nissan 370
'Test mule' car said to be trialing new running gear

Next-generation 370z and GT-R in the works

Speaking at the Tokyo Motor Show this year, Nissan product planning boss Ivan Espinosa said that both the cars are "at the heart of Nissan and we are actively looking at and working on them”.

The current models have been in our shows for around 10 years, pleasing the Z-car fans. But most agree that it’s time to bring these two flagship sports car models into the next decade.

Dancing around the subject, Espinosa said “can expect something soon” on both models. He added: “I can’t share what but that doesn’t mean we’re not working on them. Nissan is about exciting cars.”

With the sports car market becoming more challenging, manufactures in some cases have had to collaborate their projects to keep R&D and production costs down. Espinosa admitted that Nissan are open to conversations with other car manufacturers with sports cars, to adapt with the changing market. Speaking on the subject he says “There are no golden rules and we are particularly open, but there are some elements you can’t play with as these are brand icons. There is a limit to what you can share and communise, with expectations not to go beyond what customers expect from a brand.”

“There are challenges and difficulties that will force us outside to look at different options but they are important to us.”

When asked if Nissan were considering whether to go electric with the next-gen 370z, Espinosa said that Nissan are “discussing it all the time”, but was unsure as to whether traditional sports car buyer was ready to go electrified. The battery adds weight and weight adds other challenges to overcome.

Nissan’s Senior Vice President for design, Alfonso Albaisa was also at the show, explained that Nissan are adamant that the Z-car heritage will not be lost. Speaking on the matter he went on to say “It’s easy to imagine [a successor to the 370Z]. The Z is the car that democratised sports cars back in the ’60s. Before that, you had to have the money to buy a Porsche or Jaguar. The current car has been a long time in the dealerships and so you can imagine the designers working on a successor, even if I am not going to confirm it."