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Old 04-07-2012, 09:59 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Nissan 200Z or 250Z? It could happen



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A range of lighter, smaller sports cars could mean the iconic Nissan Z car gets a smaller engine for the first time.
For the first time in the history of the legendary Nissan Z its engine may shrink in size.

Nissan's design boss Shiro Nakamura revealed the brand was looking to downsize its sports models, which could include a revival of the Silvia that was sold here as the 200SX.

Just as car makers around the world are reducing their cars' engine capacities Nissan is looking at smaller, lighter models, which would in turn use smaller engines.


"I much prefer smaller sports car," says Nakamura. "It is the time to look at that [smaller engines]. With 370Z, we still don't know next generation will have a larger or smaller engine."

Nakamura says reducing the weight of the next generation Nissan sports cars is a priority.

Light weight has long been vital to ensure the agility and speed expected in a sports car, but fast improving engine technologies is allowing manufacturers to use smaller, more efficient engines.

The latest BMW M5 downsized from a 5.0-litre V10 to a more powerful 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, and the next M3 is expected to follow suit, while many European luxury brands are using four-cylinders in place of six-cylinders.

The shift to a smaller Z car could create a headache for Nissan's marketing department; the engine capacity in the Nissan Z cars is what has determined its name since the first 240Z (with a 2.4-litre six-cylinder).
Nissan could stay faithful to the naming convention - Nakamura even joked about a 200Z - or choose the route of many European car makers (Mercedes-Benz and BMW the most obvious) in abandoning the naming convention and instead choosing numbers more in line with the car's performance. A Mercedes-Benz C250 CDi, for example, would once have used a 2.5-litre engine, whereas now it has a 1.8-litre.

Nakamura also hinted that Nissan is looking at a return of the Silvia, or 200SX.

While he was coy in his response, the time it took him to answer a question of whether he is working on a Silvia replacement suggests something is going on behind the scenes.

"I cannot say," was his eventual response, earlier saying he was a big fan of the idea.

"Light, sport coupe is a nice concept, I like it."
He said sports cars were a key component of the Nissan range, which in Australia has been dominated for a decade by four-wheel-drives and utes.
"Sports car is a core of Nissan. We ... really we have to sit down and work out what the future sports car should be for us."

He suggested that whatever happened moving forward - and whether it includes two sports cars or three - they would likely be smaller and significantly lighter.

"It's not necessary that size is important, also we have GT-R."
So could the Nissan brand sustain three sports cars in its range - the Silvia (200SX), Z and GT-R?

"If there is a market we will do it," says Nakamura.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:05 AM   #2
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"The latest BMW M5 downsized from a 5.0-litre V10 to a more powerful 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8"

HAHAHA. And I downsized from a Triple Whopper meal to a Double whopper...with forced induction.
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:13 AM   #3
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they need to save the z as a big motor and bring back the 240sx to compete with the BRZ...
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:34 PM   #4
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A turbo four would be nice on the Z. They need to make the design more like the Z32 or retro Datsun. The 370 tried too hard to be a 911, but ended up looking like a frog.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:51 PM   #5
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Shrink the car, not the motor.
Ugh.
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:34 PM   #6
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Just call it the "Z" or "Fairlady Z" to get away from the displacement naming.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tibug View Post
"The latest BMW M5 downsized from a 5.0-litre V10 to a more powerful 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8"

HAHAHA. And I downsized from a Triple Whopper meal to a Double whopper...with forced induction.
Except it's still more than half a liter of displacement that's gone while making more power. I'm struggling to see why there's a need to laugh at the statement.

I think the point of the article is that companies are trying to make more efficient running vehicles while still keeping the performance, which BMW did. 4.4 liters isn't really that large of a motor.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XanRules View Post
Shrink the car, not the motor.
Ugh.
Wow, what happened to me disagreeing with you, this is the 2nd time today I have liked your posts... (the first being in one of the BRZ threads about people being blinded by their own bias and you disagreeing).

