When, oh when will Nissan ever develop a new Z-car. Enthusiasts have been waiting for years without so much as a peep from Nissan headquarters about one on the horizon. With Nissan in a heap of trouble financially, and with a portfolio that’s ancient, the Z may not be on the top of its list. But it should be. Whether this is an indication Nissan knows this or not it has registered a new Z logo. Actually, it’s more like the first logo in 1970. Either way, you look at it this is hopefully the first sign that there might be a new 3XX-Z in the not-too-distant future. One can hope, anyway.
Some think that there is a new radical Z under development
Some are saying that the new Z is under hot development. That it will be a retro design that harkens back to the first 240 Z in its design language. But, we also know those car designers hate to go retro. They always wish to move forward. Plus, the last two generations of the Z are not bad starting points if you’re a designer.
So the idea that Nissan is going all heritage and retro is questionable. Would we like that? Absolutely! Is it likely to happen with a bunch of hormonally crazed young Nissan designers? Probably not. But it wasn’t that long ago that Nissan came up with the IDx Nismo concept sedan that was a retro stab at the legendary 510 Datsun sedans of the late-1960s. Nissan should have produced them. But it was too busy squeezing dealers to sell millions of Sentras to care about the IDx.
Nissan needs a halo car like the Z
They missed the company memo that sometimes you need a halo car; something that highlights everything good about your brand even if you only sell 50,000 a year. The Corvette is a perfect example of that philosophy. A new Z or the IDx Nismo sedan would take care of that need.
This came from a Canadian trademark filing just last week. It could just be for a heritage special edition before they tank the Z completely. Sort of a last gasp. Or, it could be for an all-new Z.
Nissan sold only 500 Zs in 2019
To put it into perspective Nissan sold just under 1,000 Zs in 2017, 700 in 2018, and 500 in 2019. Maybe a heritage edition slamming customers back to the glory days of the Z would entice a few more customers to plunk down some cha-cha for the last year it is made?
In the US the Z sold almost 6,000 in 2016. Last year it sold under 2,500. There just isn’t a lot of steam left in the Nissan Z. That could be said for a lot of the other models under the Nissan umbrella. And that’s the larger problem.
Nissan was complacent, but a new Z would invigorate the brand
Nissan has gotten complacent. Now it’s in trouble. So, it needs to put effort into the models from the most popular segments. That means SUVs and pickup trucks. And Nissan’s two segments of pickups are ancient. Really old designs. So it is probably working harder on developing new pickups and SUVs than a sports car that it sold on average 25.000 in its better years.
But the hopeful ones amongst us are thinking this could be the logo for an all-new Z. We’ll know soon enough.