Nissan embraces next-generation Z, GT-R and hints at something 'soon'

A company executive carefully tiptoed around confirming new generations, but promised neither car has been forgotten.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition
Enlarge Image
2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition

Keep the faith, guys; it sounds like we'll eventually see a new Z car.


To say the Nissan Z and GT-R are old is an understatement. While both still possess their own charm, rivals have certainly lapped both sports cars in recent years. Consider this: Both cars have seen at least three presidential terms thus far.

Alas, Nissan promises it hasn't forgotten about its sports cars, and after years of see-sawlike answers, it finally sounds like the company's made up its mind and embraced both a next-generation Z car and GT-R. Autocar reported the joyous news on Wednesday after Nissan's product planning chief, Ivan Espinosa, called both cars "the heart of Nissan" at the Tokyo Motor Show. He added the company is looking at and "actively" working on them.

Roadshow reached out to Nissan for additional information after Espinosa's comments, but the automaker didn't immediately respond. The comments aren't insignificant after the automaker appeared to signal the Z car's death, in particular. But, if the executive's words aren't encouraging enough, he told the publication we can "expect something soon" with regards to both the Z and GT-R.

Whether that means a teaser, a concept car or something else, I don't know. Nor is it clear what he means by "soon." 

Of course, the possibility of electrification is also on the table, but Espinosa kept things vague when questioned about an all-electric Nissan Z. He did mention buyers may not be totally receptive to a battery-electric Z, and a battery's weight would be difficult to overcome for a sports car.

What else the future may hold for Nissan's sports cars further remains murky. The company is also open to discussions about partnerships for its next performance cars, but Espinosa cautioned there may only be so much to make common between a new Z or GT-R and a partner car. Overall, he wants to ensure both cars' heritage is preserved. If that doesn't light a smile on Nissan fans' faces, I don't know what will.

2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition takes off in New York

See all photos
Watch this: Five things you need to know about the 2019 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition