This will surely upset purists if it turns out to be true.
After multiple speculations saying that Mitsubishi may consider turning the legendary EVO into a crossover, the fans of classic Japanese sports car are in for another blow. It seems that Nissan too is prepping a radical sports crossover to stick its famous Z badges on – or that’s what Autocar reports.
As the cool 370Z is nearing the end of its lifecycle, the Japanese car maker is continuously looking for a radical successor to take its place. That said, after the IDx concepts were scrapped, sources indicate that Nissan has settled on a small sports-crossover that’s actually expected to showcase – in some form or another – as early as the Frankfurt Motor Show, in September.
Sure, the craving for crossovers is growing by the day, while regular sports cars are getting less and less interesting to the average consumer (that’s why Nissan dropped the IDx program to begin with). Moreover, speculations indicate that the upcoming Z will allegedly be similar in size to the Juke, but will be based on the Renault-Nissan latest CMF B platform and its engine line-up will be able to accommodate a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol powerplant.
Well, it’s obvious that Nissan is looking to revolutionize the Z range, but is the SUV-ish approach the right one? As the GT-R will remain the solely “high-end” super-machine manufactured by Nissan, the Z series will target the “affordable” performance niche, aimed at younger people. That makes sense, especially since the 370Z has morphed – over time – in a 3.7-litre V6 beast; and to think it all began with a 2.4-litre inline six, as seen in the Datsun 240Z.
Still, thinking there’s already the Juke with its own high-performance variants, does a Z branded SUV make any kind of sense? Wouldn’t the future performance-oriented crossover step in the Juke’s territory?
Nissan Kicks Concept pictured