By on December 19, 2015

Nissan Gripz Concept

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.

“The GT-R continues to showcase and technological flagship for Nissan. The GT-R should always be the quickest,” Aoki told the paper.

In November, GT-R, 370Z and NISMO product planner Hiroshi Tamura told Motoring that he didn’t have any plans to turn the Z into a crossover and that the Gripz concept (pictured above) could be something that funds development of a new coupe.

“No, I don’t want to do that,” Tamura told Motoring. “I have a passion … I have to do this also for base GT-R and 370Z.”

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112 Comments on “Nissan Wants A Cheaper Z, So The Kids Can Buy Them...”


  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Hmmmm looks like a Miata and a Juke had a love child . . .

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Although that looks a little hideous, they need to do something. Nissan has painted itself into a corner with the Z car. A friend of mine purchased all of them….until he decided to get a Grand Cherokee because he hated the 350Z. It was really unpleasant to ride in, and, especially as our roads collapse, he kept having to get new wheels.

    The Juke looked like it could be fun when it first came out. This is maybe moving in that direction – which is a quirky, quintessentially Japanese thing to do. I bet it will be a fun car.

    • 0 avatar
      Joss

      The ugly Juke is fantastically reliabe. It doesn’t handle like a Golf or a MINI but it produces far fewer owner complaints.

      That’s a fact I learned doing research recently. The 2016 Sentra has no SER option just a paltry 130 hp. The base Juke has 186 but i’ll pass on looks and it’s smaller than Sentra body. There’s the Golf but DSG and turbo ice are strong off putters.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Oh god, another Nissan eyesore on the road, even worse than the last ones.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Judging by the ineluctable (40-point word) lowering of roofs this otherwise nice ground clearance will only result in double-ended occupant compression.

    I guess that’s OK since the US is turning into one of those “little 5-foot-high nations” Lloyd George spoke of. ¿verdad?

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Your quote made me look up the context, wherein I learned that Lloyd George later compared German aggression, which had killed a couple hundred thousand in the past month, to a “terror of the roads, with a 60 horsepower car!”

      We’ve got some things pretty good.

  • avatar

    With college loans on average resembling Luxury car notes, these kids will be lucky if they can afford to rent a ZipCar.

    Paying off my $80,000 in student loans was the most liberating move I ever made.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Quite true. My sons have that level of debt, and it’s demoralizing.

      While we whine about the rising price of cars, you get a lot more for your money now than ever before. Can’t say the same about a college degree – valuable as one is.

      • 0 avatar
        IAhawkeye

        Tell me about it, and I’ve been pretty lucky. I stayed home and went to a community college for 2 years before hopping up to the U of I, so until this year I had no debt. Racks up pretty fast though when you make the jump. When I leave in Spring 2017 I should only have a little more than 15k in debt, which still sounds awful to me, but I know it can get so, so much worse. I can’t even imagine the burden 80k of debt right out of college would give someone.

        • 0 avatar
          wstarvingteacher

          It doesn’t appear to me that this comment is going to end up where it should.

          Listening to all these comments about tuition loans really bothers me. Without an education I would never have qualified for even a base entry level position in my field. Thing is that I did 20 years in the Navy before I ever taught. The Navy made college very cheap (albeit tough to find the time). I would probably have continued in the Navy field that I had if I had to hock my whole future to change.

          My hat is off to those of you who manage.

          • 0 avatar
            dantes_inferno

            > My hat is off to those of you who manage.

            I concur. My route to college went via a six-year enlistment in the Air Force and the Veterans Education Assistance Program – VEAP (Post-GI bill where Uncle Sam invests 2$ for every $1 I invested) afterwards. Back then (during the 1980s), college costs were a relative bargain compared to today. So I consider myself fortunate.

      • 0 avatar
        Funky

        This is true, it is demoralizing to have a huge amount of college debt. Having, over the past decades, off-and-on, on various occasions for professional reasons, worked with, worked for, and having been around the campus of several, like 10+ universities, I have seen first-hand that universities have been spending many millions of dollars on new and upgraded learning facilities, labs, and sports arenas. When, frankly, it is often best and often more than appropriate to teach using a chalk board, some chalk, and some very basic equipment. The point is; I agree that, although it is very valuable, you don’t get any more from a university education today than you did in the past (even with the new upgraded multi-million dollar facilities which most likely do not enhance the learning experience enough to justify the level of the expense and the tuition which has increased at a rate many times the rate of inflation over the past 25 years).

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      I myself was lucky since my undergraduate degree in Germany was free and only my graduate degree in the US cost me $25K or so (and that was a State school with “subsidized” tuition)

      but I made a depressing calculation for where I work:
      – Engineers without experience (out of college) are hired as “hourly”with no benefits and for $20/hr. Obviously over time you can become “permanent” with benefits and higher pay and get promoted up (merit based promotion).
      – custodians (union!!!!) start out at $20 and may level out at $25. their promotions are not merit based, all for time served (union!!!)
      – Obviously after many years an engineer’s pay will be much higher than a custodian. but the benefits (insurance, vacation etc. is exactly the same)

      Case 1:
      – If I’m 18 and start out as custodian i will have no debt and at age 22 will already make good money and have no debt and benefits all the way
      – If I’m 18 and go to college to become an engineer, when I’m lucky at age 22 I become an hourly with less pay than that custodian, no benefits at all. i will have loan debt and probably had to beg my parents to be under their insurance…

      Case 2:
      – same as above, if I’m 25 and custodian, still no debt and even higher pay
      – I’m 25 and the engineer from above, i will make about the same money as a custodian, lower benefits (i.e. vacation days are based on years in the company, so they are 4-5 years ahead). and I have debt to pay.

