Best Japanese Engines

The Top Ten


3L, indestructble, endless modification potential, insanly powerful, loves GT55's.

Motor has mountain of Torque!

Can be driven very lazy and when needed pushed very hard. Supra is my daily car and love driving it everyday.

Dis is the best toyota engine ever

Able to handle 700-800 horses on stock internals, tunability, gets thrown in almost anything and makes it go fast.


I think the RB26 is probably one of the best Japanese engines out there. With a little maintenance and care and very few modifications. Very capable of producing insane power numbers. If your into that kinda of thing but I do like the reliability of the power produced on stock internals. Plus parts for the RB are readily available from all over the world.

Loads of aftermarket parts available more seem to come available as more and more people are doing engine swaps. Just wish that the Skyline R32-34's were produce and allowed in the USA without so much hassle.

Please can someone confirm, but is it true 2JZ was created after RB26 and for the sake of going against the RB26? Not really fair if that is true; its like me waiting for my mate to build something and then when he's done I build something kind of like his, but just a little bit better in a few ways after I've seen some improvements that can be made. And then I shove it in his face how mine is better

Brilliant, punches well above its weight, cult classic.

3 4G63

One of the best absolutely. I have a 1G 3S that still looks and outputs like new. Fully synthetic is the way you want to go in terms of oil and eNeos is what you want in your transmission. This is my daily driver and best driven on highways, back roads and mountains. City driving isn't the best for any 3S.

The power generated is unbelievable. Bullet proof engine that is highly tunable.

Bulletproof, owns the lap record at Tsukuba, highly versatile.

I have one 1G 6bolts is super strong and in the race track are one of a kind!


Huge aftermarket support and can be used and have been used in every type of build. Low cost, easy swap, high power, etc. The people that blew theirs didn't do it right.

Incredibly versatile, drift, drag, circuit you name it, cheap as chips.

I have one and its cheap and easy to modify

Easy to maintain, strong and reliable

5 F20C

Once owning the title of most powerful N/A engine per litre, VTEC 9500 rpm excitement, the noise

The 2.0L legend. Anyone can make big power with big displacement and turbos. Making power, good gas millage and low emissions? That is a whole other story. Best Japanese engine right here.

Engineering Marvel.

6 EJ20

The advantages of the boxer include the fact that because the pistons are laying on their side, the height of the engine is lower, helping to lower the car’s center of gravity, as well as the fact that it is inherently balanced thanks to the opposing pistons’ inertia canceling each other out.

The boxer engine combined with unequal length headers results in the charismatic subaru "boxer rumble" that sounds like no other engine. The EJ257 found in the STi makes 300hp and 300tq. The engine layout, headers and power delivery type results in lots of low end torque and plenty of midrange grunt. Stock it is quite detuned, with just a turboback exhaust, an intake and a dyno tune, you can pick up nearly 20-33% power over stock to the crank. The stock internals have been know to tolerate as much as 400awhp with no modification on a conservative dynameter. These little 4 cylinder engines, in modified form have been known to make 8 second 1/4 mile passes.

The WRX and ...more

Rally bred, boxer type, warble from exhaust.

Gentle giant willing to go anywhere across the rev range, and still go grocery shopping.

Confidence in motion

7 K20A

Can take big power on stock engine

No limits on this one.

Best Dual Camshaft ever

One of the best

8 13B-REW

Vankel engines are the ones that invented in 20th century. While every other huge car companies gave up, mazda had the vision to make this new thing to be invented into the world, since normal cylinder engines have many things to move but a rotary engine has 3 things to move.

I own one, best performed engine out there, love the way, that it accepts every redline I give to it, once it is well maintained, can go wrong with a renesis engine from the rx8 or the turbo'd 13B engine of an rx7, sounds amazing of a car.

A 1.3 litre that sounds insane goes hard and is different to everything else

Hope they make a comeback, amazing power for a 1.3 liter engine, plus it sounds incredible

9 2ZZ-GE

Epic in Lift! At 6200rpm the beast is unleashed! Toyota should definitely consider bringing back this bad boy!

