QotW: How can Nissan save the Z?

214-DL0594_Datsun 240Z Safari Rally

The news late last week that Nissan is releasing a crossover inspired by — not necessarily replacing, but inspired by — the Z caused “grab the pitchforks” style unrest among the enthusiasts. We know the automotive landscape does not favor sports cars now, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for automakers to justify them. Nissan already has the supercar killing GT-R, so making an even more expensive and powerful Z does not seem to be the solution.

How can Nissan save the Z?

What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the next blue chip JNC?” 


Funnily enough, many of you nominated cars you currently own. Hmmm… Our favorite answer came from ahja, who nominates the Isuzu Bellett GT-R and takes a jab at us to boot.

2000GTs, Z432s, and 311 Silvia’s each number in the mere hundreds that were originally made. Likewise there were under 2,000 C10 GTRs and supposedly “a hundred” C110s. About 1500 Cosmos were made.

Low production figures is a prerequisite for future “blue chipping” status. There may be other requirements, or rarity may be really all there is to it. I submit the Isuzu Bellet GT-R, with only 1400 having been produced. Like the GTRs and the Z432, it offered a significantly different drivetrain from normal, along with identifiable exterior fanservice. And like all those cars, it is pretty good looking.

Why I probably might be wrong: Isuzu was never amongst the major Japanese auto companies, even then. It went under permanent GM control after the Bellet. And on top it is now defunct as an auto maker. In other words, it lacks and will forever lack a vibrant base of Isuzu owners interested in their car’s company’s past. See: Humber, Rover, Hillman, Packard, Nash. They all might have had very cool cars (they did), but they are barely even known, let alone valuable.

I have some other answers too, but I’m not going to share them unless/until I safely have one in the fleet. Keep others off their scent. Like you guys. My competition for these kinds of cars.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

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41 Responses to QotW: How can Nissan save the Z?

  1. Jim Daniels says:

    Let me just copy and paste from my yesterdas coment.

    Hummmm, Z- harritage. Then there is that amazing preforming GT-R but not so good looking and out of the price range of the masses. What else does Nissan build, knowbody cares. When people use to think of Japanies automobiles the order went like this; #1 Datsun/Nissan, #2 Honda, #3 Toyota. Now, People think #1 Toyota, #2 Honda, #3 Subaru. Woops, Nissan is not there anymore.

    Sports cars and racing is not a profitable business. However, what comes from sports cars and racing is name noterity. Just like the ugly game of politics name noterity wins votes. The old phrase win on Sunday, sell on Monday is still an ever presant occurence. Nobody needs a sports car. This is true.

    There are companies that build sports cars for the ultra rich ( Bugatti, Ferrari, McClarin). There are companies that build sports cars for the rich (Poscshe, BMW). There are companies that build sports cars for the normal Joe’s (Mazda, Subaru). The Z is still made but no one seems to care. Lets go back to the win on Sunday, sell on Monday thing. Oh, and Harritage.

    Porsche has not done to bad sticking with harritage, oh, and I think I have heard of them doing a little racing. Flat six, motor behind the rear axle. No one would buy those enengering blunders. Thank God they finally came up with enough electronics to tame the beast and even better a Cayman. Harritage.

    Nissan has a harritage of winning more races at one time than the mighty beast from the east. But that is ancient history. A Z in name only really is not a Z. You must stick with harritage. A winning attitude at the corprate office, race support, light, low, straight 6, rear wheel drive. All of these things cost money that a company does not see a direct return on. However, indirectly, through name recognition and I want to be associeated with that brand, finincial gain is seen. You must build up harritage, not another docking station for your phone.

    I talked with a few Nissan PR guys and gal at Monteray in 2014. They had nothing to say that cought my intrest. I tried to discuss harritage with them and attempting to recoop the Nissan harritage through buiding a real Z and dominating the class again. The PR people were only interested in the new electronis which they thought the public would be interested in. Following a market or leading a market. The view never changes when you are behind. Come on Nissan, poke your head out from behind that lead dogs ass and get a breath of fresh air into your intake tract and make a pass.