      Case 3:
      – same as above, I’m 30 and custodian, not much increase, but also no debt.
      – as 30 year old engineer, I have higher pay than custodian, but still pay the debt and pay higher taxes. Still fewer vacation days etc.

      Case 4:
      – same as above, I’m 40, and custodian. not great money, but OK
      – same engineer as above, 40 years old, paid off all my debt, my income is quite a bit higher than custodial. the difference in vacation days is not that big anymore. At that point it starts paying off going to college. I still pay more taxes, so the “after tax” difference isn’t as great as you may think.

      So if you look at the money, you really wonder why people go to college and take jobs that have a lot of responsibility. And that if you find a good job. If not, you still have spent years not making money and getting in debt.

      Is it really reasonable to expect people to go to college and make all the extra effort for them to be 40 before it pays off to not just be a custodian?
      college kids don’t need to be millionaires, but it would be reasonable to expect to be better off than custodians within reasonable time.

      Edit: One of my goals I have to make any sacrifice and work hard so I can enable my daughter to be debt free after college while getting superb education.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Case 5: do what you love and don’t overthink it.

        • 0 avatar
          HerrKaLeun

          you are right on that and I would do it again. But it isn’t really fair to have an “economical” standard of living below a custodian for many years. i also was lucky i have a good job now and in my case most of tuition was not existent as it was outside the US.

          If you have children at age of 25, it may be impossible financially to do the “what you love” since you won’t be able to pay student loans etc.

          • 0 avatar

            Sadly, the custodian job has now been outsourced to a company with no benefits and pays minimum wage.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            And that former union custodian/millworker/factory worker is left with five kids, a Ram pickup and a cabinet full of guns.

            Lone wolf shoot-em-ups are the next big thing. Because “do what you love and don’t overthink it”.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Your anslysis assumes all non degreed cases can land that union custodian job. That’s just not the case. Many other non degreed jobs do not pay as well.

      • 0 avatar
        John

        Here’s something you might want to calculate – how much in taxes German workers paid for your “free” undergraduate degree. I grew up in a country where health care was paid for in taxes, and university education was highly subsidized with tax money – but nothing the government provides citizens with is ever “free”.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m amazed. I have one critter in school, and our goal is graduation with no debt. We toured private colleges (unlike dad, she’s a great student) and a four year run would be $60k x 4 or $240k, which is a lot of money for a degree that does not start “doctor” or end in “esquire’.

        Schools are pricing to economic fears…you want YOUR kid to have a shot at being in the top 10%, right ? Right ? Pay here…..

        I went to school in more egalitarian times. With work and some loans, I was able to make it work. My school is 3x more expensive now, even after adjustment for inflation.

        Much like why the kids don’t buy fancy cars, student costs are why daddy doesn’t have a fresh ///M in the driveway or why mom’s bathroom is still vintage. This money displaces a lot of other spending….like retirement savings.

        Kids like cars, it just isn’t first on the radar. My girl fights to get the e46 BMW for her runs…not mom’s truck or dad’s old man car…..

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      BTR,
      If that is a problem, then remove student loans.

      Have the government pay the college/uni costs. Then when the person attains their degree and earn a salary/wage above the poverty line tax them an extra 10% on their income until the loan is paid down. Only give them one bite at this. This will remove the professional students that are found in countries with “free uni courses”.

      Also, gear pricing for degrees with demand. If there is a need for engineers in the country make these degrees cheaper and the opposite if their is an oversupply of another profession, price them out of the system forcing them to complete a course that is needed to advance the nation.

      • 0 avatar


        BTR,
        If that is a problem, then remove student loans.

        Have the government pay the college/uni costs. ”

        I absolutely don’t believe the “government” should be paying for Student loans UNLESS they are having them work in high-needs areas.

        INDENTURED SERVITUDE

        We already do it for education – since no one wants to be locked in a classroom (asylum) with these hyperactive savages.

        Why should some high-school C student finance their worthless Liberal Arts deg – in a high-cost party school – on the taxpayer’s backs?

        LOANS are LOANS.

        I signed a promissory note.

        I worked.

        I paid mine back.

        That was the deal.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          BTSR, there has always a small percentage of people who are qualified for higher education (maybe 20%) and a larger percentage who are not due to issues of previous education, intelligence, drive, motivation, etc. The same people you work with and work for enabled the student loan disaster in the 1970s. Wall Street in collusion with the Education Cartel, both of whom were backed by FedGov, did all of this. I don’t know whats going to happen in the end, but we both know the debt is unsustainable and will never be paid back if paid back at all. They did it all for the juice on the debt and for the lulz. Whether Mr. Yellen prints up another trillion or not is not their problem.

          I do understand where you are coming from because I am of a similar mindset, but these people were coerced to do something they were not qualified for and then were shafted by the economy being sold off piecemeal in the 80s and 90s when they were children. You and I could have been one of them with a different major, skill set, or slightly different background.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            In the past, the solution for those unqualified under existing standards…. Was to lower the standard.

            I would not be in favor of removing student loans. I got my education the hard way. I worked for it.

            And I paid off MY student loans, and those of my kids and grand kids.

            I thank all of those who believed in me and hired me to do a job for them. Without the money I earned from them, I would be nowhere.

            Want an education? Work for it. Many doctors and lawyers serve an eight-year hitch with the military or civil-service and all their debts are paid in full by Uncle Sam.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            highdesertcat,
            The US and Australia have this mindset that if you don’t have a degree you will not advance in life.

            There is much literature, studies, working documents showing that acquiring a trade can offer just as good an income as many with degrees.

            I’m not against people earning degrees, but many think they are entitled to a better income because of it. This is what we have bred in our youngsters.

