If you’ve been around cars for a while, you’ve probably heard about the “Gentleman’s Agreement” between Japanese car manufactures in the 1980’s and 90’s.
In case you haven’t, let me briefly explain. At the time, the Japanese government felt that any car with more than 300hp was too unsafe for public consumption and would spontaneously combust at any given moment killing everyone in a square mile. I’m exaggerating obviously, but you get the idea. For this reason, Japanese car manufactures decided to limit horsepower to a believable number under 300hp, in order to keep the Japanese government happy. The magic number chosen was 276hp. This continued right into the 2000s with every JDM spec sports car making precisely 276hp.
The R32 Skyline? 276hp. The R34 Skyline? 276hp. The 1999 Toyota Supra Turbo? 276hp. The 2005 Mitsubishi Evo 9? 276hp.
The question is then, did Japanese manufactures all tune their cars to exactly 276hp year after year, or was the whole thing a huge lie? It’s a difficult question to answer as this agreement only applied to cars built and sold in Japan. Luckily for us, our friend Doug DeMuro put his R32 Nissan Skyline on a dyno to find out exactly how much horsepower these cars actually made. Keep in mind that this is a 25 year old car, so we’ll be lucky if out of the 276 crank horsepower the car originally made, 200hp actually makes it to the wheels, right?
Be sure to check out all of Doug’s adventures with his Nissan Skyline, like the time he brought it to a Nissan Dealer for service, or the time he drove it around filming people’s reactions toward the car.