    The proud owner of a Datsun 240Z. PS I have never considered purching any modern Nissan product. They only sell boring commuter.

  2. Alan T says:

    ^that was a little more Jack Daniel’s than Jim Daniels…

    I’ll bet Jim’s own “boring commuter” is a Honda Quaalude.

  3. Stuart Kayrooz says:

    Coming at the issue from the perspective of an avid Toyota fan (and therefore probably isn’t as emotionally attached as true Datsun enthusiasts) albeit one that appreciates the history and relevance of the Z car-

    I think at this point the Z car needs a business case behind it rather than what enthusiasts probably are looking for, in order to be truly “saved”.

    The “Z car” name still has a lot of cachet, and the silhouette is fairly distinctive – large, sloping bonnet, relatively upright windscreen, roofline sloping gracefully into the rear glasshouse and straight down at the rear – it’s a look that can transform relatively well into a shooting brake – which gives the practicality that will be needed for a business case to be made for the car.

    Rather than trying to replicate history, using the history to break new ground would be a logical approach – a two-pronged attack with the platform being developed to be as versatile as possible – a luxurious RWD 4-door shooting brake in the Infiniti stable, with a “Z400” in the nissan stable, binning the extra Luxury equipment in favour of Nismo tuned suspension, younger styling than the graceful Infiniti, and a bit of extra power from a new (hypothetical) turbo-charged small 6 cylinder engine (with power equivalent to a NA 4L V8) that will inevitably need to enter the Nissan line-up if they are to keep emissions down and refinement/performance up. This would be positioned somewhere in the market around the Toyota Supra Successor.

    Potentially, the platform would need to encompass the next Q60 coupe as well, but should have the dimensions to allow it relatively easily, possibly even the Q50 sedan.

    Further down the line, as Infiniti grows and needs a small sedan to compete with the Lexus IS250, the same approach could be used for a “budget” Z300 model – this time a 2 door small coupe (in a similar vein as the Toyota 86, but a price and performance focus that puts it somewhere above the 86, priced around the upper end of the MX-5 offerings), and a Luxury oriented 4 door coupe in the Infiniti stable (positioned around Lexus’ equivalent offering).

    This way, Nissan has a couple of Z cars that don’t have the full design investment weighting down on them alone, they expand the Z heritage in a practical way, and help the brand to stay relevant.

    The biggest threat is probably a transmission beginning with C and ending with T – and in that way, the biggest threat is probably from Nissan themselves…

  4. Sleepin says:

    IMO, Nissan killed the essence of the Z car with the Z32. Not that the Z32 was a bad car, it just was not the lightweight, long nosed straight six of yesteryear. I was excited to see the 350Z, even more excited to see the 370Z. Not necessarily because they were Z cars though. Almost every car maker out there can display modern versions of older cars, it has been played out.
    What Nissan needs to do is re-capture the essence of what the 240,260 and 280 Z(X’s) were (even though they bulked up quite a bit by the time the 280ZX came along). An impractical light-weight small two-seater with RWD and a straight 6 pulling it along. Think something along the size of a BR-Z or FR-S with a straight 6 in it. The Z was a sports car, not a super car, not a muscle car. It was light and nimble with enough power and feedback to make driving FUN!

  5. Dankan says:

    I think the question depends on what you mean by “saving the Z”.

    Does that mean making a profit on Z sales?

    If it’s all about the bottom line, and for Carlos Ghon it probably is, then you make a very aggressive looking crossover with a turbo and all the “social” capabilities you can get away with, then thow in some low lease rates on the base version.

    If your idea of saving the Z is making a popular (in its target market) sports coupe, then it means something else.