            So, when everyone has a degree and the country wants to remain competitive what is a degree really worth?

            Become a tradesman. Higher education isn’t all about degrees. There are many skillsets required to manage an economy.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            It isn’t a mindset, it is a requirement. Big business colluded with the education cartel long ago and the small and medium sized corps eventually went along with it. Trade work might be the only avenue out, but there is only so much demand for those roles and plenty of people my age or older already in it.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            That degree is a requirement for many jobs today. A number of people that used to work with my wife lost their jobs because they didn’t have a degree. Never mind the fact that some of them had been working for the company for 20 years or more and did well on their annual review. Didn’t matter at all the mandate came down that everyone working at a certain level or above had to have a degree to keep their job.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Gang, whether it is a mindset, a requirement or just plain a quest for knowledge, I have to depart from the accepted current standard of the day because I didn’t invest all that time and money in myself studying, to go to work for some low-paying job after I graduated.

            And if anyone cannot find a job to their liking, or one that pays them what they think they are worth, they are free to create a job for themselves by going into business for themselves.

            Lowering the standard for anything so more people can qualify just deteriorates the quality of both the job and the person, IMO.

        • 0 avatar
          John

          There are only two ways “government” can pay for anything – with tax money collected from workers, or by printing money, which diminishes the value of the money workers have earned. Government is us. If the government pays, it pays with our wages.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            John, you’re right. But in the America of today only ~63% of the people who can work and are in the working-class demographic, choose to work and participate in the tax-paying contributions to “government.”

            This increasingly has led to the American government needing to print more money. And that’s where we’re at today.

            I know of no economist who forecasts an increase in labor participation, only those who urge the government to tax the rich and employers more.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Government created the problem in the first place with the GI Bill. The GI Bill, which enabled millions of WWII veterans the chance to attended college, was probably one of the biggest corporate welfare grafts to date. Universities had to expand and a number of colleges opened as a result of handling the influx of customers and free money. Never mind a high percentage of veterans did not have the academic credentials or intelligence to qualify under 1944 and earlier standards. By the 1970s the customers had been processed and the nation was faced with a glut on universities which had either outlived their usefulness or could not afford to continue to pay bonds on their expansions. Oh but gov’t was there to back up private business in the concept of student loans in 1973:

        “1973: The Student Loan Marketing Association (nicknamed “Sallie Mae”[by whom?]) opens its doors as a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE). It is designed to support the guaranteed student loan program created by the Higher Education Act of 1965.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sallie_Mae

        Student loans went from an option for qualified students to becoming a requirement for obtaining employment in about twenty five years. Anything Wall Street can collateralize as debt and package off, significantly inflates in price. Student loans, subprime real estate, and more recently subprime autos.

        The best move government can make for the nation is to cut off student loans and force the universities to drop prices or fold under their own debt loads as they should have forty years ago. The economy could have probably afforded it then from a job replacement standpoint, not today. The amount of real jobs have been shrinking since the 90s. Social services is not a job. Welfare or disability is not a job. Being a perpetual student is not a job. All three categories are parasites.

        I don’t have a viable solution but it will take radical changes to even right the ship let alone turn it around to go back home. More than likely the ship will begin to list in the storm and slowly sink.

        • 0 avatar

          AGREED

          government created the problem.

          And now they want you to vote for HILLIAR or Bernie COMMY Sanders.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Well, yes. Not that your vote matters, I think its more about public sentiment.

            Oh and on the loan subject:

            http://www.businessinsider.com/nick-keiths-student-loan-horror-story-2012-3?&IR=T#he-wasnt-the-first-one-to-be-duped-4

            I particularly enjoyed the lunacy of the photograph. Why is it when things become recognized as “rights” they suddenly become expensive?

            Education is a “right”.
            Healthcare is a “right”.
            Now even transportation is a “right” according to wired.

            http://www.wired.com/2011/07/transportation-as-a-civil-rights-issue/

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            The only thing graduating with a massive amount of student debt does is signify ignorance. With a good GPA and standardized test scores, there are nearly countless merit scholarships available. With the information online at the touch of their fingertips, kids have no excuse not to find them. Scholarships are especially good for first-generation college students and minorities.

            Graduate programs like Medical and Dental school have always been expensive, but high starting salaries and salaries in general greatly offset any loans. Taking on a ton of debt for an undergraduate degree is just lazy, ignorant and kind of ironic.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Mandalorian, I’m probably twice your age but can’t hold a candle to your judgmental, over-simplifying and hectoring attitude toward a hugely multifarious and rapidly evolving situation.

            You show a lot of potential and I’d already invite you to our Thursday night Old Dog get-togethers. You like Perkins?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            This chart shows the amount of total outstanding student loans going from $447.59 Billion in Q1 2006 to $1303.04 Billion by Q3 2015 and it *doubled* sometime between Q4 2011 ($943.04B) and Q1 2012 ($990.85B) in a little over six years. I’m all for shaming basket weaving majors but the exponential growth shown here indicates any scholarship or free rides granted did not even dent the demand for loans vs costs. At some point whose fault is this and whats the next step?

            https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/SLOAS

            @RH

            I loves me some Perkins.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “I loves me some Perkins.”

            You’re solid that way.

          • 0 avatar
            87 Morgan

            I am going to agree with Mandalorian here.

            I have not proof, but i believe that just about every county in the U.S. has a community college or linked with a satellite campus of one.

            The first two years of college for most is 13th and 14th grade. Living at home and taking classes at the local CC yields highly transferable credits that can be had for a small fraction of the cost at a four year institution.
            Too often the young lad makes the argument that they will miss out on the college experience by doing college this way. The college experience is not worth an additional 50k in debt, in my opinion. With some research on tuition grants etc and ‘shopping’ for the best education value for your dollar one *can* get a bachelors degree without taking upon a massive amount of debt. Chances are it will take more than 4 years as you will need to have a job along the way, but it can be done.

