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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Nissan Isn't Giving Up on the Z

      Never gonna give you up, never gonna make you cry

    “It’s an interesting question because there is a lot of passion people this vehicle. This vehicle is still very alive but at the same time it is in a segment that is gradually declining, so that is making the [business] case more difficult," said Philippe Klein, Nissan's chief planning officer when asked about a successor to the 370Z back in October.

    “We have also the GT-R, with which we still believe there is some good potential from this, and we are in the same category starting to make a lot of effort on the Nismo side. Which is another way to offer excitement to our customers leveraging the more conventional side. We have no intention to quit excitement but we’re going to make it happen in different ways.”

    This sparked speculation that either the 370Z would be going the way of the dodo bird or go a completely different route. It seems death isn't on the table for the Z car.

    "The Z is a difficult market. It is rather shrinking worldwide. But we still believe there is a place for the Z and we want to keep it alive, and that's what we're working on," said Klein to Automotive News at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this month.

    "That's for the midterm. For the long term, there are other considerations. If we do a complete new vehicle, what should it be to keep the passion alive? And we're working very seriously on this — how we can keep the Z alive and refreshing and what would be the next generation?"

    Those are very good questions to be asking considering how many people are taken with the likes of SUVs, crossovers, and trucks. Not helping are government regulations on safety and fuel economy that has required automakers to add more equipment, which in turn causes vehicle weight to increase. Not a good thing for a model that is marketed as a lightweight and affordable sports car.

    "The passion is there," said Klein. "The question is how can we refresh it and what will be the breakthrough for the long term?"

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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    Life for the Z car I can see as an EV Pocket Rocket.

    Nissan needs to take inspiration from Tesla with Roadster 2.0 and build a Z EV 1.0 that competes on the level of the Tesla. That is where they will gain fans and sales as a Halo auto of EV power.

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    19 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Life for the Z car I can see as an EV Pocket Rocket.

    Nissan needs to take inspiration from Tesla with Roadster 2.0 and build a Z EV 1.0 that competes on the level of the Tesla. That is where they will gain fans and sales as a Halo auto of EV power.

    That is pretty much the only way I can see it still going...otherwise it really doesn't have a place at Nissan any more...

    • Thanks 1
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    The problem with the 370Z is the price.   And it always has been.  The convertible has no back seat, the coupe I can't even remember if there was a back seat some years, if there was it was probably too small to use.  So it is too small also.  And it isn't cheap like a BRZ or Miata, they want V8 Mustang money for a smaller, less powerful less equipped car.

    The Z could work with a base 4 cylinder for $24,900 with a V6 model at $28,900

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    38 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    The problem with the 370Z is the price.   And it always has been.  The convertible has no back seat, the coupe I can't even remember if there was a back seat some years, if there was it was probably too small to use.  So it is too small also.  And it isn't cheap like a BRZ or Miata, they want V8 Mustang money for a smaller, less powerful less equipped car.

    The Z could work with a base 4 cylinder for $24,900 with a V6 model at $28,900

    Sounds like you want to return the Z to its 1970s/80s roots as a Corvette alternative for half price.

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    31 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    Sounds like you want to return the Z to its 1970s/80s roots as a Corvette alternative for half price.

    That would be cool...something like a Nissan competitor to the 86.  But with more variations...more a pure sports car than a GT.

    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

    The problem with the 370Z is the price.   And it always has been.  The convertible has no back seat, the coupe I can't even remember if there was a back seat some years, if there was it was probably too small to use.  So it is too small also.  And it isn't cheap like a BRZ or Miata, they want V8 Mustang money for a smaller, less powerful less equipped car. 

    There were 4 seat 2+2 variations for 4 generations of Zs from the mid-70s to the mid-90s.  350Z and 370Z have been 2 seaters only, no need for a 4 seater with the G35/37 coupes.   I've driven a '90 300ZX TT and an '04 350Z, they definitely had their appeal..fun cars. 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    4 hours ago, riviera74 said:

    Sounds like you want to return the Z to its 1970s/80s roots as a Corvette alternative for half price.

    Gotta do something......no one even cares about the car....nothing separates it from the rest of the field.....

