The prospect of a Z car having more than two seats may not be totally alien to Nissan's engineers - but the idea of it being a jacked-up crossover certainly is. 

Nissan is about to take a huge risk with its sports car sub-brand by creating a new Z car in the image of a crossover, and it knows it. As creative director Shiro Nakamura describes it, this will indeed be a “revolution”.

Sadly, that’s what is required - because when all’s said and done, the Nissan 370Z has done little to boost Nissan’s image or its sales sheets. Its combination of a hefty V6 petrol engine and rear drive has looked increasingly old-school against ever more sophisticated rivals.

Furthermore, the sports car market itself has been shrinking, squeezing the potential impact of even a successful Z car.

We’ll know more in a few weeks, when we finally get to see what Nissan’s interpretation of a sports crossover looks like. But the company has a terrific record on SUVs, and if it can mix that slightly raised stance with entertaining dynamics and a trick hybrid powertrain, it could have a fascinating Z on its hands.

Not a traditional one, I grant you, but potentially a sales hit.

Read more: New Nissan Z car to morph into crossover