            Referencing a thread from above about the union custodian and the engineer making the same money at the onset of their careers. The OP must be from, IL which is riddled with ridiculous unions and why the state is beyond broke or the east coast. Other than that, their is not much union activity out west. I can’t speak for the south, I have never lived there.

      • 0 avatar
        plateofshrimp

        Then you get *even more* students failing miserably at engineering classes. Throwing more people at the in-demand field isn’t necessarily going to yield more workers in that field if it’s a difficult field.

        I was in community college a few years ago. The general ed classes are just an extension of high school. There are kids in there that couldn’t figure out how to rub two sticks together, but here they are, in college. No shit, I was designated note taker in my physics group because the rest were fascinated that I knew how to write in cursive. They don’t care about gaining knowledge, they want a job and have been told getting a degree equals making money. So their plan is to simply bullshit and beg their way into an associates degree that is plummeting in worth. Forget about learning the subject to develop an answer to a problem. I want the shortest possible route from question to answer, that is the M.O.

        There are way too many people in college, many would do better going to trade school. Back in the 90’s, that’s what you did if you knew you couldn’t handle college. What happened to that?

  • avatar
    Ben

    I’m sadly no longer young, but would enjoy a fun, functional, FWD Nissan. BMW makes great handling FWD cars, and I’ve often thought of Nissan as being as sorta close to a Japanese BMW, if you ignore certain models….

  • avatar
    VW16v

    That Nissan looks embarrassing.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Yep, and if it has any performance whatsoever, the insurance companies will price their coverage out of the hands of young people.

      • 0 avatar
        fincar1

        Yeah. A friend had an insurance company tell him that an Omni 4-door was a sports car because it had a 5-speed transmission.

        We got our daughter a 1984 RX-7 for her first car. We had trouble insuring it because “sports car”. I asked the agent, could she get insured in my 76 Dart ex-cop car with its 360 hi-po engine and cop car suspension and with room for five or six of her guttersnipe friends? Sure, no problem; and also no problem for the then-new Accord sedan, which was faster than the RX-7 and handled almost as well.

        Insurance is one big reason why very few young people are in the market for a new car. For some reason they can’t see themselves paying once for the car, once for interest on the loan, and once for the insurance coverage.

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          My 1987 Corollova cost more to insure than my 1995 V8 Thunderbird does because it had no airbags. That’s just hilarious.

          Goes to show the misplaced priorities of insurance companies.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            How are their priorities misplaced? They have data that shows that the ’87 costs more in injury/collision claims than the ’95, hence the rates reflect that. Airbags do make a big difference. The thunderbird is substantially heavier than the Nova, too, and heavier vehicles tend to have lower injury rates. With most Thunderbirds most likely being driven very sedately (or when they were on their first owners), they probably got in fewer accidents than the cheaper Novas.

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2012/09/21/damage-control-which-cars-generate-the-most-personal-injury-claims/

            The rates on my FR-S are sky high because, in general, they are owned by younger folk that take more risks despite having only 200hp. Being such a small, low car further reduces the pool of older, safer potential drivers. The 2 seats in the back doesn’t automatically lower it from a certain category to another. That line of thinking was probably used back before we were good at collecting data. Now, data rules.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Quentin is right. The insurance companies know what they are doing when rating drivers/vehicles. It’s not like they pull a number out of nowhere. They use way more data than “new Accord sedan is faster than FX-7”.

            Our C-Max costs significantly more to insure than our MKT. Even though the MKT worth more and the “riskier” driver in our house is listed as the primary driver.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Kids won’t buy them anyway. But the Z can’t ‘base’ above a Mustang, for any kind of sales success, which is really what Nissan wants. They don’t care about the kids.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Do kids these days even buy this kind of vehicle? I see a lot of old people driving around in Jukes and Souls.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        highdesertcat,
        You comment has a ring of truth. Many youngster now don’t want or care for a sports car or even SUV/pickup. It’s the older people who go out and buy these style of vehicles.

        Even now many of the young will buy a car, then when they produce a family go out and buy a CUV or pickup.

        Things have not changed much over the years. Students are happy to have anything that prevents them from walking or relying on their friends to get around.

        Having your own wheels irrespective of what it is, all they want.

        Also, I do believe that Nissan’s goal isn’t to outsell the Mustang as some would like you to believe. What is Nissan’s production capacity for the Z? They don’t want to have to build another plant if they can’t have it operate at full capacity.

      • 0 avatar

        I work for a university, so we tend to hire a lot of recently graduated former students. Among the ones I can think of who bought cars in the last few years, I can think of 2 Fits, an Accent, a Mazda3, a CRV, and a Prius C. And several of those people only bought new cars because their hand-me-down beaters were totalled or catastrophically failed.

        So my completely unscientific conclusion is that most twenty-somethings these days tend to view vehicles as appliances, as a necessary expense but not a lifestyle choice, and thus aren’t interested in buying performance vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “completely unscientific conclusion ” You devalue the importance of what you observed in the real world.

          Often, parents, grand parents, older brothers and sisters, pass down cars to the younger ones in their family to provide the transportation while they study further, or to gently launch them into their first job.

          IMO, young people of today value “staying connected” far higher than “transportation”.

          The networking and social media demands are such that the smartphone, tablet, phablet and game console are crucial to remain a connected individual to the mainstream.

          You can always hitch a ride with someone, but you need a personal device to tap into and be a part of the social media network.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    Is there some corporate Nissan/Renault rule that requires to beat every car with he ugly stick and to reduce interior useful space in cabin and trunk as much as possible?

