Performance push from Japan's Big 3

The Toyota FT-1 concept hints at the next Supra.
Future Product Pipeline

Reliable but unexciting. That's been the knock on Japanese cars in the United States since, well, always. But Toyota, Honda and Nissan -- and their upscale offshoots -- are out to change that impression with several high-performance halo cars.

Acura will unleash its NSX sports car in the first half of 2015, and sources say a Honda-badged variant may follow.

Lexus' flagship LF-LC coupe concept has the green light. The 2+2 hybrid-powered coupe, likely to cost about $120,000 when it arrives in early 2017, will compete against the Mercedes-Benz SL.

Infiniti plans a four-door coupe in 2017 or 2018 positioned above the Q70 that would go up against the Porsche Panamera. The coupe could share Mercedes' modular rear-wheel-drive architecture and be powered by a turbocharged V-6 capable of 600 hp to 700 hp.

Infiniti also is considering the Q50 Eau Rouge, which would be a low-volume $100,000-plus image car for 2016 or 2017, using the Nissan GT-R's hand-built twin-turbo 3.8-liter, 560-hp V-6 engine.

Meanwhile, a Nismo performance version of the GT-R arrives in August.

Nissan also could bring its BladeGlider electric sports car concept to market, with its nontraditional arrow shape featuring a narrower front end than rear.

Toyota and BMW are working together on a sports car architecture that will spawn the next Supra. And there will be a next generation of the Scion FR-S in spring 2017. Toyota and Subaru co-developed the FR-S and its twin, the Subaru BRZ.

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