Oct
19
1981 Toyota Cressida

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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