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Tokyo Motor Show: Future Of Nissan Z Unclear

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Anyone come across this article? Not sure what to make of it.

 

Link: https://www.carsales.com.au/editorial/news/2017/Performance/Nissan/370Z/tokyo-motor-show-future-for-nissan-z-unclear-109559

 

 

The future of Nissan’s iconic Z sportscar line is in the balance – with its demise likely. That’s the only conclusion from statements across the Japanese company’s leadership at this week’s Tokyo Motor Show.

 

In roundtables with the Australian automotive media, at least three senior Nissan executives shied away from confirming the existence, let alone the timeline, of a replacement for the current 370Z.

 

The existing Zed car was updated this year and relaunched as a NISMO enhanced model.

 

In effect, however, the car’s current form dates back to 2002.

 

Renault Nissan Alliance Chief Planning Officer, Philippe Klein, the company’s head of development, Hideyuki Sakamoto, and Design Chief, Alfonso Albaisa, were all enthusiastic but evasive when questioned on the future of Zed.

 

All, hinted at an electric future for any replacement for Nissan’s affordable sportscar. However, Klein’s statements suggested NISMO versions of mainstream Nissan vehicles could fill the niche if the Zed line is mothballed.

 

“There is a lot of passion behind this vehicle. It is still very alive, at the same time it is a segment that is incredibly challenging which is making the [business] case more difficult,” Klein opened.

 

“We have the GT-R and we believe there is some good potential behind this. And we have in the same category all the effort we are starting to make on the NISMO side -- which is another way to offer excitement to our customers, leveraging the more conventional body styles.

 

“We have no intention to quit excitement but we are going to make it happen in different ways.”

 

Sakamoto, who leads Nissan’s advance development division, suggested e-Power will be part of any performance Nissan, but hinted at development bottlenecks.

 

“We want to launch a new vehicle [to replace Zed] however the time is really critical and we are now studying utilisation of the new e-Power [driveline] and how it can create more aggressive dynamic performance than a conventional powertrain,” the development boss opined.

 

“[but] The timing [to do this] is strictly limited by other departments,” he warned.

 

Sakamoto also note that other aspects of Nissan EV development could augment sports models.

 

“Many technologies are available to create the new pace of sportscar… including some of control logic for handling,” he said.

 

“Next question,” design chief Albaisa quipped when confronted on the subject by Aussie media.

 

“We don’t have a fixed thing… [but] How can we be completely blind of the importance of that name [Zed] to our company. It was a real relevant sports car in its time”.

 

In contrast, the future of Nissan’s much more expensive GT-R seems guaranteed.

 

“Supercars are somewhat easier to make. But the 240Z’s beauty was that it was almost a democratisation of the true sports experience. You should know that I love these cars,” Albaisa commented.

 

“GT-R is an engineering icon for the company… I don’t know what shape it [the GT-R replacement] will take, but the shape I will take is ‘fired’ if I mention it.

 

“Let’s just say we working on something…

 

“The 50th Anniversary of the GT-R is coming up – we can’t ignore that,” the Miami-born design chief teased.

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From my biased point of view Nissan made a mistake in going with the GTR as it's performance icon when as far as most of the world was concerned the Z car was it's sports car. If Mr K had been in control this would not have happened being as he was focussed on the biggest market, the US. Now with the GTR lump Nissan are on a hiding to nothing against Porsche, trying to use technology while neglecting the basics of a sports car which the early Zeds had. Like most big car companies they miss what it is that makes Porsche able to sell the best at inflated prices and instead try to widen the appeal of their performance icon which then brings them into competition based on price.

 

Porsche on the other hand have stuck with the same basic platform refining it over the years and staying ahead in the power race while using technology sparingly but usefully Worst of all the Zed morphed into an over weight executive express that was nothing spectacular in any area and fought for sales in a price sensitive market. Nissan killed the Zed car through neglect and  a  losing concept, I don't think that many consider the R35 as worthy of the description 'performance icon'.

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In my opinion the Z died with the S130Z in 1978... every incarnation since then has been nothing like the original.

 

Nissan needs to refer to Mazda's MX-5 as proof that a well priced, well built sports car that is bare bones and basic will sell like hot cakes.

 

And for god sake, stop making Fairlady Z's Fatlady's....

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Basically the power to weight ratio is where you start with a good sports car, it seems like no manufacturer is prepared to put a powerful engine in say a $50k sports coupe. Any car that can out perform it's rivals has a head start in the sales race but Nissan for one have been behind power wise in recent times. Then they bring out the much hyped much fail R35 which competes with the expensive Euros that have established performance and street credentials, the people at Nissan need to get out more into the real world it seems.

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If Mr K had been in control this would not have happened being as he was focussed on the biggest market, the US.

 

Ha ha ha ha ha!

 

If "Mr K had been in control" it would have had a 3.36 diff, 4-speed trans and more ergonomic bias on the ashtray than on the handbrake lever...

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Yeah I think that the current Z'ds have lost the shape to what the true origins of the Z'ds really were back in the day. The only resemblance I see is the three dash gauges that have been modified over the years to the current digital clock. 

