Don’t write the obituary for the Nissan Z just yet.
A source at Nissan told Motor Authority on Monday that the current Z car will be updated to meet regulatory guidelines for safety, and while no successor has been confirmed “there’s strong interest within the company for the Z to live on.” The source requested that their name be withheld because they’re not allowed to publicly discuss future products.
Philippe Klein, Nissan Motor Company’s chief planning officer, told Automotive News: “The Z is a difficult market…it is rather shrinking worldwide. But we still believe there is a place for the Z and want to keep it alive, and that’s what we’re working on,” noting those plans are for the mid-term.
The Z car hasn’t been a priority, even though the current model dates back to 2009. Competitors ranging from the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro to the Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster have all but eclipsed the Z in terms of power, performance, and technology.
Over the years, rumors have circulated regarding the Z’s fate including one that the Z would morph into a crossover akin to the Gripz concept, which was shown at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show.
What about beyond this generation? Klein also told Automotive News: “For the long term, there are other considerations. If we do a complete new vehicle what should it be to keep the passion alive? And we’re working very seriously on this—how we can keep the Z alive and refreshing and what would be the next generation?”
The future of the Z car is murky, but it’s not dead, and there’s passion within the company to see the nameplate continue.
Stay tuned for more as the Z story develops.