A vehicle of Asian decent that is designed for performance from the factory, modified by aftermarket parts for performance, or has been modified to give the illusion of performance. These vehicles use small displacement (often 4 cylinder) engines equipped with turbochargers or high performance parts in order to make more power. These vehicles lack the torque of larger motors, have high strung powerbands, and their exhausts generally sound positively repulsive. Being Japanese, they often appear well built, but when subjected to the rigors of performance driving, their light duty, compact drivetrain parts often break or become damaged. They are not designed to be driven like Muscle cars. This includes, but is not limited to, Transaxles, driveshafts (and CV Joints), shifters, shift cables, transfer cases (on AWD equipped vehicles), and clutch assemblies. OEM and aftermarket parts are generally very cost prohibitive on these vehicles, since they are imported from other countries. Between price and difficulty working on the compact drivetrains and components, this makes repairs and modifications very expensive.
Factory Riceburners: Vehicles like the Mitsubishi Evo, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Acura Integra Type R, Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T/GS-X, Nissan Skyline GT-R, Toyota Supra, Toyota MR2, Nissan 350Z, Acura RSX Type S, Mazda RX-7, Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4. Although these vehicles overall performance may not be bad, they still have the attributes of riceburners, and therefore fall into the category. A vehicle does not have to be "slow" to be "rice".
Ricers often like to take regular economy cars and try to make them into "performance" cars as well, which is also rice. Typical add ons include huge wings on the truck, hood scoops, stickers, louds exhausts (fart cans), engine modfications, large wheels, altezza taillights, and body kits. The most popular vehicle to modify is the Honda Civic, it is usually credited with starting the whole "import tuner" craze of the early-mid 90's.