    Nissan have said that they feel 6 cylinders are essential to the identity of the Z. I think they’re wrong, and for two reasons. The first is one of heritage. The Fairlady Z was a Fairlady before a Z. And that first Fairlady was a 4-cylinder convertible. Basically, a Miata. Mr. K himself said he felt the Miata actually best personified the spirit of the original Z, and that also gives you an idea of what the spirit of the original Z was.

    It was a sports car. A corner-carving, financially accessible tool for driving fun.

    Nissan used to have 3 GTs in their line-up at the same time. The Skyline (sometimes as GT-R), Z and Silvia. The market no longer exists for 3 sports cars in a single line-up. It barely exists for even one. If the Z is to have a future, it needs to be that one sports car, and it needs to survive in a world that’s hostile to its very idea.

    Sports cars don’t sell well anymore. Their sales are measured in half lives, and after the first 24 months, they’re almost money losing propositions. If the Z is to have a future, it’s going to have to be cheap enough to build that it can survive on global sales that would be a poor month for the Altima in the US.

    That means you need to build it the same way Toyota and Subaru did the 86/BRZ/FR-S. It’s going to need to be a parts bin special. Fortunately, the Nissan-Renault parts bin is considerably better stocked.

    There is a very nice 1.6 turbo which already exists in the Juke NISMO and the Renault Clio RS. A little bit of work a la Ford with the Fiesta ST and it could even sound almost decent. Take that motor, a well-done manual gearbox, and a decent LSD, then borrow the suspension bits from Renault Sport and throw them together on a shortened Clio/Juke/Note platform with a hole cut to fit the driveshaft to the rear, and then get to lwork on the styling.

    The parts are already paid for, so it’s not that expensive to do. Once the engineering work is done, it can even be expanded. You could throw together a limited run of “Bluebird” RWD sedans/wagons, and maybe even a tiny pick-up.

    Sales wouldn’t be mind-blowing, but if you think about it as a boutique kind of affair, or perhaps as the automotive equivalent of a food truck rather than a gourmet restaurant, it could work.

    It may not be terribly ambitious in the sense of EVO/Top Gear friendly headlines, but a fun-to-drive sports car with enough power to cure some of the Miata/Toyobaru’s perceived failings can exist. Just don’t believe the promises of everyone in their mother’s basement, and build it for the customers that really do exist (the people buying the old BMW 1-series, Toyobarus, Mustangs, Camaros and Miatas), and then market the hell out of it.

    That can work.

  6. ZEX says:

    Why is it that the Z always needs saving??? Why is it that the corvette, 911, mustang, etc… all seem to live on, while the Z needs a life line after each model release?

    In my opinion, there isn’t a standard formula to the Z, and it keeps trying to adapt to the trend of the times. I might be one, if not, the biggest Z fans out there, and I never liked that aspect of the Z history. I love all generations before the 350z, but have to say they only got it right twice through out the lineage. First with the 240z, and again with the z32. The only formula they shared in common, was that they both really were competitve cars that actually could compete with the best. The rest of them sadly to say, were posers to the segment. This is coming from someone who owns all generations.

    My suggestion is Nissan should pick one these two successful Z formula, and stick to it going forward. It seems to be working for all other manufacturers with there iconic models.

    • Ant says:

      Forgive my possible ignorance, as I’m not entirely clued-up on the Z32, but was it really a successful formula? I know it has its ardent fans, but it’s always struck me as being a bit of a blunt instrument – power over finesse. I’m not sure it sold particularly well either – I think I’ve seen more NSXs on the road here in the UK than I have Z32s.

      In contrast, I thought Nissan created a huge buzz around the 350Z, and that one certainly seemed to be popular. The 370Z too,, which is essentially the same formula as the 350Z, but updated. And the latter two seem more similar in spirit to the 240Z than the Z32 ever was.

      In a perfect world, I’d like to see Nissan try and simplify the Z again – small, relatively light, but brawnier than an MX-5 or 86/BRZ/FRS (a 2-litre four-pot turbo would do it these days), and attractive styling.

      In a realistic world… a crossover really is probably the only way to do it. It virtually guarantees strong sales, if not from Z diehards.