    Did they have focus groups that concluded people want cars that are shaped to have miniature trunks and cabins at maximum outside dimensions? And did the focus group members also state they want a car looking so weird, that resale value will be zero (in addition to the probable conclusion that all buyers want transmissions that fail?

    Or is the target audience the blind and visually impaired? Don’t they realize those people most likely can’t drive cars before autonomous cars are available?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      HerrKaLeun,
      I’m not the biggest fan of the Renault – Nissan Alliance. I do believe Nissan has been restricted in some ways since the alliance was formed back in 97. This is particulary evident with Nissans SUVs and pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        HerrKaLeun

        maybe not as extreme, but Renault also is the “artist” car maker in Europe. Much less succesful than Nissan in the US.

        they used to make beautiful and normal looking cars. Like early Meganes. But at some point they decided:
        “we built a car as big and as expensive as a Golf. But we make a weird looking cut into the rear hatch that will polarize people and will decrease trunk volume, just to be different”
        Different they are, being outsold 20:1 by the Golf and having no resale value among seeing people.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          I agree, but they are building more and more appliances.

          Nissan’s San Diego design centre used to design some of the best looking SUVs globally. This all went backwards with the D40. The D40 pickup and other variations of the platform were abysmal.

          Then Nissan reduced development globally with the other global off roaders. The Patrol is a classic example. The Patrol was a large, cheapish family wagon. Now it’s a really expensive vehicle. The Pathfinder, went down the path of CUV. Another mistake. The X Trail should of been offered in 4×4 SUV and AWD configuration.

          I blame all of this on Renaults EU view of what vehicles should be offered. Not what we want in Australia, US, Canada, NZ and even Thailand.

          But I do believe Nissan and Dong Feng have joined up and are making a Chinese version of the D20 series pickup.

          When I was in Guangzhou I saw many of these, especially at the airport.

          It would be interesting if TTAC could do an article on the SUV and pickup market in China. Not CUVs!

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    Words of wisdom from Nissan:

    “We cant build the IDx, NOBODY wants a cheaper sporty car than Ye Olde 370Z. BUT dont worry, budget performance fans! We have a new FWD crossover with a CVT coming soon that will be horrible to look at (Juke), will drive like a terrible rental and of course thats WAY sportier than some silly $20-25k RWD coupe.”

    Few months later….

    “We need a cheaper (sub-$30K) sporty car so young people can buy it, and maybe another sporty car to fill the role the current Z [supposedly] fills.”

    Now that’s innovation that excites!

    /sarcasm

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      This… Nissan is confused and not just design wise.

      I’ve said this before, but they really only have 2 choices on what to do the Z: go big or go home – slap the new 400HP twin turbo Infiniti engine into it and chase the Mustang/Camaro. Or go back to the Z’s roots with a smaller, lighter version, similar to the FR-S/BRZ and Miata. The Z right now is in nowhere land. I for one think this middle ground is great, but sales wise very few people have taken the bait. On the used market the Z is a bargin. However buying one new doesn’t make much sense given the performance you can get from your local Ford or Chevy dealer for less coin. Now if a new Z appears it better be A) RWD and B) a hatchback or I’m not interested.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        JMII, agreed!

        If Carlos died tomorow and Nissan tapped me to step in, Id tell them “get to work on the IDx, and move the Z into pony car territory with more than one engine option. After that, you take that 2.5L engine from the Altima and give it back to the Lowes paint department where it belongs. I want a new I-4 for FWD and RWD applications, with the option of turbocharging for the highest trim IDx (giving it the option of more HP than GT86/FR-S/BRZ). This engine better be as smooth as glass.”

        But sir! We dont know how to build an I-4 that doesnt rattle the windows at idle and droan loudly at highway speeds!

        “Go buy a new I-4 Accord. Pull the engine, study it, figure out how they did it. Oh, and study their CVT while youre at it. Take Nissan’s current supply of CVTs and ship them to China, we will source them from Honda until you guys figure it out. While youre at it, reverse engineer the Accord’ s seats so I can drive a base Altima more than 30 miles before Im damn near ready to crash the car INTO the pharmacy and grab some pain pills to ease my throbbing back.There is this little thing called ‘support’, of which Im convinced youve never considered”

        But sir! A dedicated RWD platform for the IDx will be expensive!

        “Take the Z chassis, trim the fat, add an I-4 and the Z’s manual transmission. Reuse as much of the suspension and other components, then spend money where its needed. The base model IDx will be affordable semi-sporty commuter with good MPG $18-20k), steel wheels and a basic interior. Next trim adds more sporty cues like unique bumpers/side molding, alloys, fog lamps, LEDs, etc. Most options included on this model but with the same I-4 as the base one. Top model gets everything in addition to the Turbo, better suspension and so on. Thats the one that will put the Toyobaru twins out of their misery and bridge the gap between IDx and the new pony-fighting Z. We will prove to Toyobaru that you CAN make money in this segment, just gotta give ’em what they want. A NISSIMO IDx coupe will debut the following year, building on the Turbo’s success. Once the coupes are out, we may consider a sedan, hatch and wagon variants, including a shooting brake with the coupe’s doors but the wagon’s roof.”m

        Aww, sir! We are too busy tring to save $0.44 on the cost of the storage tray on the Altima. Hertz, Budget and Avis ALL want that savings asap. Yesterday, we FINALLY were able shave $0.22 per car by spending three weeks designing a new rear ash tray that will never be used.

        Smh.

        Is that all, sir?

