Something is happening in Japan.
The Nissan GT-R isn't expected to be around much longer, though this has been said many times before. And yet, Godzilla is still with us. But there's another nameplate from the Japanese automaker that's accrued millions of fans over the years but still remains off-limits (in name only) in America: Skyline. Dating back to the 1950s, today's Skyline is also known as the Infiniti Q50. Nissan and Ford recently both filed for the Skyline naming rights in North America. That issue has yet to be resolved.
However, the Q50 is long in the tooth and isn't expected to be around much longer. But Nissan seems to be working on a successor, according to Japan's Best Car. This new rumor claims the Skyline name could soon be used for not one, but two body styles: a four-door coupe and an SUV.
The US, in fact, already has what's essentially a Skyline SUV: the new Infiniti QX55. The report hints that Nissan executives aren't so sure what to do with the Skyline brand in the long term, but the carmaker's Executive Vice President, Asako Hoshino, is supposedly determined to keep the name alive somehow. Rebadging the QX55 probably isn't the answer.
Automakers are gearing up for an all-electric future so it'd make zero sense to go the QX55 route. Pure battery-electric options are far more likely at this point. Where this could get interesting for the North American market is the four-door coupe.
Given the Q50's limited time, Nissan could finally build a production-spec version of the stunning Infiniti Qs Inspiration concept, revealed back in 2019. Its all-electric powertrain is combined with all-wheel drive and, in theory, could even perform double duty as both a sedan and SUV due to its elevated ride height. Sell it as an Infiniti in the US and the next Nissan Skyline in Japan. It could be that simple.
Nissan is fully aware of the importance of retaining legendary models, like the all-new Z sports coupe. The transition to EVs is a very delicate and challenging process, so blending this new powertrain technology with familiar nameplates could be the best way to go.