Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S got you excited? Well, it appears the new Toyobaru twins might be moving the needle at other automakers, too. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the pair may have challenged Nissan to once again reinvestigate its on-again, off-again plans for an affordable, lightweight sports coupe of its own. Nissan's Chief Creative Officer, Shiro Nakamura, says his employer is looking at downsizing its Z sports car, though it isn't clear if that would mean the Japanese automaker would field two separate Z models or just replace the current 370Z with a smaller, less costly model.

"I much prefer smaller sports car," Nakamura tells the Herald. "It is the time to look at that. With 370Z, we still don't know next generation will have a larger or smaller engine."

If Nissan were to reduce the size of the 370's powerplant, it would be the first time that model's displacement has dropped. Since the Z gets its model designation from the size of its engine (3.7 liter V6), Nissan could have a problem marketing a smaller Z called the 300Z, since the last time a new 300Z was sold in the States was way back in 1986.

More likely would be the revival of long-forgotten nameplates like 200SX or 240SX. Either would almost certainly be direct competition for the Subaru and Scion rear-drive coupes.

Nakamura reminded fans that even if the 370Z loses some cubic inches, Nissan will still have the young but already legendary GT-R. When asked if Nissan would be willing to support three sports cars, Nakamura says, "If there is a market, we will do it."


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  • 135 Comments
      sfblog
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nissan never sold a 300z, it was called the 300zx. It last sold in the US in 1996 not 86.
      dontneedpants
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's sad that a pure, inexpensive driver's car from Toyota/Subaru would catch rival auto execs off-guard. Remember, this was in "concept" form for years and years. Nothing jumped from behind a curtain. Now suddenly the suits at other companies are waking from their collective coma? Amazing.
        imag
        • 2 Years Ago
        @dontneedpants
        They knew it was coming, but they didn't expect the success. That wasn't unreasonable. The RX8, the S2K, and the 370Z basically bombed, while NC Miata sales, which were never hugely impressive, are down to a trickle. The thinking was that people weren't buying sports cars. It turns out that the Toyobaru is different enough, or well marketed enough, to have opened the door again.
          theblackemblem
          • 2 Years Ago
          @imag
          I think the RX-8 and the S2000 bombed simply because they weren't updated. It's not that people didn't buy cars; it's because car companies sort of drove them away.
          Greg
          • 2 Years Ago
          @imag
          How did the 370Z bomb? Nissan still makes it, don't they? The Z has always been a niche seller.
          ilmhmtu
          • 2 Years Ago
          @imag
          The S2000 ran for 10 years. It didn't bomb. I'm sure Honda didn't think it would last that long. It sold in expectedly small quantities.
          J
          • 2 Years Ago
          @imag
          S2k 'bombed', if we must use that term, because of the price tag. Miata sales are hampered by grade school mentalities who are convinced that it's a chick car.
      cq_
      • 2 Years Ago
      competition always rewards the customers....
      Jason Golden
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, the next-gen Nissan Z isn't already in the finishing stages of design and planning? Hmmmph. Well, we can always appreciate more choices in the "light & nimble sub $25K" slot. Bring it!
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is exactly what I was hoping that the BRZ would do... get other car makers to start looking at smaller, lighter-weight, (preferably) RWD, affordable FUN cars again. You might not like the BRZ, ok fine, no problem, but if the release of the BRZ causes companies like Nissan to rethink their strategy of ever-larger, ever-heavier, ever more expensive sports coupes, then I will be thrilled.
      Shiftright
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let the battle of the affordable RWD sportscars begin!
      jonnybimmer
      • 2 Years Ago
      The bring the 240SX/Silvia back? DO IT, but please don't make the same compromises with the US version as you did with the rest of the world's. A truck motor has no place in such a lightweight coupe.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      My suggestion is go back to a 240Z. Make the next gen Z lighter, smaller engined, 2.4L 4cyl would be nice. There could be a turbo option for a more high end performance car, and perhaps offer a convertible.
      Jeff Ridder
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ummmm...wasn't that what the 240SX was?
        Greg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jeff Ridder
        Nissan needs to bring the SX back!
      Sukairain
      • 2 Years Ago
      Talk talk talk talk talk - JUST DO IT
      over9000
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bring back the Silvia/240SX~!!!
      Matrix
      • 2 Years Ago
      Give us the Nissan 250sx already.
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