Currently reading: Nissan plans trio of sports cars
Road-going, sub-£20k Urge model to join 350Z and GTR

Nissan is still intent on extending its sports car range with a production version of the Urge sports car, previewed in concept form at the 2006 Detroit motor show. And the company’s UK arm will be closely involved in the car’s development. Although development of the car remains at an early stage as Nissan determines the positioning and character of the car, the company’s Cranfield engineering centre in Bedfordshire has been benchmarking competitors’ cars, and will also help define performance targets for the new model.This makes sense, because the UK is likely to be one the biggest markets for the car, has a long history of making sports cars and is particularly demanding about them.Meanwhile, the next-generation 350Z will be an evolution of the existing model, insiders have revealed. Although extensively renewed, the much-liked silhouette of today’s car will survive, but with more sophisticated design details. The door handles will look less chunky, for instance, and the slightly crude joint of tailgate to rear wings will be tidier. The mechanical recipe will be much the same, too – no surprise, given how effective and successful the current car is – but like the styling, it will be more refined. Expect less road noise and a smoother ride, but handling that’s equally entertaining. With the arrival of the GT-R in the UK next year – it makes its debut at the Tokyo motor show in October – Nissan should very quicky transform itself from a brand known mainly for its 4x4s to one with a portfolio of sporting models as strong as any currently on the market.

Richard Bremner

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