QotW: What will future JNCs look like?

Nameplates like Supra and GT-R have a special place the hearts of fans and motorsports enthusiasts, and many of their design elements have stood the test of time. But could they be hindering new designs for future JNCs? What would the next GT-R look like if it didn’t have to have round rear combination lamps, or if the Supra didn’t have to have an inline six? What would a model lineup look like if we cleaned the slate and rebuilt it on new ideas and interpretations of travel? It’s a question manufacturers struggle with all the time.

What will future JNCs look like?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “JNC Roulette – Red or Black exterior?

Last week we asked which of two popular colors suit a car better. There were some that voted outside the, um, spectrum and their takes on other colors were noted (we may need to create a bracket system to find the ultimate exterior color). The winning comment comes from Jeremy A, who not only proved that red is an eye-catcher, but that the era mattered. In the 80s, after the greens and golds of the 70s fell out of favor, red rose to the top and became the de facto color of sporty cars during the Reagan administration. Honda Preludes, FC3S RX-7s, and Toyota AE86s all seemed to default to red more than any other color. Prince wrote a song about red Corvettes. Even the stoic Mercedes SLs, E30 BMWs, and Porsche 911s were most popular with a splash of 赤.

Because of my age, when I think JNC, I usually am thinking of late Showa-era bubble cars. But that’s just because it’s what I remember being on the road: S130s, Z31s, AE86’s, CRX’s, HiAce vans,2nd and 3rd generation preludes, Pulsars, FB and FC RX7’s. At the time, even mundane grocery-getter appliances were sporty in their feel and appearance, if not exactly in their performance. Because of that, I’ll almost always go with red- Red has a way of making a sporty car look like a sports car. Red cars often look fast just sitting still.
To this day, I can look at a red JNC, and say, “That looks sporty. I’d have that.”

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8 Responses to QotW: What will future JNCs look like?

  1. Tim said:

    I’ll assume that we’re not talking about current-generation vehicles which have a timeless quality to them that will make them future classics, but rather prospective vehicles which have not yet graced the circuit even in prototype guise. Unfortunately for us automotive enthusiasts, the future is bleak. As autonomy becomes more sophisticated and powertrains shift towards the electric, efficiency becomes the benchmark by which a vehicle is judged. Let’s face it, a car with a super low drag coefficient generally isn’t what we’d call “a looker”. It’s my opinion that a future JNC needs only one thing to become the “classic” we want: Form following function. The car has to first and foremost be good. Either a lightweight chassis with a big engine bay, or a comfortable cruiser, or a handling superstar. Appearance is almost irrelevant.

    Imagine the ND if Mazda tried to put the NA taillights on it. Imagine the STI if the Forrester grill was the defining characteristic of the lineup. Where would the 370Z be if Nissan put Altima headlights on it? They’d all still be fun vehicles. Chevy broke years of tradition with the C7 Corvette tail lights, and almost every ‘Vette fan I know of has no problem with it. I doubt anyone here would mind if Nissan released the IDX and called it a “510”.

    Would a Supra still be a Supra if it had a 500HP turbo 4-banger from the factory?You betcha. Would the masses be pissed if the “400Z” had a 4L V8 producing 600TQ/600HP, and it lost 200lbs in the process? Heck, they’d get some Mustang converts. If the Crown came to the US, would journalists call it a bad car? Heck no! They’d rave over the quality and comfort.

    The future JNCs are just cars that happen to be outstanding in their field. I, for one, look forward to it. Maybe I’ll place my bets right and end up with a future classic myself.

    • Daniel said:

      Very true the reference to the Nissan IDX, unfortunately I see that the future aims to have more similar situations: a great concept, a car that every enthusiast would like with the technical elements within reach and ends up drowned in the bureaucracy of the manufacturers, I do not feel that in the future improves, Mr. Toyoda is making an effort but the rest of the manufacturers will follow him?

  2. Carlos said:

    Rocket bunny or liberty walk wide bodies VIP’s and Stance cars

    • cesariojpn said:

      F*** no, It’s just the Ricer Mods of this generation. Just in a better coat of paint, properly fitted bodykits, wheels that actually look like they weren’t made by a meth-up 12 year old with Copic Markers, and under a “Rich YouTube Douche Lifestyle” burando banner that gets mocked by Content Cop.

  3. Jeremy A. said:

    I don’t think any particular design language is holding back any current or future Japanese cars from becoming JNCs. The cars that had their start in the bubble, those will always have legacy design language, such as the sugar scoop lights on the Z, and round combination lights on the GTR. Toyota has shown us that exciting looking cars can be built to comply with the push for aerodynamics, and as more and more cars become ‘world cars’, especially as specific outputs of small displacement turbocharged motors increases, we’ll continue to see the quirky, but practical cars that make up the majority of the JNC ranks outside sports cars.

    I think future JNCs will have three shapes. Long hood short deck, low slung cars, big box people carriers, and hatchbacks of all description.

  4. ahja said:

    If its even going to be around to generate some nostalgia it needs to last that long first. Sportscars and sporty coupes tend to have the highest survival rates after decades. And even they suffer high attrition rates. E80 sedans are likely to go extinct while AE86s will live on in the hearts and garages of many of us for decades to come. Even though AE86s were much fewer in number originally.

    Cars are already bloaty and huge and look like they could easily eat a showa era car whole. High beltlines and tiny greenhouses and big fat pillars and fenders and doors. So I guess a future JNC will look likes a sportstank.

  5. cesariojpn said:

    All sanitized designs. So basically, Camry and Prius will be the dominate nameplates where JNC’ers from 2068 will be lusting over.

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