Shiro NakamuraEnlarge Photo
Nakamura also said it was possible that the Nissan Z line may adopt a smaller engine for its next-generation, which would be the first time in the car’s history.
"I much prefer smaller sports car," Nakamura revealed to Australia’s Drive. "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."
He also said that reducing the weight of Nissan’s next-generation of sports cars is a priority.
While downsizing the Z to compete with newcomers like the 2013 Scion FR-S and the 2013 Subaru BRZ may not be ideal, Nissan previously had great success with its 240SX. The vehicle was dropped from Nissan’s global lineup in the previous decade due to its engine, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, failing to meet stricter emissions standards.
Nakamura said he liked the idea of a 240SX successor but didn’t mention any production plans.
When asked if Nissan was capable of having a three tier sports car lineup consisting of an entry-level 240SX successor, mid-level Z and range-topping GT-R supercar, Nakamura said if the demand was there Nissan will do it.
Given the hype surrounding the recent launch of the 2013 Scion FR-S and 2013 Subaru BRZ, an affordable and lightweight sports car with rear-wheel drive dynamics from Nissan could certainly prove popular in the current market.
1997 Nissan 240SX SEEnlarge Photo