      • ahja says:

        In the US the Z has been a very successful formula. And I think that we’ve found the problem, right there! Some foreign cars were designed and built with the American market in mind. It was the ultimate coup. Pop music and rock and roll used to be the same way. “True success” meant success in the US. The Z did this. The 240Z outsold the Japanese Fairlady Zs by an outrageous margin. The 260, 280, and ZXs were made FOR the American market.

        But the US isn’t the cartopia that it once was. On top of that, the countries that have more guys than the US, are actually car markets now, with money, instead of being 3rd world/communist hellholes. Europe has never been a very lucrative market for Japanese cars, and Japan itself, following a multi-decades long “lost decade” has lost their car hunger that at one time was 2nd only to the US itself. They are more content with dorky compacts than ever.

        What does the Z (and every potential sports car) need to do? This is the global era, whether we like it or not, and fewer and fewer cars are being made for select, limited markets. Even the Mustang is a global car now. So a new Z needs to hit the global market hard. That means China. Thailand. Phillipines. Indonesia. Russia. Even Iran. All these places have tycoons who can get LFAs, but their middle class is still kind of poor by American/Japanese/European standards.

        There’s no reason these guys wouldn’t like cars, although they lack the complex heritage and history involved with them for the most part (Phillipines has a long affair with JNCs). Cars are inherently cool and interesting. If a new Z was born, along the same lines as it was originally conceived, there’s no reason it couldn’t replicate its heyday success.

        What were those lines? It was cheap. Significantly so, compared to the cars it was targeting. It offered superior tech specs and power to that same competition. It looked fabulous, low and sleek. It was just cool.

        Of course, I don’t ever expect Ghosn and company ever to figure it out. I think Hyundai or Kia are more likely to hit the formula, or maybe some company none of us are very aware of at this point.

  7. Bill says:

    The problem here is economics.

    To save the Z, or any true sports car for that matter, more people need to buy them. Today’s “youths” don’t care about having a good driver’s car. More and more youths don’t even care to drive at all. Capture more hearts and minds with low-tech cars that make you feel something when you drive them.

    You could also go back to the early 90s and stop people from believing the lie that Civics are great driver’s cars…that might help too.

    • Yuri says:

      Plenty of “youths” love cars and want a good driver’s car. Very few “youths” can afford one. Car companies are always in pursuit of the “youth” market, but never seem to realize that “youths” generally can’t afford a new car until after they are no longer “youths.”

      • Yuri says:

        In related news, many youths have crushing student loan debt. The monthly payment for $140k worth of student loans is Audi R8 /Porsche 911 money.

      • ahja says:

        Seriously. This nonstop pandering to this alleged “all important youth demographic” has had me baffled for a long time now. “Youths” don’t have money and they don’t drive sales trends for things like cars and houses. Don’t try to make entry level sportscars “for” 16-20 year olds, relatively few of them have a mommy or daddy who will buy it for them. Make these entry level sportscars with people who are 25-40 in mind, car companies.

    • Ryan Senensky says:

      To be fair the Miata has been doing just fine for the last 25 years

  8. Rod Panhard says:

    Put the Z in the niche above the Toybaru Consonant twins & MIata, and below the Caymen/Boxster/Z4 in price. The Z looks fat. Put it on a visual diet. Do all that, and it’ll be a winner.

  9. ergun uzdilli says:

    nissan has to get rid of renault , because renault destroyed nissan

    • Ant says:

      A tired and over-used response from those who haven’t taken the time to fully investigate the benefits of automotive partnerships like that between Renault and Nissan.

      People seem to have this idea that Renault is a company somehow sucking the life out of Nissan’s products – when Renault itself has produced some impressive and interesting vehicles over the last few decades. Any of the Renaultsport models, the Clio V6, Avantime, the Sport Spider, Vel Satis etc.

