The current Nissan 370Z has been in production since 2009 and has received several facelifts through the years as a way to keep it fresh in the market. However, Nissan is apparently planning something more radical for the next-generation as AutoCar UK recently reported that the company will reimagine the Z car as a sports crossover.
The purported change for the Z car may be down to market demand (particularly in the US) as more and more customers favor crossovers instead of traditional sedans or coupes. While it may put off fans of the Z car, Nissan believes that they will still be able to satisfy a number of enthusiasts while allowing the rumored Z crossover to be introduced to a new customer base.
In addition, Nissan's Chief Creative Officer, Shiro Nakamura previously stated that the next Z car will not be a 390Z as the 370Z is already big and they might be planning to change the nameplate itself.
“I don't think the next one is going to be the 390Z. It's not growing because it's already big enough. You know, 350 started with the 240, 300, 350 and then came 370. I don't think we should go higher,” said Nakamura.
The Chief Creative Officer also added that the Z car needs a revolution instead of an evolution, stating that they need to take another path for the coupe. They will keep the GT-R as the brand's halo production car while the Z is geared more as an affordable sports car for the younger generation.
In terms of design however, the upcoming crossover Z will likely be the same size of the Juke and may use a new Renault-Nissan Alliance CMF-B platform. The engine line-up will reportedly be a new line of 1.6-liter inline-fours that may become available with turbocharged aspiration.
A concept version of the rumored crossover may arrive at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show but is expected to be fitted with a hybrid powertrain that has an electric motor that will power one of the axles.
With the radical changes, Nissan will market the rumored crossover Z to bridge the gap between the larger Qashqai and the quirky Juke.
Note: Pictured above is the current Nissan 370Z
Source: AutoCar UK