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      “We have so many ingredients from within. It is a unique opportunity,” said Mr Bolloré. “Others have to rely solely on external partnerships and compromise, but we have frictionless access that will allow us to lean forward with confidence and at speed.”
      Bringing all these ingredients together, Jaguar Land Rover is on a path towards double-digit EBIT margins and positive cash flow, with an ambition to achieve positive cash net-of-debt by 2025. 
      Ultimately, Jaguar Land Rover aims to be one of the most profitable luxury manufacturers in the world.
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      Mr Bolloré concluded: “As a human-centred company, we can, and will, move much faster and with clear purpose of not just reimagining modern luxury but defining it for two distinct brands. Brands that present emotionally unique designs, pieces of art if you like, but all with connected technologies and responsible materials that collectively set new standards in ownership. We are reimagining a new modern luxury by design.”
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    • By William Maley
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      “We were last speaking about [Peugeot’s U.S. re-entry] a year and a half ago, before Stellantis. We can’t not take into account that in the coming days Peugeot will be part of this new world. I imagine in the coming months due to the new strategy we will have to adapt and reconsider all elements, including this one,” said Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato to Automotive News.
      A key reason for this reconsideration not wanting overlap brands in the U.S.
      This is a polar opposite to comments made last year by Larry Dominique, CEO of PSA North America.
      Imparto's focus for Peugeot in the near future is concentrating on its core markets - Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. There are also plans to get the brand back on track in China. As for the U.S., Imparto said it was "still on the table" down the road.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      You would think that Nissan has forgotten about the 370Z, considering not much has been done to it in some time. But the Japanese automaker wants to make it clear they haven't forgotten about their sports car. They have been quietly working on the next-generation model.
      Last night, Nissan introduced the Z Proto which is a thinly-veiled concept of the next-generation model, possibly named 400Z due out within the next few years.
      You will instantly recognize the Z Proto as being part of the Z family. Nissan's designers draw quite heavily from the original 240Z up front as evidenced by the hood, teardrop-shaped LED headlamps (only available on Japanese-market 240), and square lower grille. The side profile also has another nod to the 240Z with the cabin pushed far back. In the back, echoes of the 90's 300ZX with a sloping roofline and rear light treatment.
      The interior looks production ready with a digital gauge cluster, dished steering wheel, sport seats with yellow contrasts, and a six-speed manual. The only callback to older Z models is a three-gauge binnacle sitting on top of the dash.
      Nissan is keeping mum on the two important parts of the Z Proto - engine and chassis. On the former, Nissan says the concept uses a twin-turbo V6 - possibly being the 3.0L used in the Q50 and Q60. This engine produces either 300 or 400 horsepower depending on the version. We may see a smaller engine option being available on the production model.
      According to Nissan, "work is now underway to synchronize the power with the grace and control that has defined the Z for the past 50 years." Hopefully, more details begin to spill out before its debut.
       
