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Top Gear got a chance to speak with Nissan president and CEO Makoto Uchida about the future of the 400Z and GT-R.

He was coy for most of the interview but the only question he answered was whether or not the 400Z would feel like a Z car. Uchida-san responded “It is a traditional car, but the Z is also one of the hearts of Nissan when it comes to the driving pleasure. So please be patient.”

I'm reading that as the 400Z will have a manual transmission, but I could be biased there haha.

He also had some interesting stuff about the GT-R.

“We are considering how accessible this GTR should be, to customers who drive in the city and want quietness. Some [other] people like that typical transmission feeling, maybe those people like me, they like those noises, the feeling through your legs when you’re driving the car, maybe they’re not satisfied.”


Whereas the next Z will be more traditional. Its design was briefly teased in a video at the end of Uchida’s presentation of his four-year plan. It certainly looks like a cautious evolution of the 370Z. I ask him whether we’ll see the Z in 2021 or 2022.

“Which car?”

Gosh, he really doesn’t want to talk about a car that he’s already shown in his video.

Oh wait, hang on. The Zee, I clarify. You say Zee, I say Zed. “Ah, the Zee.” Even so, he’s deliberately vague.

“We still want to invest for growth. That’s why I wanted to show that film, because many people are saying, ‘where is Nissan is going?’ Our growth path is represented by A to Z. A is Ariya.

“And Z is an exciting car that we would like to bring back, knowing our strengths in sports-car driving pleasure. So I cannot tell you when, but it will come.”

I ask if a car that looks like a Z will also feel like a Z? Is it electrified or is it pure combustion? Does it have rear wheel drive and a manual box? Can you still sell a traditional sports car in today’s world?

To which series of questions he will only answer: “It is a traditional car, but the Z is also one of the hearts of Nissan when it comes to the driving pleasure. So please be patient.”

OK, I’ll be patient, and ask about something else, the GT-R. Will there be another? He says that in the latest version of the R35, “driving comfort is totally improved, so it could be also used in cities, right? Quietness is more. It has a lot of riding comfort”.

But he realises this could be controversial. “We are considering how accessible this GTR should be, to customers who drive in the city and want quietness. Some [other] people like that typical transmission feeling, maybe those people like me, they like those noises, the feeling through your legs when you’re driving the car, maybe they’re not satisfied.”

Sounds like if the boss gets his way, a future GT-R, however it’s powered, will still have to a bit crazy? “I don’t say crazy. This is the beauty of the sports car.”
 

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It’s obvious they really don’t know themselves to even through out a date. I feel they have so much headache on the table financially and they’re future it’s hard to say where they’ll even be. It has definitely already put me in a very open mind to my next purchase. Nissan really is disconnected from they’re buyers along with giving any hope regardless what he said.
 

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Top Gear got a chance to speak with Nissan president and CEO Makoto Uchida about the future of the 400Z and GT-R.

He was coy for most of the interview but the only question he answered was whether or not the 400Z would feel like a Z car. Uchida-san responded “It is a traditional car, but the Z is also one of the hearts of Nissan when it comes to the driving pleasure. So please be patient.”

I'm reading that as the 400Z will have a manual transmission, but I could be biased there haha.

He also had some interesting stuff about the GT-R.

“We are considering how accessible this GTR should be, to customers who drive in the city and want quietness. Some [other] people like that typical transmission feeling, maybe those people like me, they like those noises, the feeling through your legs when you’re driving the car, maybe they’re not satisfied.”


Whereas the next Z will be more traditional. Its design was briefly teased in a video at the end of Uchida’s presentation of his four-year plan. It certainly looks like a cautious evolution of the 370Z. I ask him whether we’ll see the Z in 2021 or 2022.

“Which car?”

Gosh, he really doesn’t want to talk about a car that he’s already shown in his video.

Oh wait, hang on. The Zee, I clarify. You say Zee, I say Zed. “Ah, the Zee.” Even so, he’s deliberately vague.

We still want to invest for growth. That’s why I wanted to show that film, because many people are saying, ‘where is Nissan is going?’ Our growth path is represented by A to Z. A is Ariya.

“And Z is an exciting car that we would like to bring back, knowing our strengths in sports-car driving pleasure. So I cannot tell you when, but it will come.”

I ask if a car that looks like a Z will also feel like a Z? Is it electrified or is it pure combustion? Does it have rear wheel drive and a manual box? Can you still sell a traditional sports car in today’s world?

To which series of questions he will only answer: “It is a traditional car, but the Z is also one of the hearts of Nissan when it comes to the driving pleasure. So please be patient.”

OK, I’ll be patient, and ask about something else, the GT-R. Will there be another? He says that in the latest version of the R35, “driving comfort is totally improved, so it could be also used in cities, right? Quietness is more. It has a lot of riding comfort”.

But he realises this could be controversial. “We are considering how accessible this GTR should be, to customers who drive in the city and want quietness. Some [other] people like that typical transmission feeling, maybe those people like me, they like those noises, the feeling through your legs when you’re driving the car, maybe they’re not satisfied.”

Sounds like if the boss gets his way, a future GT-R, however it’s powered, will still have to a bit crazy? “I don’t say crazy. This is the beauty of the sports car.”
Well at least some clues. The points in red kind of leads into the direction of the new Z to be based on existing structure, nothing Nissan will invest financially as far as new ideas, so based on a modified Q series. Traditional and sports-car driving pleasure huh? The 6-spd comes into play (I sure hope so).

Good post.
 

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I’m curious when this interview took place? If it took place just after the A-Z teaser as it, that was a couple of months ago. It’s strange/curious that he isn’t more specific about an on sales date when so much has been written since that teaser about the car launch late next year.
 

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That’s my feeling as well. You’d think he’d say more if there was a reveal coming this year and production start next year.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The way I'm reading it is that he's deliberately messing around with the interviewer and would rather talk about the Ariya EV.

However, if this was done around that time that A-Z video was released I wonder why Top Gear sat on it for so long.
 

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This is a common approach nowadays. Makers hype up a new 'hot' model so much that by the time the car comes out sometimes it's underwhelming. Other times it works, e.g. Bronco, to generate mass orders. OTH by the time certain cars come out, it wasn't what was expected, e.g. Supra, which in this case kind of sad since the first model year is immed followed by lots of upgrades just a year later, making owners pissed. Or there is always first-year quality issues with many makes.

I sure hope the 400Z really delivers, cuz I'm hyped up right now!
 
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