Nissan design chief hints at return of Silvia or lightweight Fairlady Z

Over the weekend design chief Shiro Nakamura told the Sydney Morning Herald that Nissan is looking to downsize its sports cars. “I much prefer smaller sports car,” he was quoted as saying. “It is the time to look at [smaller engines]. With 370Z, we still don’t know next generation will have a larger or smaller engine.” Nakamura-san noted the importance of lightness, which would allow smaller-displacement engines for similar performance.

This led to speculation that the the Silvia would return, and we’re going to fuel that particular fire even more. Our contact tells us the word from inside Nissan is that the Silvia S16 has in fact been given the green light (again). 

When Mr. Bean shelved the project back in 2009, S16 development had apparently been well under way and much of its mechanics already in the advanced stages. Interestingly, the new Juke sv got the 1.6 liter turbocharged engine originally slated for the S16. Is the world ready for an AWD 160SX?

There was also consternation that the next-generation Fairlady Z would drop in displacement to a 200Z or 250Z, creating a marketing conundrum when ad men are forced to explain why the numbers on the trunk are getting smaller.

Ahem, may we offer the a solution?

Just call it the 240Z. The name instantly evokes memories of one of Nissan’s greatest, and 2.4 liters would make a nice six-cylinder or a turbocharged four. More importantly, however, we’d love to see Toyota and Nissan duke it out with similarly-sized lightweight RWD cars. It’ll be like 1987 all over again.

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13 Responses to Nissan design chief hints at return of Silvia or lightweight Fairlady Z

  1. Mike - Union76 says:

    1.6 4cyl or v6?

    Turbo 1.6 V6 Renault in F1 in 2014……………………………… re-badge

    “How I long for an S110”

  2. E-AT_me says:

    with the already success of the BRZ FRS, nissan would be stupid not to send in a fighter.

  3. Tyler says:

    Please don’t call a new one the 240Z. I hate when companies do this because it always makes searching harder. Take the VW Rabbit for instance. Now you have to add “Mk1” to searches to avoid mid 2000’s boring-ness. As for the actual engine, why not choose a slightly smaller turbo 4 with the *same power*. Then they could claim “same great power, less gas” or something. You know, because Datsun Saves.

  4. Danny says:

    I really hope Mazda responds with a boosted, flared-fender and hard-topped MX-5 to compete with the BRZ and possible new Silvia. And I know that Honda could build something really awesome if they remember their roots.. build a car smaller than the late S2000, with a coupe body and high-revving 1.6 liter inline 4 that sings like the old S600… oh to dream.

  5. stanczyk says:

    Some good news hopefully …
    Toyo-baru is quite exciting (like every other “cheap sport-car” -> because banksters took all the money .. we need to enjoy the cheap ones ..) … and sth interresting from Nissan stable (before there was only Nissan which makes sports cars from Japan – 370 Z and GTR , where Honda, Toyota , .. Mazda had at least Miata and RX8) is a great idea .. let’s hope they won’t aks us to wait as long as Toyota/Subaru ..(and how about more expensive Subaru looked a little bit more “subaru-ish” ?!? … (like old XT for example ..) )

  6. Ken says:

    Everyone and their mom has a turbo 4 cylinder motors. I’m all for retro revive but it needs to have certain heritage traits for a Z with nothing less than an inline/v 6.

  7. Dachshund says:

    …370z just never had the right ring to it. 350z was pushing it.

    Let it beat Camaros with no more than three liters, no less than six cylinders, add boost and lightness, and you will have something very much more true to the Z tradition and name than any previous Renault Z…

  8. Killua says:

    The Juke’s MR16DDT engine sounds very… boring. I think that is Renault’s fault.

    Anyway. Nissan should release a new Silvia to compete with the 86/BRZ, with options for a NA and a turbo version, just like the old ones. I would also like to see the Z getting smaller in size and displacement.

  9. Marlowe says:

    New S16 should use the renault base 2.0 turbo engine from the Mégane 2.0 turbo RS which could be mated to a 350z tranny. Possibly shorter wheelbase than the Z with a wider track.

  10. cesariojpn says:

    Can these car companies stop being cock teases already?

  11. dankan says:

    I doubt a Silvia and smarter, better Z would be coming, as I can’t see how that could fit in the market. Just take the mooted Silvia, use a 1.6 turbo as the base model and a 2.0 turbo as the option, and call it the Z and be done with it (to try and bring back the Silvia wastes all the brand equity spent in the past decade on the Z). Z’s have been 2+2 in the past, and turbos are the way of the future. Don’t try and take on the Detroit dinosaurs, as they ‘ll all be downsizing soon anyway.

    Keep it light, simple and cheap. The BRZ/86 showed the template, and showed the market is there.

    Then axe the silly Super GT championship and get some door-banging action using BRZ’s 86’s and Z’s.

  12. jace says:

    they should just make more s13’s, just the way they were but with uncrackable dashboards, a better looking interior, nicer stock wheels etc.

    too many have been fucked up, you never see good ones anymore.

    RIP S13’s.

  13. PLEASE BUILD A BRZ COMPETITOR! I will likely buy a BRZ if I can’t get a Datsun equivalent. A modern version of my S30 would be my vote. And, I’m okay with calling it a 240Z.

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