The Taliban recently revealed a supercar they have been developing for the past five years, but it is unlikely to pose significant competition to established supercar manufacturers.
The Mada 9 is a prototype supercar, created by a team of 30 engineers from the Afghanistan Technical Vocational Institute (ATVI).
According to Ghulam Haidar Shahamat, the chief of ATVI, the engineers have modified the engine to make it more powerful and to allow the car to go faster than what would be expected from a hatchback engine.
Despite the years of development, the Mada 9 is still considered a prototype, and there are plans to add an electric powertrain in the future.
A representative for the Taliban stated that the development of the Mada 9 was a point of pride for Afghanistan and highlighted the prototype as an example of the country's capability for scientific development.
Other officials expressed their hope that the development of the Mada 9 would help to improve Afghanistan's international image, which has been negatively affected by the Taliban's takeover of the country.
As the Taliban regained power, many people from Afghanistan sought to flee the country, while others who stayed behind were deeply fearful of the returning regime's actions.
Since assuming control of Afghanistan in 2021, following the withdrawal of Western forces and the collapse of the civilian government, the Taliban has imposed strict restrictions on human rights within the country.
Afghan women have been disproportionately affected by the Taliban's repressive laws, which include bans on girls attending school, women traveling without a male relative, and entering public places such as parks.
The Taliban has also imposed bans on products it deems as "corrupting the youth", including TikTok and specific video games, which are now prohibited in Afghanistan.
Despite initial claims from the Taliban that it would lead a more progressive government that would allow women to participate in society, the actions taken since regaining power have shown that these promises were empty.