What Are Japanese Engines?


Quick Answer

Japanese engines refer to vehicles manufactured by Japanese automobile companies that adhere to the regulations in Japan’s home market. They are also commonly known as Japanese Domestic Market cars. JDM cars might look identical to those sold overseas, but their specifications are somewhat different.

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Full Answer

The main difference between JDM cars and identical-looking imported Japanese vehicles is the engine’s performance. Starting in 1988, JDM engines were limited to 280 horsepower and a top speed of 190 km/h. This particular regulation was not imposed by the Japanese government, but arose from voluntary agreements among car manufacturers. In 2004, the first limitation was lifted, but nevertheless, the limit on the top speed did not change.

Rather than the long straight interstate roads of the United States, Japanese roads are usually built over meandering terrain. Due to this, JDM cars are often equipped with stiffer suspensions in order to provide better handling. The more complicated and expensive parts are usually only available for JDM cars and are replaced by more conventional cheaper parts for the foreign market to keep their prices competitive. In some cases, the power output of the engine is also intentionally reduced to meet the local emission standards in other nations.

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