Is Nissan about to embark upon a third sports car to sit below the GT-R and 370Z? In an interview with motoring.com.au at the 2012 New York Motor Show, Nissan's design chief Shiro Nakamura spoke openly about his desire for a lighter, smaller sports car than the 370Z.
When questioned about a revived Nissan 200SX (aka Silvia), and if such a car would make for a nice addition to Nissan's global sports car range, Nakamura-san was all smiles.
"The light sporty coupe, yes, it's a nice concept. I like it!"
"I much prefer a smaller sports car, rather than [a bigger one]. Tighter, lighter sports car I think [are] very nice. To me it has potential for the future."
Based on his non-committal answer and the fact that he had to whisper to his minder before answering a question on whether Nissan would indeed build a smaller, more affordable sports car that could slot underneath the 370Z, motoring.com.au believes there's a distinct possibility Nissan is working on a reborn 200SX, or at least a vehicle to rival the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ.
Nakamura explained that a rival for the 2.0-litre Toyota / Subaru sports cars could even wear Z badges: "Maybe a 200Z? Why not a four-cylinder? I'm talking about just an idea. We don’t know yet. Really we have to sit down and work out what a future [small] sports car could be for us.
"This is a very important issue for us," he added.
If there was room for three sports cars in Nissan's line-up, and more importantly demand for a smaller, cheaper sports car (which will depend on how well the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ sell), Nakamura said Nissan would build it.
"If there's room, if there's [the] market we will do it."
"For us the sports car is [the] core of Nissan. Not many company brands have a history of sports cars [like we do]."
Nissan's global design chief was nonchalant about the Toyota and Subaru coupes, saying that Nissan wasn't overly concerned about them and wouldn't be watching them closely.
"We do what we think is right. They do what they think is right. We do not need to be influenced by them."