        “No, bring me the guy who designed the Maxima, the Altima, Sentra and Versaphuck. He’s fired. If he wants to build appliances, Im sure Toyots would love him. Next Maxima will be on a redesigned modular RWD platform to serve it, the Z, and the IDx. They are not triplets, the model line goes as follows:

        [Datsun relaunched as a budget band with *mostly* RWD product.]

        Datsun A-110 replaces the Versa sedan, but is actually a Micra. Versa Note may continue as a Nissan.

        Datsun B-210 for a sorta larger RWD car. Very cheap, a heavily retuned version of the IDx I-4 capable of very high 30s mpg. Coupe with a HEAVILY decontented interior Honey Bee model capable of 45-50 mpg. Only a manual trans for the Honey Bee with tall gearing for outstanding fuel economy.

        Datsun C-310. Decontented restyled Altima clone, I-4 only.

        Datsun should be for fleets and budget shoppers. The Nissan brand cars can move up with nicer materials, a dumptruck load of refinement and less rental-grade S models since the C-310 will fill fleet/rental/budget shopper needs.

        Dacia Duster comes to North America in the form of a Datsun. Call it the Datsun TrailMaster.

        New RWD Maxi has a slower, cheaper clone in the Datsun 810. Omly the 810 should get wagon and coupe body styles.

        A Frontier-based truck (Datsun T-110) with far fewer options, mostly for fleet or budget buyers. Hell, make it with an aluminum UTE bed (drop-side flat bed) to save weight and contribute to its no-nonsense work truck persona. Think F-150 Custom of the early 90s. Crank windows, vinyl seats, rubber floors, “radio prep kit”, etc. Later, perhaps a smaller Wrangler fighter based on a shortened Datsun T-110 (Frontier) platform to sorta replace the XTerra, but far more like a Land Rover Defender 90 or Jeep Wrangler than it was as the Nissan XTerra.

        Datsun would allow Nissan to improve its core products to at least close to what Honda, Ford and the like have done on the areas of NVH, refinement, decent interior materials, etc. Making money off Datsuns instead of keeping their bread and butter cars low class to appeal to rental fleets will enhance the Nissan brand, and they will make money as Honda (mostly) does with few if any fleet sales.

        But, the Datsuns can fill the low-end, budget and fleet custumers who often ask things like “does it have to have a rsdio? What if the rear door windows were fixed so they dont roll down so you dont have to charge for the regulator or (God forbid) a power lift motor? “

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          You know what? If Im bringing sexy….wait, I mean if Im bringing Datsun back, the IDx will be the Datsun 510. It should be significantly smaller than the Z, allowing the Z to move into Mustang/Camaro territory without the lack of a lower cost option (Datsun 510). Not much overlap except perhaps with Turbo 510 stepping ever-so-slightly on the Z’s heels.

        • 0 avatar
          duffman13

          I like it all, except for the part you left out where we change the name of the IDx to Silvia once it hits production. Then we’re set.

      • 0 avatar
        Richard Chen

        First Fiata, next Ziata.

        It’s wouldn’t be the first time Nissan sold a rebadged Mazda.

  • avatar
    callmeishmael

    Body shops everywhere must be thriving as cars get bigger on the outside while reducing visibility to that enjoyed by the crew of a Civil War ironclad. Nissan has once again taken the lead in this trend and has added great slabs of bizarrely styled ugliness to boot. Cars that are affordable for young people already exist, they’re called “beaters.” The kids aren’t buying the cars supposedly marketed for them because the majority of them can’t afford a new car and the attendant costs. Affordable cars designed for young people get purchased by old people who want something cheap and slightly funky for their grocery runs. Nissan seems to be taking careful aim at a a segment that doesn’t exist.

  • avatar
    IAhawkeye

    I think I’ll just save a couple more bucks and buy a car really will love and enjoy instead-a Mustang. Especially if the ‘Z’ in question looks like that. Although I would’ve said the same thing about both the 350z and 370z, neither have any appeal to me whatsoever.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “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.”

    So fake sports thing direct to junkyard in 84 months or less for under 30K (I see 25 in my crystal ball).

    and

    Awesome sports car you can’t afford.

    in place of

    Sports car you can afford, is OK but not great out of the box, and can be modded to be awesome if you are so inclined.

    Boycott Nissan, you’ll thank me later.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      I boycotted them once I realized the much loved 4DSC Maxima kept automatic seatbelts up to 1994.

      Then theres the Altimas abysmal racing performance, the Deltawing project, the Juke…

  • avatar
    slap

    A cheaper Z? Great idea! It will go head to head with the FRS/BRZ, getting a healthy chunk of their massive sales.

    Oh, wait.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Well, maybe if they gave it more power than a 1996 Ford Taurus LX, they might gain some sales. They dont need Mustang GT power for a smaller, cheaper sporty coupe, but c’mon, you buy a new sports coupe and someone in a 5 year old V-6 Accord walks all over you and kicks dirt in your face. That doesnt bode well for the aspiring F&F crowd.

      Why not just get something actually decently quick, like a Focus/Fiesta ST, Civic Si or the like if RWD isnt a requirement, or a V-6 (Turbo 4?) Mustang or Camaro if it is.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The FT-86 was never intended for this market and for whatever reason Toyota did not spend the time and money adapting it for USDM. More than likely they were trying to get more volume out of something already paid for while spending the least amount of money doing so.

        The Z350/70 is a dedicated roadster “sports car”, Focus, Fiesta, and Civic are not roadsters, nor are they “sports cars” or ever intended to be “sports cars”. Nissan, like them, probably intends to take an econo car and jazz it up as a pretend “sports car” to extend volume. Whatever they do will also have Renault implications, so expect a really sad product with no power to come out of this. Again best to boycott Nissan, GT-R notwithstanding.

