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10 Cars That Faked Their Horsepower Ratings

For better or worse, these models gave the wrong horsepower ratings

Any Japanese car with 276 HP

Years: 1989-2005

In what came to be known as automotive version of the “Gentlemen’s Agreement”, Japanese manufacturers decided to limit all of their domestic models to the maximum of 276 horsepower. The reason: they wanted to avoid the horsepower war in a country shackled by rather strict speed limitations. This is the reason why you won’t find a Nissan Skyline GT-R with more than 276 hp although R34 easily made more than 320 ponies. R33 and R32 also pushed north of 276 hp, and so did the R34’s successor – the V35 Skyline (G35 Infiniti). Other such examples are numerous Mitsubishi Lancer Evo’s, Subaru Impreza WRX’s, Toyota Supra 2.5L 1JZ-GTE and 3.0L 2JZ-GTE, third gen Mazda RX-7, etc.

All of these Japanese sports cars made more than advertised 276 hp. And then came the late 2004 when Honda finally broke the agreement. Then new 2005 Honda Legend (Acura RL in the US) was advertised with 290 ponies. Although oathbreaker of sorts, Honda at least chose the right model to dissolve the agreement. You simply can’t point a finger at something called Legend, can you? Not that the rest of the pack felt deceived. All Japanese manufacturers wholeheartedly jumped in on the 300-hp wagon which was sort of a forbidden fruit for them, for way too long.

Categories: List Articles

Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Although driving a piece of junk, Nikola is a true car enthusiast. Precious few things move him as muscle cars do – especially those from the bygone golden era. Which makes him wonder; why wasn’t he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he’s been able to enjoy the likes of Pontiak Aztek, Fiat Multipla, and their “lovely” coevals this way – right? (sigh)