The Z approach!!
Imagine all Auto Makers playing cards, all players threw their best cards except for Nissan still holding it.
Toyota released the GT86-BRZ a light weight, small and affordable sport car, Mazda took their time to release the new Miata and they made sure it will compete well against the GT86 and it did. I am an owner of NA Miata and all those years I say to myself Mazda will never make a better Miata than the NA but they did. The ND is a perfect budget sport car, might be tiny for some people but for the same price you won’t find anything better.
While Mitsubishi is dreaming about making the world greener and Honda still busy with the new NSX, rumors spreading insanely about the Next Z!
The Fairlady (the name came from a song in the late 60s) started as a simple very affordable sport car, the goal was to produce a sport car that everybody can own. The car made a hit back then, Datsun started to export the Fairlady Z but with the 240z name to the USA and made a huge success. Then the 260 and the 280 came, it started to become heavier and heavier with the 300zx (Z31) then the other 300zx (Z32) became even heavier with an engine that came from another planet. The complicated unreliable engine made people swap engines. The Z32 stopped in 1996 in USA and stopped completely in 2000 in Japan.
We lived a time of silence, the internet was not a big part of our life back then. Until the first concept was released for the 350z (Z33), it’s not a light weight affordable car like the 240z used to be but still will do the job, so Nissan went back to the game. Then the HR engine came and the 350z gained a few pounds and with no break Nissan released the Z34 in 2009. The 370z is like reshaping the 350z to make it look like the old 240z with more gadgets and better interior quality, totally neglecting the Z roots and being more expensive and heavier. The car became for those who are going through a midlife crisis and want to drive a sport car get some hope in life or for those who just want a sport car for the sake of owning one.
The 350z still living its glory days even with the 370z is out there, why? The car came with a drifting theme, Nissan played it smart producing a car with a chassis that will make you can’t resist to drift – to go sideways. The 350z opened heaven gates for after-market parts. I am a 2008 350z HR owner but still the DE is my favorite, DE might be a little slower but the few less pounds gives you the feeling that you are controlling the car well. People have no reason for buying a 370z, enthusiasts will buy a 350z and use the extra cash for after-market parts and enjoy the culture.
A message for Nissan:
I always have a thing for the Z, owned 2 Zs in my life and I will start the hunt for a 240z in a few years, I am a JDMer always craving after-market parts and living the JDM culture, blaming my parents because they choose LHD country to live in rather than RHD. Silvia s15 is still my dream car because it’s light, rear wheel drive, modifiable, affordable with a turbo motor. but I can’t own one because RHD is illegal in Bahrain.
The s15 recipe can’t go wrong! I know millions (off course through the internet) having the same mentality. We are extremely happy with the new VR30 3.0 TT engine, but it’s time for the FM chassis to retire and a new light weight chassis to be born, perhaps a S-chassis successor.
Think well before you throw your card, we are waiting but not for that long.