Nissan's Next Z Won't Be Sold in Europe

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
nissans next z wont be sold in europe

I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve gotten excited about the prospect of a new vehicle only to learn it’s going to limited to some lousy country where they don’t even bother to drive on the correct side of the street, have funny-sounding police sirens and/or happen to be involved in some other roadway debacle — like using the metric system on signs, just because it’s easier.

Meanwhile, nobody even seems to notice when we export our best automotive wares. Sure Europeans enjoy the Corvette’s mind-blowing performance and ability to absolutely devour highway miles at an unbeatable price (ignore the Euro-spec C8). But it probably lacks panache or the appropriate level of refinement (whatever the hell they’re looking for) and doesn’t accessorize with the sport coat and bare ankle look they seem so sprung on. Have you ever seen a Corvette in Europe? Of course, you haven’t. They almost never cracked 1,000 deliveries per year because the entire continent hates V8 engines.

Don’t fact check me on that last one because it’s irrelevant to the purposes of this article about petty revenge. All you need to know is that I was just informed that Nissan’s upcoming 400Z (name pending) won’t be available in Europe.

The manufacturer had already committed itself to taking the United States more seriously but we didn’t think that would exclude the EU. In fact, when Nissan debuted the Proto Z (pictured) earlier this week it seemed a particularly good fit for Europe. It’s not a massive automobile, doesn’t use the hated V8 motor, has a manual transmission, and seems to be entirely focused on offering a balanced performance package. You’d think Europeans would be all over this thing.

What’s the deal?

Automotive News Europe reported that the car’s twin-turbo V6 would probably need to be tuned specifically for the market in order to pass EU emissions regulations. Nissan confirmed the claim, adding that it saw little point to cater to the market.

“A shrinking European sports cars market and specific regulations on emissions mean that Nissan was unable to build a viable business case for the introduction of the production version of the next generation Z-car in Europe,” a company spokesperson explained. “In Europe, Nissan’s priorities remain on its commitment to renew its crossover lineup and accelerate its range electrification strategy.”

It might have not have been the case if Nissan were in a healthier financial situation that didn’t require a massive restructuring effort. But Big N has basically said alliance partner Renault could handle anything interesting for the European market, leaving its own team to focus on mass-market vehicles. It could be for the best frankly. Nissan doesn’t need a bunch of emission fines from the EU and your average Josef seems to be falling out of love with the standard sports coupe. While that could be the result of the industry pricing them ever higher, crossovers have likewise taken up an increasingly large share of the market — just like here in North America.

[Images: Nissan]

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5 of 26 comments
  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on Sep 17, 2020

    They still can't fix the awkward slope of the roofline?

    • Raph Raph on Sep 18, 2020

      Probably not without significantly revising the current architecture.

  • ThomasSchiffer ThomasSchiffer on Sep 18, 2020

    Are we surprised? What car manufacturer wants to sell cars in crazy Europe these days, with their unrealistic CO2-emissions regulations. They are even thinking of banning gasoline and Diesel cars sooner than later, perhaps even by 2022. The EU seems to believe that EVs are the future. How about allowing the market to decide what works and what won’t? Maybe something better than EVs will come along? Maybe some brilliant scientist invents a process which simplifies the production of synthetic fuel, yielding more production results while using less energy in the process, for example.

    • See 1 previous
    • ThomasSchiffer ThomasSchiffer on Sep 18, 2020

      @Arthur The EU is making life incredibly difficult for car manufacturers.

  • Wjtinfwb Didn't care for the E60 when introduced, compared to the previous generation. But up against some of BMW's latest offerings (new 7), it's a breath of fresh air. This car with a conventional 6-speed manual would be another 10-15k at least as it looks very well kept.
  • SPPPP Very nice shape, but I just never warmed to the E60 car like I did the earlier generations of the 5-series, or the contemporary 3-series.
  • Mike Beranek They're building a brand-new "vending machine" in Schaumburg, right on my way home from work. Maybe after they go belly up, I could buy it, build out living space on the top floor, and use the rest to display my awesome car collection (ha!)
  • VoGhost We're at the point where the stock price is no longer relevant; focus on how the debt is priced.
  • MaintenanceCosts Nice color combo. Worth noting that this is not a conventional automatic but an automated manual, which gets you all the roughness of a real manual with none of the fun. Also not sure why everyone loves the V10 so much; it sounds more UPS truck than performance car except at the extreme high end of the tach. Having said that the E60's looks have aged VERY well; the car looks nicer now than it did when it was new.