The end of the Heisei Era has taken another model along with it. Nissan has confirmed that droptop versions of the Nissan Z will no longer be sold starting with the 2020 model year. While this doesn’t affect the Z itself, this does make the fate of the Z seem slightly more tenuous when variants are getting culled without a clear successor in place.
The news comes from Motor Authority, wh0 quoted Nissan spokesperson Kyle Torrens as saying the company “will not offer the Roadster variant for the current-generation Z beginning with model year 2020.” The timing seems particularly unfortunate, considering Nissan had just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Z-car and debuted a special 50th Anniversary Edition of the 370Z.
We probably shouldn’t be surprised, sadly enough. The Z34 Fairlady Z Roadster ended sales in Japan way back in 2014. Nissan moved only 798 units in the entire four and half years the model was sold in Japan, compared to the over 10,000 fixed-roof cars sold in the same time period. Last year, Nissan USA sold 3,468 370Zs total.
Strictly speaking, the first official convertible Fairlady Z arrived in the Z32 generation in 1992. It continued with the Z33 generation and the 350Z convertible. However, if we go way back to 1959 and the origins of Nissan’s Fairlady sports car, they were actually all roadsters before the “Z” suffix was added.
The death of the open-top Z is comes hot on the heels of the axing of two other major nameplates. Last week, Mitsubishi announced the discontinuation of the Pajero and Toyota announced the termination of the Mark X. Unlike with those, however there will be no Final Edition send-off. We just pray that the Fairlady Z name will find a successor. For now, though, it really does feel like the close of the Heisei is the end of an era in more ways than one.