Tuning is everything. Whether it's adding a new front lip on your ricer Fiesta ST or a bigger intercooler on your Mitsubishi EVO VII, every mod matters. Of course, you could go out and buy a 700-hp Ferrari, already tuned with every modification possible. As car fans though, we love to work on our cars and make them unique.

There are some great options if you love tuning your cars. JDM cars are probably the first that come to mind, with their bulletproof engines. Europe and America also have their fair share of insane sports cars.

Nissan Skyline R33 (GTS-25t)

Yes, you can now import the R33 to the U.S. While the GT-R will cost you and is difficult to find unmodified, the GTS-25t (also called gtt) beats it in both those areas. The single-turbo RB25DET puts out 250 hp. Engine internals differ drastically from the RB26DETT in the track-built GT-R, but this gives tuners an opportunity to upgrade the engine even more.

Unlike the GT-R these cars are rear-wheel-drive. They also did not receive the HICAS 4-wheel steering system in the GT-R. With the GTS-25t, you can opt for manual or automatic. Of course, most tuners will choose manual.

Honda S2000

The perfect tuner car. A modern classic. The Honda S2000's 2.0-Liter NA F20C puts out an insane 247 hp. Although turbocharging dulls some of the F1-like sounds, the extra power will propel you to new heights.

Spoon and Honda Mugen offer aftermarket racing add-ons for the S2000. Most people choose to keep this car stock, so finding one will not be difficult. Finding a willing seller or one that is not priced double MSRP is more difficult.

Mazda MX-5 (NC)

Truly, there is no bad MX-5. As a tuner, the older you go, the more maintenance and fixes you’ll have to make before adding power. The NC has the benefit of being cheaper than the latest ND, while not requiring too many fixes.

Stock power comes from a gorgeous DOHC straight-four making 170 hp. Some early versions use a plastic intake that is known for failing. It is also direct injection, so a catch can will help reduce carbon build-up.

BMW 650i

The V8 is dead. The 650i harkens back to the big V8 era of BMW. It avoids the reliability issues of the V10 M-car era while retaining modifiability and power. 362 hp, a six-speed manual, and forged internals make it an attractive buy. Natural aspiration also means that adding a turbocharger will increase power dramatically.

The looks are not for everyone. The coupe roofline and smooth body lines do aid its case a bit. It does use the first generation of iDrive, which has aged better than other infotainment systems of the era.

Nissan 300ZX (Z32)

The 300ZX is the 90s Z car. It omits the pop-up headlights that were extremely popular with the '80s and '90s sports cars. Though it might have looked like a poor choice at the time, the Z32 exterior has aged well.

Zooming in on the engine, the Z32 has a 222hp V6 paired with a 6-speed manual. Twin-turbocharged versions got the Super HICAS 4-wheel steering system from the GT-R. Forums and tuning shops are your friend, as tuners and motorsports teams have tuned this car since its release.

Nissan 240SX (S14)

Another Nissan, another JDM legend. Unlike the S15 which never came to the U.S., the S14 and 13 came as the 200SX and 240SX. In the U.S., the 240SX came with the NA KA24 engine, not the turbo SR20 Japan and other markets got. This discrepancy means swaps are insanely popular, and tuning shops specialize in Japanese cars.

Drift tax is a thing. These cars have risen in popularity over recent years, especially in the drifting scene. This means that parts and the car itself are more expensive.

Related:The Real Story Behind German Supercar Tuner Mansory

Chevrolet Corvette C6

LS. That’s all you need to know. Whether it’s the LS2 in the base model or the supercharged LS9 in the ZR1, this engine is super reliable. The Corvette C6 is an insane platform for any tuner. It comes in a 6-speed manual and automatic transmission.

Of course, there are issues with these cars rusting. Salted roads destroy the underbody. The power the engine makes puts a lot of strain on the front axle, look to replace it before it breaks.

Toyota Celica GT-Four (ST205)

One of the best driver's cars out there. The Toyota Celica ST205 is the de-tuned version of the rally homologation special. The 3S-GTE is a peppy, engaging power plant that puts out 239 hp. Although, they can easily take more power with bolt-ons and improved hoses.

You will have to replace the air-to-air intercooler as heat soak is a genuine issue with these cars. Depending on where you’re importing from, rust may also be a concern.

Related: Why Car Tuners Are Furious With EPA’s New Crackdown On Emissions

BMW 335i (E90)

A German V8 coupe, it doesn't get any better. Now, you could opt for the E90 M3, it's a good reliable car. However, if you're looking for a platform to build on, there is no better than the 335i. The BMW twin-turbo N54 with forged internals is designed to take more power than stock.

From the outside, the sloping roofline and menacing looks will turn heads. It's also not as expensive as a good M3, with one setting you back around $15,000. The GM automatic in the U.S. version is not the most reliable, but there is a manual version.

Related: 10 Most Badass Toyota Supras (JZA80) Built By Japanese Tuners

Toyota 86

GT86! Yes, you've probably heard how great this car is already. The boxer-4 engine is easy to work on and to upgrade. They're cheap. Slap a rocket bunny kit on yours, and you've got a mean car.

There are several modifications that will make a major difference with this car. Bigger tires, weight reduction, and improved cooling will go a long way, Of course, this car also begs to be turbocharged. Upgrading to a 2JZ is always an option too if you want outrageous power in a perfect sports car chassis.

Sources: Manufacturers Pages, Ultimate Specs, Owners Forums.

2023-03-25T22:08:50Z dg43tfdfdgfd