In the tuner world, there are some rides that are unprecedented. These legendary imports have been on the scene since the beggining and have developed reputations for being the best for/easiest to tune. Some are easy to find and some are harder then others. Some are cheap and some are very, very expensive. Either way, these are the rides that set the scene in the tuner world.

HONDA CIVIC

Layouts: coupe, sedan, hatchback

Engine: SOHC or DOHC four cylinder

Drive: FF

The Honda Civic is the stereotypical tuner car. It is the first car that comes to mind when you say tuner. The car is reletivley cheap leaving a massive budget to do aftermarket work. Since the Civic is so popular, there is an overflow of aftermarket parts for it making it an ideal first tuner. Civics sell in the low to mid price range.

NISSAN 240 SX

Layouts: coupe, hatchback

Engine: DOHC four cylinder

Drive: FR

The 240 sx is a popular car for beggining Nissan enthusiasts. The 240 was produced in Japan under the name "Silvia" with a slightly different body style. The silvia also sported the option of the larger inline 6 cylinder engine. The Sylvia, however, was never imported to the U.S.. The closest car to it in relation is the 240 sx. Many people attempt to convert the 240 sx to the Silvia, which is not that complicated. These cars are in the low to mid price range.

TOYOTA AE86 COROLLA

Layouts: coupe, hatchback

Engine: DOHC four cylinder

Drive: FR

The 1986 Toyota Corolla AE86 is one of the most underestimated tuner cars. It has become a favorite for drifters and racers alike because of its nearly perfect 50/50 weight balance. Paired with the FR drive layout, these cars can be tuned to drift easily. Its light weight and DOHC engine help this economy based car to continue to be a contender. These cars are growing in value and in good condition a hatchback (prefered model) will be in the mid price range.

ACURA INTEGRA

Layouts: coupe, sedan, hatchback

Engine: DOHC four cylinder

Drive: FF

The Integra is the big brother of the Civic produced by Acura. It sports many of the same feature as the Civic but has a little more power and nicer luxuries in higher model packages. The Integra is arguably slower than a Civic and is the most stolen tuner care because people will put the Integra engines into their Civics and make them even faster. They are very comprable in general. An Integra will sell in the low to mid price range.

MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE

Layouts: coupe, hatchback

Engine: DOHC four cylinder

Drive: FF

The Eclipse was made very popular by the first Fast and the Furious movie. These cars have a good weight balance and are very popular because of their 2.0 liter engine which was available turbocharged for a while. These cars sell in the mid price range but can commonly be picked up needing a little work for not that much money. This is a good car for those seeking that true sports car feel.

MAZDA RX-7

Layouts: coupe, hatchback

Engine: two rotor rotary engine

Drive: FR

The 13b Wankle rotary engine is the heart that drove the RX-7 to what it is today. Rotary engines unlocked tons of horsepower and torque meaning that an aftermarket RX-7 could easily become and import super car. late model twin-turbo RX-7s can sell for around $100,000, but they are a very limited edition. Many RX-7s sell in the mid to high price range and are extremely desirable in good running condition.

TOYOTA CELICA

Layouts: coupe, hatchback

Engine: DOHC four cylinder, V6

Drive: FF, 4WD

The Celica is a more expensive car but has a bunch of options that were added to the car as is evolved. The GT-4 Alltrac version was the first Celica to come with four-wheel drive. In later generation Celicas, a V6 engine option was available.

MITSUBISHI LANCER

Layouts: sedan

Engine: DOHC four cylinder

Drive: FF, 4WD

The Lancer has been up and coming in popularity and is generally a more expensive car because it is newer. The car was made famous is racing by its reputation as a rally car. The optional Evolution, or Evo, package is highly sought after, producing over 240 stock horsepower. Evos are extremley expensive. A used evo from the mid 90s can still sell for $8,000 to $10,000 dollars. Turbocharging is a popular option for this car. It is a high price range vehicle.

SUBARU IMPREZA

Layouts: coupe, sedan, hatchback, 5 door hatchback

Engine: DOHC boxer flat four cylinder

Drive: FF, 4WD, AWD

The Impreza is the Evo's number one rival. The Impreza was also born into tunning by its reputation as a rally car. Its special engine design lays the pistons flat with two cylinders on either side of the block. This provides for less stress on the engine and optimal smooth engine power. These cars came in sports versions, like the Evo. The 2.5 RS, WRX and WRX STI are highly sought after by Subaru enthusiasts. STI models featured a turbo system from the factory. The Impreza, again be ing newer, is a higher price range car.

TOYOTA SUPRA

Layouts: coupe

Engine: DOHC inline six cylinder

Drive: FR

The Supra is an import legend, capable of becoming a supercar with ease. The powerful inline six engine provides ample power with a top end that wipes out most, if not all, of the competition. Later models of this car were availibe with turbo and twin turbo packages. Prices run along the same range as the RX-7. The Supra is one of the most sought after tuner cars. Early model Supras are cheap and easy to find, but the last generation had a better body style, making it more desirable. Final generation Supras rarely sell for less than $10,000.

NISSAN SKYLINE

Layouts: coupe, sedan

Engine: DOHC inline six cylinder

Drive: FR, 4WD

The Skyline is the most sought after tuner. The Skyline built its reputation in Japan as a monster road racer. It was then relased to the streets in several packages; GT, GTS, GTS-S, GTS-T, GT-R, and GT-R Spec V. The Favorite model is the GT-R and if you can find it, the GT-R Spec V. The Spec V is basically a street legal race car, coming from the factory tuned better then most aftermarket cars. The GT-Rs are easier to find. The car was availible with a turbo from almost the begging of production. Later models also were availible with twin turbo. These cars, however, were never produced and sold in the United States. In order to own one you need to have a special exhaust installed to knock down its emmisions and you have to import the car. The Skyline is a high price car. Skylines rarely sell for under $18,000 and final year production Skylines (2001 GT-R Spec V) rarely sell under $100,000.

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