If they don't shrink the car, there's no point IMO.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XanRules View Post
Shrink the car, not the motor.
Ugh.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXHillClimb View Post
Wow, what happened to me disagreeing with you, this is the 2nd time today I have liked your posts... (the first being in one of the BRZ threads about people being blinded by their own bias and you disagreeing).

If they don't shrink the car, there's no point IMO.
Congrats, Xan.


370Z:
Wheelbase 100.4*in (2,550*mm)
Length 167.1*in (4,240*mm)
Width 72.8*in (1,850*mm)
Height 51.8*in (1,320*mm)

Veloster:
Wheelbase 104.3*in (2,649*mm)
Length 166.1*in (4,219*mm)
Width 70.5*in (1,791*mm) 71.1*in (1,806*mm) (Turbo)
Height 55.1*in (1,400*mm)

The 370Z is tiny already.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calamity Jesus View Post
Congrats, Xan.


370Z:
Wheelbase 100.4*in (2,550*mm)
Length 167.1*in (4,240*mm)
Width 72.8*in (1,850*mm)
Height 51.8*in (1,320*mm)

Veloster:
Wheelbase 104.3*in (2,649*mm)
Length 166.1*in (4,219*mm)
Width 70.5*in (1,791*mm) 71.1*in (1,806*mm) (Turbo)
Height 55.1*in (1,400*mm)

The 370Z is tiny already.
You forgot the most important metric to size in regards to performance, WEIGHT :P.

Veloster: 2584
370z: ~3200

So his is bigger AND lighter fail from nissan.

EDIT: Also, holy ****, I just realized the veloster turbo (if it were not FWD) is pretty damn amazing AND disproves all the fanbois because it is estimated to start at 21500. But we can just leave this here so they hopefully don't come swarm me as a heretic/start saying all the millions of minor details (veloster is hatch & fwd, etc) why its an entirely different market. If only honda could learn from the korean name rippers :P.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXHillClimb View Post
You forgot the most important metric to size in regards to performance, WEIGHT :P.

Veloster: 2584
370z: ~3200

So his is bigger AND lighter fail from nissan.

EDIT: Also, holy ****, I just realized the veloster turbo (if it were not FWD) is pretty damn amazing AND disproves all the fanbois because it is estimated to start at 21500. But we can just leave this here so they hopefully don't come swarm me as a heretic/start saying all the millions of minor details (veloster is hatch & fwd, etc) why its an entirely different market. If only honda could learn from the korean name rippers :P.
Feel free to list the lighter 330hp+ cars on the market for similar money to the 370Z. More HP = more weight all else being equal.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:47 AM   #12
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I'm sure they're waiting to see how the GT/BRZ/FR-S does in sales before pulling the trigger on anything. They really need to bring the SX back, a little competition in the lightweight hardtop FR world would nice. Then in candy dreamland, Toyota could resurrect the MR2 to be a poor mans Elise.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calamity Jesus View Post

Feel free to list the lighter 330hp+ cars on the market for similar money to the 370Z. More HP = more weight all else being equal.
And if we really want to talk about a parts bin special, the Veloster Turbo will have a wicked nice semi-independent rear suspension to give you that sports car feel. Seeing that the Veloster is a parts bin creation from the Elantra, I don't have much expectation it will be terribly fun to drive even with the turbo after it gains 300lbs in Turbo guise.

You generally get what you pay for. $21k gets you a fancy looking Elantra with a turbo.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calamity Jesus View Post
Feel free to list the lighter 330hp+ cars on the market for similar money to the 370Z. More HP = more weight all else being equal.
But they aren't talking about redesigning the chassis, more just offering a smaller engine at (who knows how much) reduced price. The 370 chassis is definitely what has the weight more-so than the engine. A v6 doesn't weigh 800lbs more than a 4 cyl. Don't get me wrong, I think the 370 is a good car, just not a good chassis for a BRZ competitor.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calamity Jesus View Post
Feel free to list the lighter 330hp+ cars on the market for similar money to the 370Z. More HP = more weight all else being equal.
But they aren't talking about redesigning the chassis, more just offering a smaller engine at (who knows how much) reduced price. The 370 chassis is definitely what has the weight more-so than the engine. A v6 doesn't weigh 800lbs more than a 4 cyl. Don't get me wrong, I think the 370 is a good car, just not a good chassis for a BRZ competitor.

