THREE WAYS TO TOP 200MPH

Japanese Performance - - WHAT’S IN - WORDS: GUY BAKER PICS: DAN SHER­WOOD

The top three cars to buy and tune to top the mighty dou­ble ton!

WE CEL­E­BRATE OUR 200TH IS­SUE BY TAK­ING THREE VERY DIF­FER­ENT JA­PANESE PER­FOR­MANCE CARS TO THE MAGIC 200MPH MARK

18 years ago, when the first is­sue of JP came out, the idea that it might be pos­si­ble to buy and tune a Ja­panese per­for­mance car that could nail 200mph would have seemed crazy. At the time, most fac­tory-spec cars topped out at 135 to 145mph, and 150mph was seen as a re­al­is­tic pin­na­cle for those pre­pared to splash out a pretty se­ri­ous wedge on mod­i­fi­ca­tions.

Fast for­ward to 2017 and the idea seems com­pletely sen­si­ble, with a num­ber of dif­fer­ent mod­i­fied Ja­panese per­for­mance cars hav­ing al­ready ex­ceeded the 200mph mark. But although per­for­mance car de­vel­op­ment has evolved con­sid­er­ably since 1999, it still takes some se­ri­ous tech­ni­cal nous and no short­age of wonga to take a high-speed man­u­fac­turer’s model and trans­form it into a 200mph cham­pion.

A car’s top speed de­pends on a num­ber of fac­tors of course, the most im­por­tant of which are engine power, aero­dy­namic ef­fi­ciency, frontal area, and gear­ing. And then you have to take into ac­count ve­hi­cle losses, like rolling re­sis­tance, driv­e­train losses and elec­tri­cal sys­tem loads. With many dif­fer­ent is­sues to over­come, dif­fer­ent po­ten­tial start­ing points and a va­ri­ety of strate­gies there are nu­mer­ous ways you could achieve our tar­get of buy­ing and tun­ing a car to hit the magic 200mph, but we’re seek­ing the most cost-ef­fec­tive ap­proaches.

And af­ter speak­ing to nu­mer­ous ex­perts in the field and crunching heaps of num­bers we’ve come up with the three best ways to achieve the dou­ble ton, start­ing with three of the most iconic Ja­panese per­for­mance cars of the last 18 years. And in each case we can tell you how to do it and how much it will cost – both to buy, and to mod­ify a car to reach a breath-tak­ing 200mph.

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