        2014/5 Nissan in a nutshell:

        Uninspired bland product.
        FICO 600 drives away today.
        Blow up transmission.
        Horrendous styling.
        Iffy resale on most models.
        Rough and coarse VQ forever.
        948K units assembled in TN and MS in 2015.
        1M units assembled in Mexico by 2017 inc Infiniti.

        http://www.ibtimes.com/nissan-will-make-over-1m-cars-year-mexico-after-infiniti-production-begins-there-2017-1840846

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          If the US version of the 86 had more power, then it would have been necessary to raise the price.

          Raising the price would have reduced sales volumes. More to the point, it would have put it out of reach of the target market of younger buyers.

          The problem with the car is not its performance in the US market, but elsewhere. The car was intended to reach younger enthusiasts, but it would seem that younger enthusiasts are no longer particularly interested in dedicated coupes like this. (Toyoda may have been living too far in the past when he decided that the sporty coupe was the best approach for reaching today’s market.) The timing probably didn’t help, either, given the global reach of the recession.

          A hot hatch with handling that could genuinely compete with the Golf GTI might have been a better choice. (If the automotive press is to be believed, Toyota’s recent attempts to make one have been fair-to-middling at best.)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Interesting points.

            I just checked Golf GTI 2.0T Sedan starts at 25,595 with a 6 spd so figure 26,5 with an auto but VW is offering 1,500 cash to switch to them. Scion FR-S is 27,2 with auto, and its promotion is .09 apr and 90 day deferred payment. So right off the bat the VW is more competitive in price in addition to the points you made.

            Checking wholesale, I see the FR-S is doing 17,8-19,3 in MY14 for the base model 2K-29K miles with two rough examples at 11,5 and 13,0 respectively. The GTI Sedan 2.0T “drivers edition” in MY14 is trading at 18,0-20,0 between 7K and 16K miles with one rough example doing 17,8.

            How interesting, I don’t think I have ever seen a VW beat out a Japanese car in early wholesale, ever. Demand must be soft for FR-S or it maybe it just sucks.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “Toyoda may have been living too far in the past…”

            Though silver-spooned and chasing a different demographic, Akio is like Buickman writ large and in kanji.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            28-cars,

            I’ve owned a modern Golf GTI and an FR-S. Two completely different animals. The driver pool for an FR-S is far smaller than that of a GTI. It is a size or two smaller inside. My 6′ tall coworker rode in mine last week and could barely fit. Another 5’10” coworker that is pretty muscular was basically against the door and overlapping the center console. Being aimed at the younger market, you see a lot of people buying FR-Ss that literally cannot afford them or they realize that the car doesn’t work with their lifestyle. Many of them are relentlessly flogged. All of these things conspire to lower the resale value of the car. That doesn’t make the car bad at its mission.

            The GTI is a much better everything-to-everyone type car. The new MKVII, in particular, is a great car to drive and live with. I’d be lying if I said that it was nearly as engaging as the FR-S, though. When the roads get twisty, the FWD and heft of the GTI becomes obvious while the FR-S really comes into its own. On the flip side, if you don’t have good roads to drive, the FR-S is hard to justify because it is way less pleasant when slogging though your commute while the GTI feels near premium. Literally, demand is soft because those that want them have them and it just isn’t a car designed to accommodate the fat bit of the bell curve in the US. It works for me, even with a 3 year old child, because I also have a 4Runner available when I need it. If we could only afford 2 cars or only had the space for 2 cars, I’d have something sporty with 4 doors like I did when I had my GTI.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Thanks for totally missing my WHOLE point. I did NOT say the FiST and FoST were competing with the Z, did I? I suggested someone looking for more power than the Toyobaru would likely consider them if FWD/RWD wasnt an issue, playing off his insinuation that the Toyobaru is not selling well and adding that if they gave it more power, itd likely sell better.

          Young people care about speed first, handling later. The STs are quick and handle fairly well, thus the reason I would think someone looking for a sporty car might consider them over the slow Toyobaru.

          So, how did you possibly get that I was referring to the Z when I said the part about a new sporty car being wasted by a Honda Accord? Did you REALLY think I was talking about the Z and not the underpowered Toyobaru?!

          C’mon man, youre better than this. I replied to a post insinuating that the Toyobaru was slow selling, and it was my contention that they would sell in greater numbers with more power (as do the STs etc.).

          You seriously thought I was comparing a non-SHO nearly 20 year old Taurus to the current Z’s power output? Woooooow, dude, just wow.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Why not just get something actually decently quick, like a Focus/Fiesta ST, Civic Si or the like if RWD isnt a requirement, or a V-6 (Turbo 4?) Mustang or Camaro if it is.”

            You suggest to buyers to obtain a Focus/Fiesta ST, Civic Si etc if RWD isn’t a requirement. While they may not compete in class you are suggesting them as a solution if one requirement is deleted. Since most people don’t know or care as much about RWD vs FWD you are suggesting one over another competitively. Not to mention Nissan will be building a vehicle to directly compete with them to replace the Z roadster, which was one of my points. I’m not sure what you have your panties in a twist over.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            JohnTaurus – the FoST and FiST are outsold by the Subaru/Scion twins. FoST sales are around 10k a year, FiST is around 5k. The Subaru/Scion twins are over 15k each year. I don’t know if I’d use them as the benchmark for how to make a sport compact that flies off the shelves.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        You realize the FRS/BRZ put down pretty much identical acceleration times as the FiST/FoST and Civic Si, right? But let’s not let facts get in the way of the popular opinion that they’re slow.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    If Nissan want to do something like create a retro Z car, Nissan must look at what they are putting forward. This vehicle looks awful.

