Japanese automakers still bet on sports cars in the SUV era

Japanese automakers are reviving some of the cars that gave the 1990s a reputation as the golden age of Japanese sports cars.

Toyota has brought back the Supra, Honda has revived the NSX, and Nissan is coming out with a new version of its “Z’ sports cars.

The moves come at a time when so much of the global auto market is shifting toward sport utility vehicles.

Justifying the development of a pricey sports car might seem like a distraction at a time when so many are turning toward a different type of vehicle.

But these cars and others like them still generate a lot of attention and enthusiasm, especially for buyers who remember the originals from decades ago.

The question for Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Subaru and Mazda is whether their latest offerings live up to the hype and merit the investment. These makers may have their answer soon.