Why are some cars more commonly modded than others? Like GTRs, Supras, Evos

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Some cars appear more frequently on YouTube and social media as modified rockets than others. But with skill, can’t you put any engine or any other part into any car?

Actually, if trying to maximize performance, why not build from scratch? Why is “1,800hp GTR” more interesting or common than “1,800hp car built in garage”?

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17 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Those brand models are commonly found in the media so they have a fandom from such, or from nostalgia, or were found to be modification friendly, or a combination of all.

Now, due to specific laws in each country regarding vehicle modifications and road worthy certifications, and the access to tooling, knowledge, and parts, some people will build their cars from scratch, but most modify existing cars, especially if it’s a platform that allows for such and already has compatible kits on the market.

Anonymous 0 Comments

>Why are some cars more commonly modded than others? Like GTRs, Supras, Evos

Because those cars are often higher-performing cars *to begin with*, right out of the factory. So it doesn’t really take as much to modify the vehicle.

The only other cars that get modified are cheap but well-engineered and highly reliable cars, typically with engines and drivetrains that are very tolerant of abusive modifications to crank out more power. This stereotypically ends up being 90’s cars from Japanese automakers like Honda.

Edit: also truck mods, but that’s more because everyone’s pavement princess has to be unique and special and have a gun rack that is *just* so.

>But with skill, can’t you put any engine or any other part into any car?

Not…*exactly*, but I’m not sure why you’d want to in the first place.

Part of the problem is that you have to mount everything onto the frame of the car, particularly in the engine bay. The mounts for one family of engines won’t automatically work on a different family of cars, requiring you to tear up the frame a bit. That frame is a rather important part for structure, as it helps ensure the car doesn’t tear or shake itself apart under high loads.

>Actually, if trying to maximize performance, why not build from scratch?

Because it’s *really difficult* to build a car from scratch. If you use an existing car, you have all of the parts already assembled (and working together correctly), and all you have to do to upgrade it is just remove existing parts for high-performance equivalents.

The other big issue is legality; in order for the car to be street-legal, it has to pass safety and emissions tests. The big automakers already have a difficult-enough time pulling this off in the modern era, no chance that “some guy” in a garage is going to be able to do it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Has to do with what you’re watching.

According to my YouTube, the most common projects are Chevy pickups. 

Anonymous 0 Comments

Some cars come from the factory with the ability to produce more power than they actually do, because using the full power creates extra wear on the car, and the manufacturer does not want to deal with that under warranty. 

Many car can be made significantly quicker with just a software update, but doing so voids the warrenty. 

Its a win win for the customers and the manufacturer. The manufacturer limits their liability, while providing a car that customers can easily make more powerful, at the customers financial risk.

Also, the more people that want to mod a specific car, the more 3ed parties manufacturer parts for modding that car, which makes more people who want to mod a car consider that car. 

Anonymous 0 Comments

Certain cars are better for modding:

* Rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive
* Stiff chassis
* Light weight
* Reliable
* Sporty-but-underpowered cars
* Good handling or low moment of inertia
* Engines that can withstand higher compression pressures for turbochargers/superchargers/etc
* Transmissions that can tolerate more power
* Engine bays that can hold better engines/transmissions
* Base cars that can be purchased affordably

There’s also an emotional factor:

* Beautiful design
* Cars we grew up coveting
* Cars we drove on Gran Turismo, etc

We tend to emotionally fix on things we like at around the age of 14, so the cars we choose are very much generational.

Thus, people today tend to mod Supras, Miatas, 240SX, 200SX, 300ZX, etc. Before that, it was American muscle cars. Before that, it was hot rods.

Finally, building a car from scratch is hard, so most people start with *something* as a base.

*Edit: Since a few people mentioned it, once a car develops a strong base for aftermarket mods, a feedback loop begins, bringing more modders and more aftermarket parts.*

Anonymous 0 Comments

A car is a lot more than just an engine. Within reason, it is possible to change engines in any car to something far more powerful but the chance of a car working well having done that is much less likely.

Some cars/models are already engineered with power and speed in mind. Better brakes, suspensions, differentials, gearboxes, cooling and a strong rigid frame. Upgrading the engine likely still allows for much of this stuff to remain stock or to be upgraded fairly easily. These would be the usual models that you mention. Once this happens, then other companies find it profitable to make and test upgrade parts and therefore upgrading becomes cheaper and more reliable.

Cars designed for other features, comfort, capacity, efficiency, cost etc will not have these features. So upgrading to a more powerful engine will require a LOT of extra upgrades – both expensive, complex and potentially unreliable. Since fewer people do this, parts manufacturers won’t find it profitable to make aftermarket parts for them.