    Nissan could for example use the 2.5 four, tweak it, build a rear wheel drive car that actually has most of the design cues from the original 240Z. It could then be a BRZ/86 competitor.

    Leave the vehicle Spartan will option/inclusions and build a drivers vehicle.

    This shouldn’t be that hard.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Even call it a DATSUN 250Z!

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      Couldn’t they just drop the 2.5 into the current Z body and leave out some of the fluff for that?

      • 0 avatar
        fincar1

        Eh, that’s too simple…doesn’t make any work for their product planners….

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        iNeon,
        How much does the current Z weigh?

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Oh yes, cutting the Z down to that horrible 2.5L Briggs & Straton they currently lump into Altimas would be great! Then Ford could but their 3 cyl Mustang. Brilliant! Lets just see how underpowered we can get, THATS how you sell sports cars. Somebody call Bowling Green, Ky and tell them we are putting Equinox engines in Corvettes while we’re at it.

        The current Z is lackluster already, adding a horrible farm tractor engine it (which will go GREAT without the “fluff” most of us call sound insulation) would make it awful. I cant possibly think of a better way to make the Z even worse…except adding a standard CVT with it.

        Ohh, but I drive a Taurus, so…..

        • 0 avatar
          iNeon

          Stop, John. Just stop.

          Find someone else. Since I got spanked for having the nerve to call you out about your rubbish old Taurus and loud opinions, you’ve been emboldened to engage me every flippin’ time I comment on anything.

          Just stop.

        • 0 avatar
          iNeon

          You’re basic. Find someone else to troll.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            I guess this is what John does when hes not venting his VW hate at me.

            I dont mind the 2.5 370Z idea, but for that to work they’d have to lighten it up somehow, maybe even switch platforms (since the 370z is routed in a CUV chassis).

          • 0 avatar
            iNeon

            The 2.5z could be made workable with some lightening, I think. Cheap 1-piece seats, a lighter engine and rear-end(I don’t really know much– is it a rwd car, even?) and some smaller/lighter less-decorative wheels.

            Isn’t that how they used to do a pony car? lighter trim and engine in a modified donor platform?

            My sports car expertise comes from a neon sport coupe with a stick shift. It was light and had a powerful(for it’s class) engine; that worked enough to best it’s contemporary Mustang or Civic. I’d think it’d work here, as well.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            At iNeon:

            Thats what they did with the first few pony cars, took family sedans and turned them into sporty coupes. I guess you could say the 370Z is a “pony car” too?

            I’m more impressed with SRT-4s given how they’ll out do Honda S2000s on the track. I’m not a Neon guy but I respect their potent engines.

            I still think they should just revive the Sentra SE-R, leave the Z-Car RWD.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Wait, Wait! A FWD Z? If we write enough letters to Nissan can’t they just release this as the Nissan Probe instead?

  • avatar
    robc123

    Moar stupid car companies dictating to consumers what they want.

    Nissan is the worst- butt ugly weird cars- imagine picking up a girl in a juke- imagine putting a move on in a juke- what does this car say about you? you are definitely not leaving the nuts hanging out if you own one of these.

    Honda didn’t get it right with their Honda S660- they thought kids wanted it but the avg. buyer was 40. Then they said lets bring it to America, then they said, no we won’t America wants big cars.

    Toyota- with scion.

    Car companies have no clue. No clue what consumers actually want.

    That blows me away, with all the money resources, reach and manpower they don’t know what a demographic wants or needs or can even manufacture a want or need that didn’t exist previously.

    Why don’t they at least backtrack when they have a winner- why do they always have to say no to overwhelming consumer demand?

    America is big, sure, but average commute is less than 20km, and most are around cities with speed limits of 55mph tops most city driving tops out around 35km-50km hour. So for big trips why is renting a big car so out of the question?

    Just get a comfortable fun little car to boot around town- great for parking,visibility,gas mileage, tires and repairs. and keep it cheap because dents, break-ins, and depreciation.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    If Nissan wants a cheap “sporty” kid car, why not revive the Sentra SE-R?

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Wasn’t the 240SX a cheaper Z?

    Bring that back!

  • avatar
    callmeishmael

    Bring back the BRE Datsun 510 with modern mechanicals.
    That is all.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    What continually mystifies me is that as weird looking as the Juke is, it’s actually sort of fun to drive (for a crossover), that how could they not make a turbo Versa (which is on a related platform) for under $20k and start stealing Fiesta ST sales?

    I mean, I could see a sports car being a hard sell for younger people – it’s hard to justify going into debt for 5+ years for something that may just barely meet your needs for the next couple years (the real problem facing the FRS/BRZ, as evidenced by the Miata’s equally low sales). But at least a hot hatch (for those of us that still care about that) is at least still a normal sensible car, and the Versa’s big enough that it could feasibly serve someone starting off a family.

  • avatar
    RHD

    This thing looks like it was inspired by an overpriced shoe worn by a ghetto drug dealer. To make it worse, the sides have already been T-boned. Massive fail.
    Nissan should consider a modern retro version of the original 240Z, basic, reasonably comfortable, timeless proportions, aspirational, good performance and an instant classic. Target it to a reasonable price point. Forget the French-inspired zaniness. Get real and build a good, real car.

  • avatar
    KevinC

    As a 3-time early Z-car owner (4 if you can’t the Z4MC many years later, my spiritual successor to the original), I find this more-than-mildly offensive. WTH is Nissan thinking??

  • avatar
    Hummer

    The current Z is a $15,000 car max as it is, just cut the price in half and call it a day, sales probably won’t go up, but at least Nissan will stop showing this crap every couple months.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    Make the Z a little more pleasant to drive at a slightly higher price, and give us a small and simple RWD 240SX.

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