Strong motor, would like lift to come in little earlier though

They put it in a Lotus. Enough said.

Best toyota made.. Sounds epic with lift engagement

10 1JZ GT

It may not be the highest power or revenge on this list. But it has the three factors of any great engine. Easy to work on, plentiful parts, and reliability under stress. It deserves to be higher.

The first edition of the legendary JZ line of engines, this thing powered so many cars, and it sounds amazing and makes a ton of power!

This should have been on top of the list. It's the best Japan could ever make.. just think how many cars were equipped with 1jz.. list is endless.. still very popular in 2016!

Its just awesome...

The Contenders

11 4AGE 20V BT

Love this engine

Can be use BY any car..awesome engine

Love the sound and reving it!

AE86 Engine

12 b18c

Insane engine, sounds unreal with a good exhaust!

King of all motor

No engine ever will satisfy you like this one.

Fast, cheap, high rev engine

13 3S-GTE

Think it deserves to be in the top 5

A powerful and reliable engine that many people consider to be better than the 2JZ-GTE, due to its ability to produce up to 550bhp in a lightweight 4 cylinder engine.

Def an over looked engine that is able to produce pretty good hp #s and do so reliably.

Little modification completely transform this, both in the mr2 turbo and gt4. And the induction noise!

14 Rb25det

Absolute weapon

This thing spat many many miles out the back of my Skyline GTS25T, and the only thing to break was a lambda sensor. Sounded great, pulled well, lived strong.

15 H22A

Very strong engine. Massive tuning potential. Sounds insane! "The big block of honda"

You can run it forever and will never let up

Streaking at the high rev

Smooth and powerful with ATTS

16 VQ35

Great sound

*natural aspirated
*Mountains of torque and power

17 1LR-GUE

This was housed in the Lexus LFA supercar, which was described by Jeremy Clarkson as "The best car I have ever driven." Enough said. My hat goes off to you Clarkson.

Exotic build materials, size of V8 and weight of V6, 9500rpm brilliance.

Are you kidding me this has to be one of the best engines

1LR-GUE Is The Best..


New technological powerhouse, porsche rivalling stuff.

The VR38 should have been on top because of the sheer power this engine can push just stock alone!

I don't get why this is Motor is so LOW in the list stock for stock it's the strongest and more versatile engine.

Comes with 545 hp-463 lb/f (600hp nismo) unmatchable transmission and awd system (gr6). Endless aftermarket support. 2000hp mantaining streetability is no big deal on this engine. Best powertrain platform ever. Period.

19 1UZ-FE

Not sure how this isn't higher on the list. Very good engine, designed for race applications.

Longevity, super smooth and ease of tune up make this engine rule

Underrated V8 engine produced by Toyota

93 lexus sc400 (tireslayer)

20 4B11T

The Evolution of controlled power with the Ancestry of competition.

Starting to show it has more potential than a lot of us first thought.

Has great potential even though not a truly Japanese engine. Mods have come up there with the rest of the jdm engines.

Evo 10 engine, successor to 4g6, known for making big power.

21 C30B V6

Improved version of an already fantastic engine, the noise, oh the noise.

22 3TC

Strong engine with timing chain not rubber belt. Hemi Head with crossflow like the dual overhead cams but less complicated.

Never die

Bullet proof. keep it simple stupid. oldschool. a legend for those in the know.

23 Ka24de

Valvetrain upgrade and eBay 1500 spent... reliable 280/317hp to the weels!

24 4G15 12V
25 4G94

This is Mitsubishi's 2.0L engine for Lancer 2006. Average performance and the only big thing for any engine to last is regular oil change at Max 5k or 4k kilometers. Never had any engine issues And til now (323k kilometers) it's revs up smoothly and sounds great like as it was when I bought it brand new. A daily highway commute car. Am not a tech person. Just want to be posted here. May 2019. Thanks.
P.S. Timing belts replaced 2nd time a year ago.

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