Nissan is to reveal a new small sports car at the Tokyo motor show in November
10 September 2013

Nissan will reveal a new small sports car at the Tokyo motor show in November.

The new car is set to preview a replacement to the Nissan 370Z, Nissan development chief Andy Palmer revealed to Autocar at the Frankfurt motor show.

The Tokyo show car is likely to be a concept, and is set to completely redefine the Z car concept away from its current brutish application. Palmer confirmed the new model would be “smaller and lighter”, but no less powerful than the current model with power set to come from a downsized turbocharged engine.

It’s possible the concept version could use an electric drivetrain, with production versions set to switch to petrol power. However, it’s feasible an electric version could be in the car’s line-up, although Palmer remained coy on exact details, hinting at both.

He did however confirm that the new model would “feature a high performance Nismo version to ensure it could compete in the market it’s already in”.

“I don’t want to position it as a Toyota GT86 style car though,” he said. “That traditional sleek sports car is nice but not the market I want to address. I want to address the issue of a next generation sports car.”

Palmer wants the new car to become a poster model for a new generation of car fans, with as much emphasis on connectivity as performance.

“Kids in the UK are no longer taking their driving test,” he said, “and we have to energise those kids. The car has been demonised to them, so we have to find a new way to recall them. There’s no demons in an electric motor with lots of power and torque. You can look at the Juke Nismo as well for elements of the new car.”

Palmer said he has seen the car and driven it, and described it as “enjoyable and energising”.

Click here for more Frankfurt motor show news.

Our Verdict

The Nissan 370Z is seductively honest, entertaining and great value, too. But it’s no long-haul cruiser

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15 September 2013

"Palmer wants the new car to become a poster model for a new generation of car fans, with as much emphasis on connectivity as performance."

It seems that Palmer is operating under the same ridiculous premise as others in the industry. They foolishly believe that young people are shunning auto purchases because they are too enthralled with cell phones, gaming, and social media. They feel that the "solution" is to produce vehicles that are "connected" and more "game like".

It's all rubbish of course, and the results are cars that are less accessible than ever. The tiny percentage of young drivers who have new vehicles, fuel and insurance purchased for them are happy to drive. But for the majority, the outrageous cost of purchasing, maintaining and insuring a vehicle is no longer manageable. Adding content and complexity is obviously not the answer to such an obvious problem.

Meanwhile, serious enthusiast vehicles once aimed at people who could actually afford to purchase them are being "refocused" to appeal to those who can not. It's marketing madness, pure and simple.

Rather than cynically assuming that young people can be lured with gimmickry, I commend them for their priorities. Why SHOULD they neglect their vital educations and social interactions, working at low wage jobs simply to own a car?

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