By 1988 Japanese automakers had firmly established their place in the American market. In fact, they had driven the American market to make sweeping changes and evolve their business so that they could compete. The 1986 Ford Taurus will forever stand as the most visual representation of that fact. But just because the Japanese were selling small cars and smallish family cars as quick as they could make them, not everything was a surefire hit. Take this video for example which shows a MotorWeek review of then new 1988 Mazda MX-6. This was a sport coupe aimed at potential “German” car buyers. While te MX-6 nameplate would live for many years in America, this is the one that got them started.
While we can’t really see why anyone in their right mind shopping a German car in the 1980s would give this thing a second look, they got plenty of stuff right. The performance is pretty wild. 7.6-seconds to 60mph and 16.0-seconds through the quarter mile with the slushbox automatic. A properly stick shifted one of these things could give Mustang owners in 1988 the sweats if they were not paying attention.
There are some interesting styling cues here. Part of it looks like a Subaru XT and some of it actually reminds us of a Nissan Skyline, different cars from a different companies!
Lastly, the relatively short lifespan of the Japanese cars of this era seem to have claimed all of of the MX-6 examples in my part of the world. I have not seen one in probably 20 years!