After constant churning of the rumor mill, the fate of the Nissan 370Z may have been finally answered. NISMO’s chief product specialist Hiroshi Tamura finally let the cat out of the bag: the 370Z is here to stay and more importantly, it’s going to have a successor in the future.

Tamara confirmed the fate of Nissan’s entry level sports car in a conversation with Motoring Australia, saying that Nissan isn’t prepared to let the 370Z die in the wake of its plan to expand the “Z” lineup and add a Z-badged SUV based off of the Nissan Gripz Concept, which made its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. A lot of the whispers surrounding the 370Z’s future was tied into what Nissan planted to do with the Gripz. There were even rumors that the Japanese automaker was looking into giving the slot reserved to the 370Z to the production version of the Gripz in an effort to bolster its already expansive SUV range.

But fans of the 370Z can rest easy now that Tamara has confirmed that the 370Z will live on and will be produced separate of any plans Nissan has for the “Z” range. Nissan even has big plans for the Z, so says NISMO’s product planner. One such scenario he raised is the possibility of seeing the next 370Z and the production version of the Gripz share components with one another, thereby saving the company development costs.

As far as when the next generation 370Z will arrive, Tamara didn’t give a specific timetable, opting only to say that his team isn’t going to rush the development of the car. With the market for sports cars continuously evolving, the company needs to figure out what is and what isn’t going to work. Answers to those questions is going to take some time, so at the very least, the wait for the next-gen 370Z is going to take some time.

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Why it matters

This is the closest thing to a confirmation we’re getting from somebody high up in Nissan’s management ladder about the future of the Nissan 370Z. On the one hand, it is a relief to hear that the car isn’t going to go away. Fans of the 370Z, myself included, should be excited about this news. But, I still can’t help feel a little anxious about the future of the car, at least until I get official confirmation that development has already begun. We all know how the auto industry works. Today’s gospel could turn into tomorrow’s rumor, which could turn into next week’s satire. Things continuously evolve, especially when it comes to a sports car that segment that has somewhat stagnated relative to the incredible popularity of its SUV counterparts.

That said, I’m willing to take Tamara’s word that the Nissan 370Z will live on. That’s all I, and everybody else, can do at this point. It’s not a comfortable place to be in, but it is better than hearing an official statement coming out of Nissan, saying that the sports car is on its final days.

What I do know is that I’m willing to bat for the Nissan 370Z any day. Sure, it’s not as popular as it once was. But that’s not because it’s popularity has waned; it’s because consumers have become more attached to SUVs these days. The 370Z still has its core following, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. Just because buyers are slowly turning to SUVs, that doesn’t mean the 370Z will be left out in the cold. I’ll even go far as to say that the 370Z remains as one of Nissan’s most important cars. It doesn’t have the performance credentials of the GT-R, but it’s the closest thing among all of the company’s cars to it.

Having that in the fold means that customers will continue to have the opportunity to enjoy the company’s sports car technology without having to spend too much on Godzilla. That’s an important character trait to have and there’s no other car in the company that has that other than the 370Z.

Nissan 370Z

2015 - 2017 Nissan 370Z Nismo High Resolution Exterior
- image 552619

Read more about the Nissan 370Z in our review here.

Source: Motoring

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