly into the very high dash. There is a large arching binnacle carved in front of the driver which houses giant, easy to read gauges. To the right, the dash curves in towards the driver and 3 smaller binnacles house gauges that point towards the driver like a triple gauge shotgun. The centerpiece of the sculpture is most beautiful auto climate control screen you will ever see. The full color lcd display is large and bright with animated effects for the different zones. The stock infinity radio provides crisp sound and even has an equalizer. My only complaint is the buttons are scattered randomly about the cabin and some are out of site and hard to reach behind the steering wheel.
The 6 speed shifts are short but not very crisp. This can be remedied by replacing the bushings with solid brass and installing a short shifter. This has become a very rare Japanese gem so get one before prices start to climb. Also spend the extra money to get a clean, low mileage example like I did, you'll thank me later!