Of course, there is also “cachet”. More (young?) people would be impressed by a modded EVO or GTR. Probably fewer would be impressed with a modded Toyota Prius.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Why GTR, Supra, Evo (Basically Japanese sport cars) ?
In the 90s Japanese car makers agreed on not making cars too powerful with a limit set at 276hp. But they definitely anticipated/planned that people were going to mod the cars. So most of the parts were overbuilt (forged pistons for example) or easy to swap.
Japanese cars are also very reliable, which probably means most parts can endure more than just the standard use.

Anonymous 0 Comments

As I remember, the 280 hp limit came with a wink 😉 

Some GTR trims then were closer to 500 hp stock

Anonymous 0 Comments

You can do anything with anything – but some cars are just more popular for various reasons which could be:

* They are sporty to start with, for example homologation specials for motorsports (Nissan Skyline being a classic example) or just a range of cars that includes fast variants at the top of the range but people can buy the base model cheaply and then add parts. BMW for example sell absolutely poverty-spec versions of most of their cars for fleet buyers but the same model runs all the way up to the M sports versions which are truly awesome. Although it may not be totally straightforward, transplanting parts from the sporty one into a lower model is usually much easier than anything custom.
* They are popular – any car that has a large user base will likely have some folks who are modifying them because people will modify whatever they’ve got. Once a few people start modding one model, people start making more stuff for them and it develops from there.
* They have potential – the original Mini was supposed to be a small cheap car for the people but John Cooper saw the potential in them for racing and the rest is history.
* They’re just cool – some cars look cool or are generally fun and people will love them & modify them. See the original VW beetle & camper
* They share parts with faster models – sometimes a car manufacturer will share parts across the range (EG engines, drivetrain, suspensions) to save costs, which means a “slow” model might have the same basic parts as a much sportier model but (for example) much softer suspension and various cheaper parts on the engine that are designed for economy not outright power. So you might have the same basic engine block and a few other bits and be able to swap a load of parts across from a sporty model. Again, much easier/cheaper than a load of custom stuff.
* Video games or movies make them popular: DeLoreans are (literally) the shining example of this, they were by all accounts not great cars, they were slow and expensive although they did look kinda cool, no-one really cared much about them until Back To The Future came out. Without that movie they’d likely be about as popular as the Triumph TR7 is these days. I’ve also heard it said that Ferrari f**ed up massively by not licencing their cars for Grand Turismo when that came out, so you had a whole generation who were learning to lust after a ton of JDM cars from the game and not caring at all about Ferrari because they had no exposure to them.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The baseline vehicle is better suited to it.

Let’s start at the engine. If any given bit of work is going to net an improvement of X percent in horsepower, for instance, then it’s best applied to an engine with a higher starting horsepower in order to get the most out of it.

So let’s start there. The old Mk IV Supra had a 2JZ 3.0 liter inline six cylinder sequential twin turbocharged engine that pumped out 320 horsepower pretty easily right out of the box. The bottom end on that engine could handle 600-800 horsepower with no work at all. Anyway, if you were to pop on some aftermarket camshafts that gave you an additional 8% hp peak, you’re looking at +/- 25 horsepower from that.

Compare to the 2ZZ in the 7th gen Toyota Celica GT-S (and Matrix, and Pontiac Vibe, and some Lotus Elise). That was a 2.2 liter naturally aspirated inline four cylinder engine making about 180hp (US). Give that an extra 8%, and you have a 14-15 hp increase.

Of course you pay a lot more for a Supra or even just a 2JZ (or Nissan’s RB26, etc) than for a Pontiac Vibe with that no-one-in-my-family-can-drive-this 6-speed manual transmission. And there’s the heart of it.


More expensive toys mean bigger dicks. It’s science. Look it up.

You’re asking why no one put a 427 with some massive 4-barrel carb on a Maverick, but instead poured big bucks into that Shelby Cobra. The answer is, “Because Mavericks suck! Your Mom isn’t gonna tongue my butthole in the back of that piece of shit!”

And here’s the great trick: Someone has shoehorned some ridiculous cam-in-block, pushrod filled, carburetor fed, 2-valves-per-cylinder hunk of ‘Murica into some complete lump of shit Pinto just because he could. Hell, I lost my first wife to a guy whose greatest accomplishment in life was squeezing a 350 cubic inch V-8 into a Chevy Vega. Why? Because he could.

There are 1970s Datsun sedans with Mazda rotary engines in ‘em. Some soulless pieces of shit put 350s into older Datsun and Nissan Zs.

Why does anyone do anything with a car or truck? To try to make his dick bigger with money.

Now, that dude with the van with the wizard airbrushed on the side of it? Ask why *HE* does what he does…