      Nor is Renault forcing Nissan to produce proor vehicles. For one, that assumes Nissan is producing nothing of note – yet since 1999 when the Renault-Nissan alliance started, we’ve had the 350Z and 370Z, two design-led generations of the Cube, the highly-successful and strikingly-styled Juke, the R35 GT-R, the world’s biggest-selling EV in the Leaf, the original 350Z-engined Murano…

      And modern Nissan is successful. Together, Renault-Nissan sells one in ten of all vehicles sold across the world. It’s highly doubtful either partner Alliance would contribute their share if neither had access to the combined resources they do – resources that allow the companies to share expensive things like platforms and engines.

      I know on a site like JNC it’s tempting to view the past through rose-tinted spectacles, and Nissan has made some fantastic cars in the past – but they absolutely have not been “destroyed” by Renault. They’ve flourished, produced some great cars during the partnership, and have selling power they couldn’t have dreamed of pre-Renault.

  10. Mick Beattie says:

    They can save the Z by not building one for 10 years.

    There was massive hype around the return of Z when the 33 was released and people bought them. But by the time the 34 rolled around everyone would wanted a Z had one, and so the sales slowed.

    There will only ever be a finite market for a sports car like the Z, so if Nissan give it some time off the market, it will allow demand and hype to increase again. Come back with a concept Z with a lightweight, 2.4L turbo & rwd. Let people get excited for a year or two and then release it two market and the Z is reborn again.

    • ahja says:

      But the 280Z outsold the 240Z and the 280ZX outsold the 280Z. And that’s when the population of the world, the US, and the Japan were all a lot smaller. It just kept going. And all of them had sales figures that would be shockingly successful for any 2010s sportscar. People in general don’t like cars very much anymore, or something. That might be all there is to it….

  11. Pete240z says:

    At 53 years of age I want a Z. My sales job (4-door requirement) and having a 13 year old girl at home limits me getting a Z until I push her into college (6 more years).

    I also sell to a lot of US manufacturers and I really don’t want to drive a Maxima as I need to portray the humble vendor that has reasonable pricing – I mean look at me, I drive a 5-speed Accord with plastic hubcaps and I’m saving you money.

    So can’t I get a sports sedan?

  12. TSLegendary says:

    I am would you would call a Nissan-born petrol-head Born in the 80’s. All my family members have only owned a Nissan. I own a 1971 Datsun 240Z. Owned a 240sx. and when i was in the market for a new true “sports car” the only option i had was the Z.

    I am 30 years old now.

    A 2 Seater 30,000+ sports car with no backseats or space.Made by Nissan.
    Other option: Nissan Altima Coupe? Nope.

    I ended up with a Nismo Juke RS..
    Reliable/Polorizing/Unique Looks

    The Z needs appeal. The key elements are listed above.
    Everytime i drive the Juke the chassis and looks make me feel engaged to drive it.

    The Juke is not pretty but, you can tell they put a lot of heart into it and its definitely what the 240Z had in character.The Juke is surprisingly, Fun, Cheap , and has the option of having 4 seats!Faster then the FRS/BRZ twins! Even comes with Summer Only tires!

    Don’t focus so much on the competition and go back to doing your “own thing”

    The Z needs to incorporate the sports coupe 2+2 design with the future vehicle as a option to be successful.They did it in the 90’s with the 300ZX 2+2 and that’s what will bring people to the crowd.

  13. Ken S. says:

    I think they’re in too deep to turn away from the Zx approach on the heritage, starting with the transitional s130’s, and z31/z32 zx’s both being more of GT than a nimble ‘Z’ from the previous decade of s30’s.

    They might as well continue the splurging.

    Going with the obvious and expected 380 or 390z with a more wound up & matching displacement powerplant, or an insane 8 cylinder 400z option instead of the rubbish Nismo kit (I guess appeals to the anti-sacrilegious LS swap crowd?). Apparently it’s working for the Mustang line if I’m seeing 500 of those cars on the road every day, in both 6’s/8 cyl trims.