Also, the veloster is already a decent handling vehicle I'm pretty sure...
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:08 AM   #16
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Reducing engine size without redesigning the chassis will do very little.
Sure.. It will reduce fuel consumption, but nobody buys a z for its fuel economy.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewbie View Post
Reducing engine size without redesigning the chassis will do very little.
Did you read the article? I know WRXHillClimb didn't. They're talking about the next gen version of the Z... not putting a smaller engine into the existing car.
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Old 04-08-2012, 02:23 AM   #18
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The resemblance between Z and Veloster is remarkable, at least appearance wise.

Almost like a Z shooting brake body style, despite them being pretty much nothing alike underneath.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:09 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by quentinberg007 View Post
And if we really want to talk about a parts bin special, the Veloster Turbo will have a wicked nice semi-independent rear suspension to give you that sports car feel. Seeing that the Veloster is a parts bin creation from the Elantra, I don't have much expectation it will be terribly fun to drive even with the turbo after it gains 300lbs in Turbo guise.

You generally get what you pay for. $21k gets you a fancy looking Elantra with a turbo.
The Veloster is derived from the Accent.

And I don't think that many people had problems with the Integra being derived from the Civic or the Celica derived from the Corolla.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:00 AM   #20
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comparisons to the veloster are ludicrous. there is a big difference between a rwd chassis and a fwd chassis, both in weight, balance and driving dynamics
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:26 PM   #21
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It seems the trend now is they're focusing on making smaller,lighter cars to increase mpg and performance. Subaru was on track before they started enlarging the legacy,forester,and the rest of their line ups.
And their sales number did go up.
Now if everyone started downsizing? I wonder if Subaru will go back to making small again?
I myself prefer the good old days.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ysidro
It seems the trend now is they're focusing on making smaller,lighter cars to increase mpg and performance. Subaru was on track before they started enlarging the legacy,forester,and the rest of their line ups.
And their sales number did go up.
Now if everyone started downsizing? I wonder if Subaru will go back to making small again?
I myself prefer the good old days.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:13 PM   #23
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80k GTR
50k Z car
25k 240sx successor

The 300zx cost more than the 370z when it came out even before accounting for inflation. Give the Z more power, possibly 8 cylinders or a turbo 6 making 350-380hp, and more options.

Bring back a 240sx successor, **** just bring the S15 back and to the US, and sell it for $25k as a BRZ/FRS/Miata competitor.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:48 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h23 View Post
80k GTR
50k Z car
25k 240sx successor

The 300zx cost more than the 370z when it came out even before accounting for inflation. Give the Z more power, possibly 8 cylinders or a turbo 6 making 350-380hp, and more options.

Bring back a 240sx successor, **** just bring the S15 back and to the US, and sell it for $25k as a BRZ/FRS/Miata competitor.
An 8 cylinder would be moving very far away from market trends - and Nissan's own designs, since even the GT-R only has a V6 - and an S15/240SX successor would require a lot of R&D.
Here's what's going to happen.
If the BRZ/FR-S is a success, and I honestly don't see a reason why it won't be, Nissan will build something to compete with it. But because they're Nissan, it will be hideously styled, have a transmission made of fiberglass and wood, come out five years too late, and cost thirty grand.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:59 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calamity Jesus View Post

Feel free to list the lighter 330hp+ cars on the market for similar money to the 370Z. More HP = more weight all else being equal.
Only one that comes close is the '13 Genesis coupe

348 hp 3433 lbs

Last edited by hkerekes; 04-08-2012 at 08:05 PM. Reason: found the correct weight
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