In an interview with Australia-based Drive, head of Nissan design Shiro Nakamura says the next generation of the automaker’s sports cars could shrink—in overall size and engine displacement.
Each generation of the Nissan Z has grown since its introduction in the 1970s, and along with the growth came larger engines. The original Datsun 240Z was powered by a 2.4-liter inline-six cylinder engine; today the Nissan 370Z is powered by a 3.7-liter V-6. Now, for the first time, Nissan is considering a smaller Z with a downsized engine.
“I much prefer smaller sports car,” Nakamura told Drive. “It is the time to look at that [smaller engines]. With 370Z, we still don’t know next generation will have a larger or smaller engine.”
When asked whether Nissan was preparing a BRZ-fighting replacement for the Silvia – known in the U.S. as the 200SX and later the 240SX – Nakamura didn’t answer but added, “Light, sport coupe is a nice concept, I like it,” adding, “If there is a market we will do it.”
Do you think there is enough market potential for Nissan to sell three sports cars in the U.S.? Or would a Nissan Z with a downsized engine cut into the market of a Silvia replacement?