Nissan officials have reportedly confirmed in interviews at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show that successors to the marque’s storied sports cars, the Z and GT-R, are in development.
Ivan Espinosa, Nissan’s vice president of global product strategy and product planning, told Autocar that both models are “at the heart of Nissan and we are actively looking at and working on them.”
Espinosa reportedly stated that Nissan is open to collaborating with other automakers on its sports cars, akin to how Toyota partnered with Subaru to produce the 86 and outsourced the Supra to BMW.
“There are no golden rules and we are particularly open,” said Espinosa. “There are some elements you can’t play with as these are brand icons. There is a limit to what you can share and commonize, with expectations not to go beyond what customers expect from a brand. There are challenges and difficulties that will force us outside to look at different options but they are important to us.”
One element Nissan could play with is powertrain type, as Espinosa reportedly said that an electric Z is something that Nissan is “discussing all the time.” Regardless of what kind of powertrain the Z or GT-R use, Espinosa reportedly said that the public “can expect something soon.”
“I can’t share what, but that doesn’t mean we’re not working on them. Nissan is about exciting cars,” Espinosa concluded.
While Nissan could cooperate with another automaker to bring the next Z to fruition, company executives have previously stated that the GT-R must remain independently developed, lest it lose its halo car status. In other words, Nissan has a mountain to climb if it intends for the R36 GT-R to be “the fastest super sports car in the world.”