Oct
19
1981 Toyota Cressida, Most-Powerful Japanese Cars

1981 Toyota Cressida Wagon

Everything is relative. By 1981 standards, any car boasting 100 horsepower was doing pretty good. So good, in fact, that just seven Japanese-brand vehicles made that cut.

To put these numbers into perspective, Nissan’s least-powerful 2016 U.S. offering is the compact Versa. With 109 horsepower on tap from its 1.6-liter engine, the Versa would rank 5th among the most-powerful Japanese rides of 1981.

A little more perspective: The most-powerful Cadillac engine available for 1981 was a 6.0-liter V8. Despite its size, the big Caddy mill cranked out just 140 horsepower.

Presented here is every Japanese-brand vehicle rated for at least 100 horsepower. If you’ve spent time with any of these Asian rides, be sure and tell us about it.

More “most-powerful” vehicles

 

Datsun 280-ZX: 145 horsepower

1981 Datsun 280-ZX

1981 Datsun 280-ZX

Engine: 2.8-liter six

Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection

Status: Standard

Note: The 280-ZX Turbo came online late in the 1981 model year. The Turbo’s 2.8-liter six was rated at 180 horsepower.

 

Datsun 810: 120 horsepower

1981 Datsun 810 Maxima

1981 Datsun 810 Maxima

Engine: 2.4-liter six

Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection

Status: Standard

 

Toyota Celica Supra: 116 horsepower

1981 Toyota Celica Supra

1981 Toyota Celica Supra

Engine: 2.8-liter six

Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection

Status: Standard (Supra)

5 Most-Expensive Japanese-Brand Vehicles of 2016

 

Toyota Cressida: 116 horsepower

1981 Toyota Cressida

1981 Toyota Cressida

Engine: 2.8-liter six

Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection

Status: Standard

 

Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Sapporo: 105 horsepower

1981 Plymouth Sapporo

1981 Plymouth Sapporo

Engine: 2.6-liter four

Fuel Delivery: 2-barrel carburetor

Status: Standard

 

Mazda RX-7: 100 horsepower

1981 Mazda RX-7

1981 Mazda RX-7

Engine: 1.1-liter twin-rotor Wankel

Fuel Delivery: 4-barrel carburetor

Status: Standard

 

Datsun 200-SX: 100 horsepower

1981 Nissan 200-SX

1981 Datsun 200-SX

Engine: 2.0-liter four

Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection

Status: Standard

10 Most-Expensive Japanese Cars of 1992

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