Nissan’s new Z celebrates gasoline
“Z is not a car. It’s a culture,” said COO Ashwani Gupta Automotive News ahead of last week’s unveiling of the next-gen sports coupe at an event in Brooklyn, NY “We have enough cars in our lineup to do business. Z is a culture that connects the past, present and future from Nissan. “
But deciding on the right formula was not easy.
As recently as 2018, Nissan executives were still thinking about how to keep the Z car fresh and innovative in an industry besieged by change.
Premium sports car makers, including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Jaguar, Lotus and Porsche, have stepped up plans to electrify their ranges. And even Nissan, a former leader in electric vehicles, has pledged to deliver electrified offerings for all new or redesigned vehicles by the early 2030s.
Sports electric vehicle concepts originating from Nissan, such as the 2011 ESFLOW, fueled speculation that an electrified Z could be in the cards. But if it does, it looks like it will kick off in the next decade.
Sticking to piston horsepower for now is helping Nissan quickly hit the market with a piece of eye candy that is touted as a heritage car “built for enthusiasts, by enthusiasts.”
Sticking to gasoline also helps Nissan keep the Z true to its roots as an affordable fun car – without the added cost of bolting on an electric motor and expensive battery.
The company has yet to talk about pricing, but the sticker is expected to start around $ 40,000. And enthusiastic dealers, hungry for new offerings, say there will be a lot of interest.
“Electrification is the future everyone is talking about. But today, in 2021 and 2022, there is still a great thirst for internal combustion cars,” said Bill Wallace, CEO of Wallace Auto Group, who operates a Nissan store in Stuart, Florida. “It doesn’t concern me at all that it’s not electric. It will bring more traffic to the store. We could sell every unit we get.”