Nissan Drops a Hint That the Z Car Might be Dead

Nissan's chief planning officer was reluctant to confirm a successor to the 370Z.

8000vueltas.com

The Nissan 370Z is getting long in the tooth and there’s no successor in sight for the sports coupe. While it’s still a great, affordable sports car, the 370Z is starting to show its age and it’s making us worried about the future of the iconic Nissan Z car.

Something that did not help that worry are recent comments made by Nissan chief planning officer Philippe Klein at the Tokyo Motor Show. Australian publication Drive (no relation) reports that Klein did not sound confident about continuing the Z legacy.

“It’s an interesting question because there is a lot of passion people [have for] this vehicle,” Klein said of the Z. “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.”

That doesn’t sound too good. Klein went on to talk about the GT-R which is kind of silly considering it’s not in the same segment as the 370Z. The two cars are separated by $80,000 in their starting prices and are in completely different leagues of performance and overall quality.

“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.”

In other words, the folks at Nismo are going to slap some red trim on the Leaf and tell themselves it’s just as sporty as a 370Z. At this point, the best-case-scenario for the Nissan Z name is to turn into a sporty crossover with a true successor to the Z showing up at Infiniti. Infiniti has a history of sharing the Z platform, our best hope is for the luxury brand to turn it into a true enthusiast’s sports coupe.