 

I think it would be nice to see a updates version of the Z'd to reflect the early models like Fork did with the Mustang BUTTTT with a higher safety rating 

 

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In my opinion the Z died with the S130Z in 1978... every incarnation since then has been nothing like the original.

 

Nissan needs to refer to Mazda's MX-5 as proof that a well priced, well built sports car that is bare bones and basic will sell like hot cakes.

 

And for god sake, stop making Fairlady Z's Fatlady's....

 

You sound like someone that hasn't driven or owned a 350Z. I honestly think that it was a very true homage to the original, it's just that everyone's expectations were so high after cheap 90s turbo imports that it was taken out of context.

The 240Z was good in it's day but i feel it's performance is over-exaggerated compared to truly high performance cars of it's day.

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I could just never get there with the 350z/370z styling, for me the FD RX-7 is more like the Spirit of the original S30Z. Light weight, drop dead gorgeous styling, great dashboard design, 2 seater (in most cases), strong competitor for the Porsche's of the same era.

 

I guess that's why I own 1, and not a 350z/370z. I would like to drive 1, but the 350z looks so dated today. 370z is nicer but not fond of the front lamps and it's a bit fat looking on certain angles.

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What Porsche have done with the 911 so Nissan could have done with the S30 ie retain the basic body shape and concept. Recall seeing a pic of a Maserati a few years ago which was drop dead an image of an updated S30, gorgeous. A friend of mine has prepared a 370Z for racing, he is a very experienced S30 racer so knows what he's doing, the amount of weight he ripped out of it was amazing but he even went to the trouble of cutting the ends of all bolts that were too long and saved a few kg that way. He does prefer to race the S30 though.

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I could just never get there with the 350z/370z styling, for me the FD RX-7 is more like the Spirit of the original S30Z. Light weight, drop dead gorgeous styling, great dashboard design, 2 seater (in most cases), strong competitor for the Porsche's of the same era.

 

I guess that's why I own 1, and not a 350z/370z. I would like to drive 1, but the 350z looks so dated today. 370z is nicer but not fond of the front lamps and it's a bit fat looking on certain angles.

 

Yes I agree than can look quite bulbous from some angles, but if you look at the interior styling of the 350Z, it was very ahead of it's time. They made a very original looking interior, styled in it's concepts to much more expensive cars. It's a shame the Renault inspired build quality lets them down.

 

It's also a very old car now 15 years old, and it's in that no man's land of dated exterior styling at the moment. Stick an Amuse kit on them and that makes a big difference. I'm sure people said the same thing about the 240Z in the 80s, hence all the abominations we see come up for sale, that offend our eyes so much these days.

 

The FD RX-7 was an expensive car when it was new and was not in the same price point but i agree with your sentiments hence me owning one too. It's from a different generation though and cannot be directly compared to the 350Z in this context. It didn't need to have a million airbags and all the modern safety requirements and the modern features the 350Z needed to be competitive as a new car on sale. If you look at cars produced in this "4th generation of sports cars" a sub 1500kg curb weight is actually not too bad.

 

My point is further proven by the fact that the FD was withdrawn from sale at the same time the 350Z was launched. You need to remember you aren't a new car buyer and for you to buy it second hand it has to appeal to those people.

 

The 240Z will always be looked at through rose coloured glasses being the first of it's type and a ground breaking model of the time. The sequels can never live up to the hype of the originals as people originally went in with low expectations.

Edited by d3c0y

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Yeah that's a bit more like it, Maserati right?

 

I think Mazda's RX Vision was 1 of the most beautiful sports cars I've seen in a long time.

 

 

Be a shame if it ends up still born however...

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Yes Gav it is a Maserati and a 2+2 , they have done several models over the years that have strong Z styling theme, this is the latest.

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Maybe  Renault's control over Nissan is similar to what  Peugeot has done to there cars

 

 

Sorry i ant seem to find the video without the adds

Edited by 24 Dat

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I was at the Tokyo Motor Show this year 2017 and not one 370Z even on show!!!

It was I believe an anniversary for the Skyline GTR which was being promoted and their Nissan concept car plus the Nissan Leaf their show of cars on display was somewhat disappointing to the point of boring. 

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Yeah that's a bit more like it, Maserati right?

 

I think Mazda's RX Vision was 1 of the most beautiful sports cars I've seen in a long time.

 

Be a shame if it ends up still born however...

 

 

Off topic I know but this was a recent article on the RX Vision Gav:

 

https://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/mazda-rx-vision-delayed-116080

Edited by andyk_79

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Off topic I know but this was a recent article on the RX Vision Gav:

 

https://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/mazda-rx-vision-delayed-116080

 

If it had Tesla's powertrain and Mazda's looks, it would be the best sports car I've seen in the last 10 years. I'd sell my soul to own 1, Mazda makes some fantastic handling cars to boot!

 

I've seen the new AMG GTS getting around in Sydney (in a colour similar to Safari gold too!) and I love it.

http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-reviews/mercedes-benz/mercedes-amg-gts-2015-review/

 

I feel it looks like an S30Z/FD3S hybrid, so probably why it tickles me..

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