The Supra's success has apparently rubbed off on Nissan.
It seems like every time Nissan attends a global auto show, the automaker is grilled about the next 370Z and GT-R. With both cars on the market for over a decade now, it is fair to ask Nissan if it still plans successors, especially since we haven't even seen any prototypes driving around. In past interviews, Nissan has promised it hasn't forgotten its two sports cars and it won't partner with another automaker to build the next-generation models.
While the news regarding Nissan sports cars has been frustratingly minimal, the company keeps assuring us they are coming... eventually. And in recent interviews at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan finally gave us a bit more to look forward to by saying it will have something to reveal soon.
Product planning boss Ivan Espinosa told Autocar that its sports cars "were at the heart of Nissan, and we are actively looking at and working on them." He added that we "can expect something soon. I can't share what but that doesn't mean we're not working on them. Nissan is about exciting cars." This is finally some better news because it locks Nissan down from "eventually" down to "soon."
But along with this promise, Nissan also changed its stance on seeking an outside partner. "There are no golden rules and we are particularly open," Espinosa said. "There are some elements you can't play with as these are brand icons. There is a limit to what you can share and commonize, with expectations not to go beyond what customers expect from a brand. There are challenges and difficulties that will force us outside to look at different options but there are important to us." BMW and Toyota have recently shown the benefits of co-developing a sports car with the Z4 and Supra and Nissan has clearly been paying attention.
As for the drivetrains and the potential to go all-electric or hybrid, Espinosa said this is a decision Nissan is "discussing all the time" and that the company is "working on" but has yet to reach a conclusion on. In a separate discussion, Nissan's Senior Vice-President for Design, Alfonso Albaisa, said there is no way the company would ever abandon the heritage of the Z car.
"It's easy to imagine [a successor to the 370Z]. The Z is the car that democratized sports cars back in the sixties. Before that, you had to have the money to buy a Porsche or a Jaguar. The current car has been a long time in the dealerships, and so you can imagine the designers working on a successor, even if I am not going to confirm it."