      Source: Nissan
      Press Release is on Page 2


      New Nissan Z Proto looks to the future, inspired by its past
      NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The new Z is coming.
      Nissan has unveiled the Z Proto, signalling the company's intent to launch a new generation of the legendary Z sports car. Shown at an event beamed around the world from the Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama, Japan, the prototype features new design inside and out, as well as an upgraded powertrain with a manual transmission.
      In Franklin, just south of Nashville, hundreds of Z owners and enthusiasts watched the Z Proto's Yokohama debut on big screens from their vehicles in a socially distanced event– part of a weeklong schedule of activities during the 33rd annual International Z Convention (ZCON).
      First hinted at in a brand teaser video, "Nissan A-Z," shown in May, the Nissan Z Proto pays full respect to 50 years of Z heritage. At the same time, it's a thoroughly modern sports car.
      "The Z represents the joy of driving in its purest form and has helped shape Nissan's DNA as a passionate, innovative challenger," said Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida. "Ever since the first generation, it has captured the hearts of car enthusiasts all over the world. That's why we're so excited today to be able to say to them: Yes, the next one is coming!"
      Z Proto is one of 10 new vehicles that Nissan is showing for the U.S. in 20 months, along with top-sellers like Sentra and Rogue, and innovative new models like the all-electric Ariya crossover.
      "The United States is home to one of the most devoted and enthusiastic Z communities in the world, with nearly 1.35 million total sales over the model's 50-year history," said Mike Colleran, senior vice president, Nissan U.S. Marketing and Sales. "With new models like Sentra and Rogue opening new eyes to our brand, Z Proto is our loudest statement yet that Nissan will continue to bring vehicles that thrill to U.S. showrooms."
      Z Proto exterior: past meets future
      Sporting a bright yellow pearlescent paint – a tribute to a popular paint scheme on both the first-generation 240Z and the 300ZX – the Z Proto boasts a fresh, attractive exterior design with a silhouette that communicates respect to the original model.
      Using a theme that combines elements of previous generations while also projecting futurism was challenging, said Alfonso Albaisa, head of design at Nissan.
      "Our designers made countless studies and sketches as we researched each generation and what made them a success," Albaisa said. "Ultimately, we decided the Z Proto should travel between the decades, including the future."
      The shape of the hood and the canted, teardrop-shaped LED headlights are both unmistakable reminders of the original Z. The rectangular grille dimensions are similar to the current model, although the grille fins nod to the past. The form continues to exude both sportiness and elegance.
      "The LED headlights have two half-circles that hark back to the Japan market-only 240ZG of the 70s," Albaisa explained. "The ZG has clear dome lenses over the headlight buckets, which under light give off two circular reflections over each headlight. We liked that unique characteristic and discovered that it naturally fit with the Z's identity."
      The link to the original Z is most striking when viewing the Z Proto from the side. The roofline flows from the nose to the squared-off rear to create a distinctive first-generation Z profile whose rear edge was slightly lower than the front fender height giving the Z its unique posture. The signature transition from the rear quarter glass to the low-slung position of the rear tail adds to the effect.
      The rear takes inspiration from the 300ZX taillights, reinterpreted for the modern world. Set within a rectangular black section that runs across the rear and wraps around the outer edges, the LED taillights convey a sharp glow.
      Lightweight carbon fiber treatments on the side skirts, front lower lip and rear valance ensure nimble performance. 19-inch alloy wheels and dual exhausts complete the Z Proto's striking road presence.
      Z Proto interior: modern tech with a vintage touch
      Designed to fit driver and passenger like a glove, the Z Proto's cabin seamlessly blends modern technology with vintage Z touches.
      The interior design team sought advice from professional motorsports legends to give the Z Proto an ideal sports car cabin, both for road and track. This can be seen in the Z's instrumentation. All vital information is found in the 12.3-inch digital meter display and arranged to help the driver grasp it at a glance, such as the redline shift point at the twelve o-clock position.
      The new, deep dish steering wheel offers the driver quick access controls without losing its vintage aesthetic.
      Yellow accents are found throughout the cabin, including stitching on the instrument panel. The seats feature special accent piping and layered seat material to create depth.
      Sports car joy: an exhilarating, dynamic performer
      The original Z was built to bring the joy and excitement of sports car ownership to as many people as possible.
      "The Z has always been a strong dynamic performer, making it easy for customers to enjoy its capabilities and feel as connected as possible to the car," said Hiroshi Tamura, chief product specialist of the Z Proto. "This has been true through all its generations, and this is what drives our passion to innovate and challenge the norm."
      Each new generation had a more powerful engine, although the Z is about more than power increases.
      "Z is more than just powerful and agile," Tamura continued. "It is designed to create a connection with the driver, for the car to be a 'dance partner' for their on-road adventures."
      Make no mistake though, the Z Proto packs a powerful punch. Under the elongated hood is an enhanced V6 twin-turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. As a prototype, work is now underway to synchronize the power with the grace and control that has defined the Z for the past 50 years.
      "Nissan is transforming its business," said Uchida. "This summer, we unveiled the ground breaking all-electric Nissan Ariya crossover, which represents the future of mobility. Even as we open this new chapter, the Z, its heritage and passion, express who we are and has been shaping our DNA for over fifty years."
      Nissan Z Proto Specifications
      Z Proto specifications*
      Engine
      V6 twin turbo
      Transmission
      6-speed manual
      (an automatic option is also in development)
      Length
      172.5 inches
      Width
      72.8 inches
      Height
      51.6 inches
      Wheel and tire size
      Front: 255/40R19
      Rear: 285/35R19

      View full article
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