Last fall, we had a typical-for-TTAC slap fight between Bark and Mark, centered around Nissan. I’ve been ruminating on this argument for months, but my conversation last week with NISMO chief Hiroshi Tamura — and seeing what Nissan chose to feature in New York — finally pushed me over the edge.
As I walked through the glass doors in the Jacob Javits Center last Wednesday morning, preparing for my first auto show as a member of the press, the automaker that’s defined much of my motoring life was front and center.
Somewhat inexplicably, Nissan had rented possibly the best, highest-traffic space in the entire hall and filled it with a tribute to a six-figure supercar, complete with a bunch of old cars the U.S. never saw when new.
The next-generation Nissan Z (which may or may not be: 1. A crossover; 2. Real; 3. Inspired by a bicycle; 4. FWD; 5. All of the above) may be less expensive than the current car, Nissan design chief Mamori Aoki told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
A lower price would appeal to a younger generation who can’t afford the Z’s current $30,000 price tag, Aoki said. Well, yeah.
Interestingly, the report notes that a less-expensive Z could make room for a more powerful Nissan sports car that isn’t called a GT-R. Aoki told the newspaper that the GT-R would remain a flagship performance car that wouldn’t compromise speed for something as silly as price. Wonderful.
When I arrived at the Emerald Aisle at LAX on Wednesday, I had a slight moment of excitement when I saw a low-mileage Nissan 370Z coupe resting comfortably in the far corner of the Executive area. You see, I very nearly bought a Z back in 2005, and the car has always held a special interest for me. Back then, the Mazda RX-8 and the Nissan 350Z held quite a grip on the young American car culture—the Z was the official ride of Drift King in The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift (a fine and underrated film, in the opinion of your author). I tried to talk my father into buying a 350Z convertible a couple of years later, and I nearly succeeded, too, until his wife got a look at it and declared it to be “impractical.”
So I sauntered over as casually as possible, so as not to alert my fellow National customers to the presence of the Z on the lot, and quickly threw my bags in the back. “Aha,” I thought. “I won the Rental Car Lottery today!”
Then I started to drive it.
Nissan may consider building a NISMO variant of its Maxima sedan based on sales of its SR model, The Detroit Bureau is reporting.
Initial sales of the Maxima have been relatively strong so far, and Nissan said it expects 20 percent to 25 percent of its sales to be of the sportier SR model.
A performance version of the Maxima would be welcome news considering the model was nearly killed off four years ago.
Nobody at Nissan is talking about IDx.
That’s what we learned from Pierre Loing, Vice President of Product Planning for Nissan North America. But, there’s a chance certain styling elements could make their way to other products, or possibly even a front-wheel drive performance option below 370Z.
While at the 2016 Nissan Maxima media preview in Nashville, Tennessee, we had a chance to prod Loing on what could be the future of IDx considering its overwhelmingly positive reception in Tokyo and Detroit.
The current Corvette is doing well for itself as of late, not only moving off the lot at a greater clip between January and June of this year than last, but also besting the SRT Viper and Porsche 911.
Nissan’s motorsports division doesn’t think it has enough brand awareness in America. To counter this perception, Nissan tossed out a few NISMO (NISsan MOtorsports) models at the Chicago Auto Show. First up we have the Juke NISMO which is Nissan’s oddly shaped small crossover vehicle. The NISMO treatment makes the Juke look even more conspicuous on American roads with shapes and styles never before seen on a production vehicle. Whatever you do, don’t look up Juke in the Urban Dictionary while at work.