What is JDM?

6 04 2009


A Honda Civic with Fog Lights, Lowered Suspension and Red Rims is Shown. This is a Typical JDM car.

A Honda Civic with Fog Lights, Lowered Suspension and Red Rims is Shown. This is a Typical JDM car.

Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) is a term for Japan’s economic market for Japanese-brand goods, such as automobiles and parts. The term’s most common application is to Japanese-brand automobiles built specifically for the Japanese market (designed and constructed to conform to Japanese vehicle and equipment regulations and to suit Japanese market preferences). JDM vehicles migrate to other markets through ordinary commerce and the grey market.

JDM cars have been historically limited by a gentlemen’s agreement among manufacturers to 280 horsepower (PS) and a top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph), mostly due to safety concerns. The horsepower limit was lifted in 2004. However, the speed limit of 180 km/h remains in effect. Many JDM sports cars have speedometers that only go up to 180 km/h, even though the car would be capable of much higher speeds if if not for the built-in limiter. Some cars, such as the Nissan GT-R, detect via GPS whether the car is on a Japanese race track. If so, the speed limiter is disabled.

JDM vehicles often differ in features and equipment from vehicles sold elsewhere. For example, Honda has produced many different versions of the B18C 1, B16A and K20A engines for various markets worldwide. This is done due to varying emission regulations in different countries.

Vehicles built to JDM specifications may have stiffer suspensions and improved throttle response over vehicles built for different markets, due to differing driving styles and different road types. For example, the USA features long highways where a smoother ride would be preferable, while Japan’s roads are short and twisty, where a stiffer suspension is desired for improved handling capability. For the US/European market versions, some features may be removed in order to stay below a certain pricing goal for the car, such as using a conventional rear suspension instead of a double wishbone suspension and lack of electronic devices like Active Yaw Control. Furthermore, engine power of JDM sports cars is sometimes reduced because of stricter emission standards in other countries.

There are safety hazards associated with using JDM headlamps in countries where traffic flows along the right side of the road, because JDM headlamps, engineered for use on the left side of the road, fail to light the right-side driver’s way safely ahead while blinding oncoming motorists.

In automotive culture, JDM refers to a style of modifying automobiles, mainly cars of Japanese origin.The cosmetic style of components is often preferred over pure function.True JDM components are also preferred over Japanese aftermarket parts.An example of such a preference is the import of used Japanese engines to North America to be put into Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Mazda, Subaru and Mitsubishi sports and street cars for higher performance outputs.


A new driver badge can be placed on a JDM car

A new driver badge can be placed on a JDM car




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