Nissan 'discussing' electric 370Z successor
An executive has hinted that concepts for the next Z and GT-R could be coming soon.
Nissan is apparently inching closer to revealing plans the 370Z and GT-R's respective successors.
Both sports cars are beginning to stretch the typical automotive life-cycle, as the 370Z entered production in 2009 and the current GT-R goes back even further to 2007.
Automakers have been axing development projects to funnel resources into electrification, apparently putting sports cars on the back burner during the industry shift. Nissan enthusiasts have been left wondering if the 370Z and GT-R will meet the same fate.
Nissan product-planning vice president Ivan Espinosa shed some light on the issue at the Tokyo Motor Show, acknowledging that both models are "at the heart of Nissan" and the company is actively working on both projects, according to Autocar.
The executive declined to provide specific details, though he did say that the company is open to finding development partners and the possibility of an electric follow-up to the 370Z is something that is under discussion "all the time." Decision makers are apparently not entirely confident in the business case for an EV Z, however, due to battery weight and the possibility that such a proposition may not be well received by traditional sports-car buyers.
"The current car has been a long time in the dealerships and so you can imagine the designers working on a successor, even if I am not going to confirm it," he added.
Rumors circulating early last year suggested Nissan may be considering the Infiniti Q60 platform for the next-gen Z, potentially called the 400Z and delivering 400 horsepower for the base model and 475 horses for a Nismo edition.
The latest executive comments suggest Nissan is among several automakers that have exterior designs mostly locked in for next-gen sports cars but are left agonizing over powertrain strategy. Industry veterans may see electric sports cars as a risky bet amid waning demand in the segment. Automakers with one or more recently-updated traditional sports car seem to be more open to electric, however, as reflected in rumors of a Toyota MR2 successor and next-gen Porsche 718 built upon a shared EV platform.
Espinosa says Nissan sports-car fans can "expect something soon." The powertrain uncertainty and talk of platform sharing suggests any final product is still years away from production, however. In the meantime, it would not be surprising to see one or more unique concepts that could help the company gauge reactions to different options before a final decision is made.