The Nissan 370Z's Successor May Still Be A While
The 370Z, despite declining sales and an aging platform, will soldier on for a at least few more years.
In production since 2009, the Nissan 370Z is one of the oldest sports cars on the market. Few cars are built on a platform as dated as the current Z's. In fact, the only two older platforms we can think of are the Chrysler LX-based Dodge Charger, which traces its roots back to 1998, and Nissan's other sporty offering, the GT-R, which predates the 370Z by two years. Even the preceding 350Z's stay on the market lasted only seven years, and now at eight years old, the 370Z is on track to record its poorest sales since launch in 2009, worse even than the current low set by 2016.
Rumors of the next Z car, dubbed "390Z" by some, circulated in January after Car and Driver reported the new Z would debut at this year's Tokyo Motor Show, maybe alongside Mazda's RX-9, but former Nissan Australia managing director Richard Emery swatted these rumors down this past Monday.
“Even we don’t know,” said Emery to Motoring, “and we would know if there was something pending, so there’s nothing pending. Not any time soon.”
“Look, it is eight years old but sports cars do tend to have long life cycles,” continued Emery, “it’s certainly at the end of its life cycle, but whether it’s got two years left or four years left, at this point I don’t have anything to the contrary to suggest it’s not got a few more years left in it.”
Emery is correct about sports cars having longer life cycles. Manufacturers sell enthusiast cars in smaller numbers, so they have to recoup R&D costs by lengthening their production cycles. The Ford Mustang, for example, tends to renew itself just shy of once per decade, though the current Mustang was spotted skulking around in prototype camo back in 2013, so the lack of "390Z" test mules being seen probably means we can expect the 370Z to still be in showrooms come 2020.