Commute, Toy or Destroy – Iconic Japanese Sports Cars

Commute, Toy or Destroy – Iconic Japanese Sports Cars

It’s not every day that AutoGuide launches a new weekly feature. Today, however, is not just any day; it’s first installment of an interactive segment we call ‘Commute, Toy or Destroy’.

We will present to you, our faithful readers, a choice of three vehicles. We are asking you to decide which one you would make your daily driver, which one would become your weekend toy and which one you would have hauled off to a shady chop shop or incinerated in a North Korean nuclear attack.

The vehicle chosen to ‘Commute’ would be the daily driver of the three, tasked with routine missions like getting the groceries and taking the kids to soccer practice. The vehicle selected as the ‘Toy’ is the one you want to keep for a long time. This is vehicle that will be driven on weekends, garaged, modified, taken to the track or off-roading, etc. Finally, the vehicle selected as ‘Destroy’ is the one you would rather just point a RPG at, pull the trigger and return it from whence it came.

But wait, there is a catch (there is always a catch). We are not going to make it easy on you and select a Mercedes S-Class, Dodge Viper and Pontiac Aztek. Rather, each week we will pick three vehicles tied together by a singular theme. Then, we will leave it up to you to decide which one should be endured, enjoyed or destroyed.

To kick things off we have three icons of 1990s Japanese sports car fame: the Acura NSX, Mazda RX-7 and Toyota Supra. Let us know which one you would Commute in, which one would be your Toy, and which one you would Destroy.

1990-1996 Acura NSX

Acura-NSX-03 When the NSX came onto the scene in the early 1990s, Honda proved it was possible to have supercar looks, supercar performance and Honda reliability. The mid-mounted 3.0-liter V6 produced an impressive-for-1990 270 hp and would scream to 8000 rpm. The NSX wasn’t just able to hang with the big boys from Ferrari and Porsche, it was able to do it day in and day out without issue; a definite wake-up call for the exotics.

1993-1995 Mazda RX-7


The pinnacle of Mazda’s rotary engine occurred in the 3rd generation RX-7, code named the FD. Reliability be damned, this little 1.3-liter rotary engine featured sequential twin-turbochargers to produce 255 hp and 217 lb-ft of torque; not bad for a coupe weighing in under 2,800 lbs. But the RX-7’s real talent was handling. With a perfectly balanced chassis, it could make even a novice driver look like a pro.

1993-1998 Toyota Supra

Toyota-Supra-01 With the Mark IV Supra, Toyota went all in. Gorgeous body work and massive spoiler aside, the real beauty of the Supra lay under the hood. The Legendary twin-turbocharged 2JZ motor produced a monstrous 320 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque; besting the output of the Chevrolet Corvette (non ZR-1), Porsche 911 Carrera and even the Ferrari 348. Despite weighing over 3,400 lbs, the manual Supra Turbo could hang with anything in its price range, and many cars that were far more expensive.

  • Easy decision:
    Daily drive the RX7. Its gorgeous good looks, clever engine and impressive driving dynamics would turn every road, daily commute and errand into an exciting, thrilling jaunt. Yes, its a ticking time bomb, but that would make our time more special, with me cherishing every moment before the car met its ultimate demise.
    Toy the NSX. This makes the most sense, the racetrack is where I’d be able to use the car to its full potential, and its mid engined setup is well balanced for high speed driving. I also just wouldn’t be okay with it as my daily driver, trusting the slackjawed public to not ding my legendary supercar in the local parking lots.
    Finally, I’d destroy the Supra. A tough decision, but if two of us were to be left alone, only one of us would survive anyway. Its high power, rwd setup could be a nuisance in less than ideal conditions, the F&F crowd would want to race me at every red light, and that hefty weight would be a handful on the track. Sayonara Supra!

  • ron8879

    hmmmmm….I would have to go with the nsx as the toy car for sure. Reserved for those great days to get outside. The supra would be the daily driver for me and trash the rx-7

  • Commute: NSX
    Toy: Supra
    Destroy: RX7

  • Commute the Supra.
    Toy the NSX.
    Destroy the RX-7.