    My only wish is trimming the size and weight of the car than the current gen, even slightly, coupled with a bigger motor and IDGAF attitude, maybe it’ll get the spotlight again as a formidable sports car.

  14. David Nenno says:

    To save the z Nissan can close up shop because the obviously don’t give a shit about cars

  15. Yeng Yang says:

    The Z was competitive with the Supra/RX7/3000GT in the 90’s, but with the R35 in the market, they should be focusing more on the BRZ/Miata/S2000 market. A light, RWD car that is fun, affordable, and quick.

  16. xs10shl says:

    Few companies have the enviable position of owning a letter of the Roman alphabet. Too bad Nissan seem to have forgotten why it got to be that way with the Z. They would do well to stop over-analyzing their product, and do a retro-styled car that’s fun, inexpensive, and cool. Ford did it with the Mustang. VW did it with the Beetle. Mini did it with the Cooper. Fiat did it with the 500.

  17. KLee says:

    Make the next Z car in a very niche market (as it possibly is already) for the hardcore Nissan/Datsun enthusiasts. Make a limited production and create it to beat the FRS/Miata OR have it compete against the mid-high end sportier cars (M3, Mustang, Camaro, etc).

  18. Dylan says:

    How can they save it? Real simple, Nissan should return it return to its roots. Make it cheap, not so technologically overladen, and make it look more like an S30- the Z we all think of when we hear Fairlady. The Z33 and Z34 look like Porsches IMO; there’s too much of a rear and not enough hood. A straight 6 would be a Godsend too, but I know that’s not gonna happen. If they removed useless things like lane monitoring, Nissan could make it a bit more available to the masses. Maybe it’s just a nit pick, but I’ve driven a friends Z33 a few times, and it just doesn’t feel planted; it sloshes about like a pickup compared to other cars in the same price range. The last two Zs have turned into a spoiled highschooler’s first car, and I don’t think they do the S30 justice.

  19. alvin says:

    I try to think forward when it comes to this topic but it’s impossible. Nissan obviously missed the boat and opportunity when the FR/BR came out:

    They compared an icon to what should have and could have been a Nissan product.

    Here’s my forward thinking: to make the Z somewhat competitive with current offerings:
    1) more power
    2) lighter weight
    3) back seats
    4) lower price
    The new NismoZ is visually great but mechanically it’s the exact same car from 2009. In that 7 year span even the Mustang gained a full makeover, engines and refinement.

  20. A.Jones says:

    Nissan can save the Z by making it, basically, a 240sx/180sx in style and (approximate) size.
    Smaller, lighter, and with a smaller engine. Hatchback stays with the 240/180 style, and keep it RWD. Lose the popup headlights, of course. A turbocharged engine a lá the s13 hatch, maybe the 1.8 out of the Juke bumped to around 275-300hp. The name will be changed to just Fairlady Z, since 390 or 400Z doesn’t sound as good and will no longer be relevant.
    As an owner of both a Z (Z32) and an S13 (coupe), I’ve spent an irrationally large amount of time thinking about this.
    Hire me, Carlos.

  21. Beans says:

    Firstly congrats to Dutch 1960 on the QOTW nissan 510 post.. 😉

    There is no doubt Nissan are onto a legacy, but I personally feel it is time for it “Z” to be a Limited edition or restricted build number type vehicle.
    My reason for this is it would build the hype for a new model once a current series sell out, if only a specific number are produced building the value.
    Having owned several limited edition vehicles and I can honestly say that knowing you own something rare in today’s mass produced society is really satisfying to some. Nissan should not under estimate the value a small badge or plaque on the dash saying ‘Build No 1 of 100’ would be to an enthusiast like myself and the broader motoring community.

    cheers JNC

  22. Tom Westmacott says:

    Nissan are in a tricky place; the Skyline-platform Zs have become a bit too big and heavy, and seem a bit pricey nowadays. However, engineering a bespoke smaller, lighter FR platform just for a niche sports model may not be a great business move – all the engine mounting, suspension and structure would need to be engineered and tooled-up for, and it would be hard to make enough sales to pay back that sort of investment.

