NEWS: It’s the end of the road for the Nissan Z Roadster

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.

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10 Responses to NEWS: It’s the end of the road for the Nissan Z Roadster

  1. Nigel says:

    To much, this needs to stop ! (Maybe after 2020 some hope will return).

  2. Mark Newton-John says:

    Cry all you want, if no one is buying them, why keep losing money on them? Look at yourselves and what is in your driveway. If it isn’t one of the cars they are discontinuing, you’re blaming the wrong people.
    Apparently people want space that the convertible top takes up and that mail slot they call a rear window is a bummer as well.

    • Ricky says:

      Wholeheartedly Agree. Plus where was all this missing enthusiasm when the cars like these and others were still available? It seems the Japanese companies have learned their lessons from previous “enthusiasts input”…

    • LB1 says:

      Exactly. This is why I hate all the Supra MKV haters. People didn’t buy the MKIV, what do you expect Toyota to do? Lose money again by sinking a fortune into development and not being able to recoup?

  3. Bob says:

    The problem is passion and it’s precipitous decline. Regarding my own generation, 7 presidents ago when I was young, I would’ve loved to have one. I would’ve laughed at the SUVs that work for me now.
    Regarding millenials and generation Z, I’ve read more than once, (most recently on Drudge), that those generationsprefer urban living, Lyft, Uber, public transportation and see any car as a redundant, unnecessary expense. The death knell.

    • Negishi no Keibajo says:

      They are not even getting a driver’s license until college, after college or none at all. The sustainability problem is addressed in my next paragraph.

      As for Lyft or Uber, I have a fundamental problem as to where they are in the labor market; employment meant to be either temporary or supplemental with no benefits while passing all the risk onto the contractor is predatory employment. It does nothing to shore up true employment and is certainly not a career.

      Mass transit in the US is hard after living with Japan’s outstanding system.

      • Bob says:

        You have to remember that the US has never been a mass transit society.
        Personal mobility is, (or was), a cornerstone of freedom. And the automobile was the ultimate expression of that concept throughout the 20th century.
        And still is for us old guys. Today’s youth, not so much.

        • Negishi no Keibajo says:

          Most US cities had remarkable mass transit systems. They were torn up under the weight of the motor bus lobby and archaic railroad laws. My city had an excellent trolley system but was ripped out in the 30’s & 40’s.You can see what remains in many cities with oddly wide streets with a center section where the trolley tracks were. They’re the underutilized left turn lanes now. In Tokyo they filled in canals but at least they filled a lot of them with subways.

          • Bob says:

            No argument there.
            But if you want to indict the real culprits, you’ll have to pursue Ford, GM and Chrysler, Packard, Desoto, Kaiser and the other auto makers.
            GM and Ford in particular had very powerful lobbies in Washington during those years. GM was practically a department within the federal government.

  4. ahja says:

    I like the roadsters. 370Zs always seemed like they undersold to me. And the roadsters 100x so. Being a Toyota guy and also anti-V6, I never pursued one, but they seemed to be the best bang for the buck for a Japanese car.

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