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Supercars combine technical sophistication, exotic looks, high top speed, quick acceleration, and a commanding presence to offer motorists the ultimate driving experience. Rare and expensive, they have always had far more power and performance than would ever be necessary for everyday motoring, yet this very impracticality only heightens their appeal.

The concept of supercars as the ultimate road going status symbols of wealthy extroverts is almost as old as the automotive market and such extreme vehicles have been familiar to enthusiasts in the United States and Europe for more than a century. In a Japanese context, however, supercars are relatively new. Japan’s first supercar, the Toyota 2000GT, did not arrive until 1967, a full 60 years after the introduction of its first series-produced vehicle.

Despite the global ubiquity of Japanese cars and Japanese automakers’ renown for innovation, Japan still produces relatively few supercars. This resistance to is rooted in the Japanese cultural outlook on impracticality and the fact that pretentious displays of wealth are generally not seen as positives in Japanese society. As a result, most Japanese-built supercars are exported and relatively few foreign supercars are imported.

While Japanese supercars may not be as prevalent as their American and European counterparts, the ideals they embody are being embraced by engineers and consumers throughout the world like never before. And although a world-beating Japanese supercar in the modern idiom has yet to come on the market, it can be expected to establish a new archetype when it does.