  • Commute: 2013 Tesla Model S, 2014 Subaru Forester XT, Ford Ranger Wildtrak T6 Diesel
    Toy: same
    Destroy: ALL CARS!!!!!!

  • and I’m going to “Destroy” YOU!!!!

  • Alex

    Why would you conmute the Supra and Toy the NSX if the Supra is more powerful??

  • Commute the Supra, Toy the NSX and Destroy the RX-7.

    Supra has great daily torque and a somewhat practical hatch. NSX deserves to be at the track. As a former RX-8 owner, I know the RX-7 would destroy itself if I don’t do it first.

  • Colum Wood

    More power doesn’t necessarily make it faster, or more fun. Personally, I’d commute in Supra, Toy the NSX and wreck the RX-7. The Mazda will grenade anyway. The NSX is just too awesome to drive every day and I’d love to use the balance and finesse on a track. And the Supra’s turbos would be more fun day-to-day!

  • smartacus

    Supra daily
    RX-7 weekly
    NSX cars for clunkers

  • Luke Vandezande

    Can’t believe I missed weighing in on this over the weekend.

    Commute: Supra – I would have a blast with this thing while it rockets forward.

    Toy: NSX – How can you choose anything else? It’ll outperform the other two in the corners, and I love the way they sound.

    Destroy: The RX7, because it’s the only car of the three that will probably just destroy itself anyway. I’m lazy like that…

  • Commute: Supra
    Toy: NSX

  • typemismatch

    Supra – daily, about the same room and comfort as the FD, more reliable though

    NSX – toy, no room for groceries or more than two people

    Rx-7 – let it eat its own apex seals and be done with it, watch the wiring go up in flames, or wait for oil to collect on one of its three, yes three, catalytic converters and watch it go up in flames

  • Junior B

    commute: SUPRA

    junk: RX7

  • yohan

    DD: Supra
    Toy: NSX
    Detroy the RX-7. It had nice lines and a sleek looking design. But god the engine was awful and required too much maintenance, only to be repaired in a way that would cause it to suffer from the same problems. Mazda took a shot and missed with the RX-7.

  • EastcoastSCCAfan

    DD: RX7; Toy NSX The Supra deserved an RPG just on looks alone, something Toyota designers are still wrestling with today. Actually my two choices could be easily reversed and I’d be equally happy if the NSX had more rear room for the Soccer players. That would leave the temperamental turbos for the track. My old TwinT RX7 had a maddening tendency to cutoff in the middle of intersections where it would refuse to restart until a wrecker drove up behind it.

  • BLASPHEMY! Always had a soft spot for the NSX.

  • commute NSX toy supra and destroy the rx7. the rx7 is just too unreliable and i dont feel like dropping the engine 1-2 times a year.

  • Sidewayz

    If I were given an option of actually being granted 2 of these cars on the condition that I select one of the 3 to be destroyed, the one that would get the chop would be the Supra. Great straight line performance, but shoddy build quality and terrible aesthetics (especially inside) ruin the car.

    I was once lined up beside a black NSX at an intersection. I was in my S15, which is by no means a slouch. 0-60 in 5 flat and quarter mile in low 13’s… The NSX utterly obliterated me. By the time I shifted to 2nd, he was at least 15 car lengths ahead. I’ve never, ever seen anything take off so quickly! I’ve come to the conclusion that with the right mods, an NSX can be just as potent as a Supra. Rock solid reliability and a high level of refinement and comfort mean that the NSX would probably be my daily driver.

    The RX7 is one of the best looking cars to leave Japan. Sure it requires replacement of water seals every couple of years; It is fairly easy to work on. New developments in apex seals mean that 13B’s can last for a lot longer than they once did. The one major weakness that the FD had was the gearbox, but there are workarounds. I like the uniqueness of the rotary engine and I believe that when oil eventually runs out and the IC engine becomes antiquated altogether, the 13B will seem more significant than the mountains of old reciprocating lumps left to rust away in distopian junkyards. One day, it will be looked at as a real marvel of engineering. The FD is also notorious for being one of the best balanced and nicest handling coupes from Japan. Only the NSX and GTR have it beat. RX7 = Toy.