• Nissan Could Succeed 370Z Sports Car With A Performance Crossover

It’s not a straight-forward succession, but it could be a smart move for the company

The Nissan 370Z has been around for nine years. Yep, it’s that old. It’s undertaken some revisions and updates over the years, but there’s no going around the fact that the 370Z is in dire need of a replacement. Turns out, that replacement could be on its way, only it won’t be a sports car; it’s reportedly going to be a crossover. Let that simmer for a second.

Car Advice is reporting that there’s an all-too real possibility of seeing the tired and dated 370Z get replaced by a high-riding crossover. Granted, rumors of this possibility have been floating around the surface for quite some time now. Nissan even stoked the flames in its own way by introducing the Gripz Concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. At that time, there was already talk that the Gripz would evolve into a crossover that will be placed under the Z family. So all of this isn’t new. What can be considered a development is what Nissan Europe chairman Paul Wilcox told Car Advice.

Wilcox specifically did not confirm the persistent rumors about the Z crossover, but he didn’t deny them either. Instead, he mentioned that the company is looking into every segment of the industry today to see which ones are worth pursuing. One of those segments is the crossover and SUV line, which has proven to be one of the stoutest lines in the business today.

Having a Z crossover replace the existing 370Z would certainly be a bold move, but it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch if Nissan wants to cover the crossover and performance with a single model. That would at least justify what Wilcox described as the company’s goal of focusing on “crossovers” and “having the right products to complement that.” On paper, the idea makes sense for Nissan and its Z brand. It’s a fresh car with a fresh purpose that has the potential to be successful if Nissan develops it the right way.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

This on-going rumor about a potential Z crossover is important on a number of factors. First, if Nissan does go ahead and do this, it would have a model that could not only serve as a step up from the Juke crossover, but just as important is that it positions Nissan well in the growing proliferation of sport crossover coupes in the segment. That’s not to say that the Z crossover will compete directly against models like the BMW X4 or X6, but it could line up well against the X2. A lot of other automakers are also considering performance crossovers so Nissan isn’t alone in trying to gauge the temperature of the market.

On the other hand, the possibility of a Z crossover replacing the 370Z means that Nissan is now out an entry-level sports coupe for the time being. That might be an issue in the long term, but fortunately, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn’s statements at the 2016 Paris Motor Show about the company continuing its intentions to build sports cars should make the 370Z’s departure a short-term concern. Besides, who’s to say that Nissan isn’t actually planning to increase its Z family past just one model. For a time, the 370Z had the entry level 350Z to keep it company. Now, it’s possible that the Z crossover would soon be complemented by a new Z sports car.

Nissan intended to beef up that family a few years ago with plans to roll out production versions of the iDX concepts before scrapping those plans entirely. Maybe Nissan revisits them in the future? A lot of possibilities will definitely open up for Nissan if it goes the route of a Z crossover to replace the 370Z. That, more than anything else, is the exciting part about this whole thing.

Source: Car Advice

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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