Currently in America, if you want a sports car that wears a Nissan badge without spending about $100 grand, you have one option: a Nissan 370Z. The 2018 370Z is essentially the same car Nissan started selling nine years ago, and while it is high time for a replacement, there’s no evidence one is in the works. But that doesn’t mean the Z is going away anytime soon, either.
A source at Nissan spoke with Motor Authority about the future of the Z car, and told them that the Z will
“... be updated to meet future safety and regulatory standards as to not be regulatoried out of production.”
They also went on to say that, despite no clear plans for a replacement,
“there’s strong interested within the company for the Z to live on.”
So, does this mean the 370Z is due for a substantial overhaul? According to Joel Feder of Motor Authority,
“Our source said the updates will be regulatory and minor. So likely safety and emissions, but we didn’t get details on exactly what kinds of updates. There was emphasis on the fact that they don’t want the current car to be ‘regulatoried out,’ e.g., not meet upcoming standards. We aren’t looking at a full overhaul.”
So, uh, no. No major overhaul. Just the minimum to keep it legal.
Depending on how you look at it, this can be seen as a good or bad/sad thing. On the plus side, it’s great they still want to produce a pure front-mid-engine’d sports car, even if it means just doing the minimum to keep it around. If they keep at it long enough, maybe the 370Z will be like a Morgan?
On the other hand, there’s very little that says more clearly that they don’t have any real plans for a replacement if they’re willing to put this sort of effort into an already old platform. That’s pretty sad, and doesn’t speak too well about Nissan’s future sports car plans.
Maybe to mix things up a bit, they’ll start calling it the Fairlady Z here in the U.S., too. That’d be something novel, at least.