    However, there is a perfect opportunity; a group platform is available for a light (1100kgs), powerful (300hp), two-seater pure sports car. Alpine originally planned to make their mid-engined speedster as a joint venture with Caterham, but since that collaboration has fallen apart, they would benefit from another model to share the platform costs with. And the heritage of the Z, popular with mainly US-based Japanese-car enthusiasts, would perfectly complement the customer base of the proudly-French Alpine. Alpine are already stretching the 1.6 turbo-four to 1.8L and 300hp.

    Of course, such a car would be very different from past Zs, but the old recipe just isn’t going to work today – a new approach is needed to deliver the same impact, the same wow factor. Call it the ‘Neo-Z’, since capacity-based names won’t work so well now (180ZX anyone?). Alpine are expecting to charge about 40k pounds, however the larger numbers Nissan could sell would bring prices down, making it the perfect partner to the high-tech, big-power, heavyweight GT-R.

    Give it a dramatic wedge-shape, incorporating the classic Z C-pillar treatment into a shape with the poise and stance of a Ferrari for a quotidian price tag, and you would have a new sensation to match that caused by the can’t-make-em-fast-enough 240Z, back in the day.

  23. Randy says:

    Lotsa similar thoughts out there, so what’s one more?

    Go back to the roots of the car, and through its history.

    Long nose, 2-seater, that somebody just escap – er – graduating college can afford, as a base model. Good handling, fun, reliable, etc. Not a semi-supercar, like in the ’90s; a SPORTS car. What made it different from the MGs, Triumphs, etc. of the ’70s? THAT’S what you’re looking for. It was never the ONLY sports car on the market, But it always did well.

    Option availability, so those who wish to relive their time with an original can do so, without having to *gasp* roll up their own windows! Have a t-top model. Have the 2+2. I’ll go so far as to say no turbo on the base model, nor sat-nav, nor movie player in the instrument panel.

    S P O R T S C A R.

    As long as the Miata was brought up: It didn’t sell well because it was techno-heavy, but because it was fun to drive – I believe the magazines called it “a proper sports car.” It doesn’t sell well today because it can carry 7 people and their luggage; it’s the antithesis of that, and THAT is it’s appeal. Fun to drive, reliable, affordable at the base level. Thirty thousand dollars to someone who can now afford it – probably in their 30s, with the wife calling it “irresponsible” – is not your target market. Don’t know how may of the well-heeled mid-life crisis people you’d get, but certainly some. For them, a loaded turbo model, maybe in Black Cherry or Deep Emerald Green (both metallic; not pearl), with the tan leather interior, all the power goodies, t-roof and a stick!

    I like Stuart’s Shooting Brake, but don’t recall a single one that sold well in the U.S. Now in Europe, that could be a whole different story…

    Full spectrum of colors – even some 2-tone availability – and NO CVT!

  24. alvin says:

    But there already is a Nissan Silvia out on the market…it’s called the Ford Mustang EcoBoost. A true S16.

    • Randy says:

      A formula that works… Affordable at the base, up through some track screamer…

      At least we have Notes and Leafs (Leaves?)! 🙂

  25. Sarge says:

    2+2 has ended up killing off every US-sold sports car it was tried in, unless it was done for purely regulatory reasons (Porsche, etc).
    A 2+2 today large enough to fit the gov’t mandated child seats is no longer small enough to be a sports coupe, it’s a 2-door sedan putting on airs.
    2 doors, 2 seats. Coupe’! Coupe’! Coupe’!

    You want back seats, get a sports sedan – there are loads of them.

  26. Fr3D says:

    I agree with the idea of slimming the car down both in terms of visuals and overall weight. Nowadays it seems unlikely to retain a naturally aspirated engine so a downsized turbo V6 can perpetuate the tradition. The next Z may not be like the original one but at least it still lives, Integras or Silvias have disappeared.

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