It’s been a long time since the last Nissan GT-R and 370Z were introduced. The current Nissan GTR was basically introduced in 2007 and the Nissan Z – 2009. That’s a long time for any automobile, but especially long for performance cars that need to keep up with the competition.
There have been a few signs of life regarding the next GT-R and Z – but some of the signs are not that encouraging. Considering how poorly sports cars are selling, and North America’s current love affair with crossovers, the future is bleak. Still, things could turn around.
Here’s what we know about the Nissan R35 GT-R
In a recent Top Gear story, Hiroshi Tamura, Chief Product Specialist for the Nissan GT-R and for NISMO, was asked about the 2020 Nissan R35 GTR was the end of the current generation of the vehicle.
“Is it final? Hmmm,” Tamura-san says. “The traditional, conservative answer is ‘I cannot tell you’… but I don’t know what our next mission will be, our next assignment.”
The popular prevailing rumor regarding the next Nissan GT-R (R36) is that it will either be all-electric or some sort of hybrid. This obviously stresses out GT-R fanboys (and a majority of the motoring world) – especially if they add weight and lower performance.
Nissan says, “Keep the faith.”
Top Gear also had a conversation with Nissan Chief Planning Officer Philippe Klein who said, “Yes, you should keep the faith, because we do! The driving experience is very high on our priority list. EVs are very fun to drive. And we’re moving our petrol powertrains to electrification with hybrid e-power. In the end we would like the regulations to take nothing away from how fun the car is to drive.”
The next Nissan Z
In many ways, the next Nissan Z is a more important car for Nissan as it represents a great return on investment. It appeals to a larger demographic and it has a deep-rooted history with the North American consumer. It represents the “everyman” sports car… well it once did. The base model Nissan Z starts just over $30,000.
In a recent interview, Nissan Design Chief Alfonso Albaisa said, “The Z-car, oh my god. Huge pressure. You can imagine I’m completely excited that I am in the position to work on that.” Rumor has it, the next Nissan Z concept will debut at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
The wild rumors about the next Nissan Z are even crazier than the Nissan GT-R. They range from sharing an engine with Mercedes-Benz (a-la BMW and Toyota with the Supra), a four-door, a crossover, a tiny coupe, an electric car, a mild hybrid… someone may have even suggested steam power.
What’s crucial is the performance and price. The next Nissan Z needs to match or beat the Toyota Supra while still being somewhat affordable. It would be a big “plus” to have a manual transmission variant, but; to that end, it will take a small miracle to see the next Nissan Z in showrooms.
We will keep an eye on Nissan’s Next GT-R and Z. With any luck, we will hear a lot more in the next few months.