What The Hell Has Happened To Nissan?

As you’ve seen in the past couple of months, we’ve somehow convinced SH leadership to let us contributors get up on the soap box every once in a while to share our thoughts about car culture and auto industry topics. Well, I thought I’d take a shot at it, and today I want to talk about what’s happened to one of my favorite car brands.


This year I had the chance to visit the famous Nissan DNA Garage while in Yokohama, Japan. I’m sure you’re all familiar with it too, as it’s one of the most impressive collections of vehicles you’ll see anywhere in the world.


It’s incredible; the rally cars, the touring cars, the Group C cars and of course the production cars. But as I made my way through the rows and rows of Silvias, Skylines, Bluebirds and Fairladys, the more I came to a rather sad realization. If you enjoy cars, today’s Nissan is pretty disappointing.


In a way, the same thing can be said about other big Japanese automakers too, but Nissan in particular seems to have almost completely abandoned the notion that normal people actually like cars and driving.


If you look at the present day Nissan line-up there’s really only two models that an enthusiast might consider. One is the GT-R, which don’t get me wrong has always been an extremely impressive machine. But an expensive halo car can only do so much.


The R35 GT-R has been around since 2007, and while it’s become faster (and more expensive) since then, it’s not a car that too many people can realistically plan to buy – especially young people. Maybe I’m too pragmatic, but for most people it’s hard to get too excited about a car with a price point that starts at US$100,000.


Yes, it’s a great performance car, but in its price range it faces some extremely stiff competition from both European and American brands. And, as recent reports suggests, the next generation GT-R could still be five years away.


The other sports machine in Nissan’s line-up is the 370Z – a car that was introduced in 2008. Seven years on, no real news of a replacement is anywhere to be found. It’s not a bad car by any means either, it’s just that other carmakers have come so far in that time while the Z has remained stagnant.


Every time an auto show comes around I keep expecting Nissan to unveil a new Z that will either take the car back to its lightweight 240Z roots, or make it a baby GT-R that can compete with the likes of the BMW M4 or American V8s. But here we are still waiting. Did Nissan forget the Z even exists in its effort to build more crossover SUVs?


And speaking of SUVs, I suppose the turbocharged Nismo Juke RS should be mentioned. On paper it’s an interesting idea, but an awkward-looking miniature SUV with FWD and a CVT transmission isn’t going to draw buyers away from Volkswagen GTIs, Subaru WRXs and Ford Focus STs.


In Japan, Nissan also sells a Nismo version of the Note hatchback, but its 138 horsepower seems underwhelming when the Europeans (including Nissan’s own partner Renault) build great hot hatchbacks that are both practical and extremely fun to drive.


And then there’s Infiniti. I was actually a big fan of the previous V36 chassis, which took the fun of the Z and wrapped it in a more upscale and usable package, but after driving the replacement, most reviewers have agreed the new version took a big step back in terms of fun and excitement.


So now we’ve got a confusing Q line-up which includes the remains of Nissan Skyline DNA, but has never offered anything to compete with BMW’s M cars, Mercedes’ AMGs, Audi’s hot sedans or even the Lexus F cars. Word has it that Infiniti is developing a new line of turbocharged engines for its cars, and that should be a step in the right direction. But will it be enough?


The saddest thing of all is that within the last couple of years Nissan has shown glimmers of hope only to quickly extinguish them. Last year there was the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept – a sports sedan with the heart of the GT-R that felt like a no-brainer. And it seemed like it was going to happen until Infiniti’s VP recently confirmed its cancellation – expense being the reason why.


But that’s nothing compared to the tease and disappointment that are the IDx concepts. Unveiled back in 2013, the IDx Freeflow and IDx Nismo gave us a glimpse of an affordable rear-wheel drive car that drew lots of inspiration from the iconic Datsun 510 and other great Nissan models of the past.


We were pumped about it. It seemed like the car that could bring Nissan back to its former glory, and for a while it felt like it could actually become a reality. And then Nissan said it would also be too expensive to make it work. So that’s that, I guess.

http://www.autogaleria.hu -

I won’t even get into the return of the Silvia, because there’s been false rumors about that model ever since the S15 went away. As I’ve said before, for now the turbocharged Mustang that I drive is as close to a new Silvia as you’ll get.


And maybe I’d be more understanding of Nissan’s reluctance to build niche market cars if it hadn’t literally engineered, built and sold this thing. The Murano CrossCabriolet is widely considered one the most pointless and laughable cars ever made, and it’s not hard to see why. You decide to take a risk and this is what you make?


Now, I don’t claim to know how to run a successful mainstream car company, and I do realize that the vast majority of auto buyers care nothing about fun. But I can’t see how abandoning exciting ideas and teasing car enthusiasts with cool concepts is going to win you any good will or brand loyalty.

Even Nissan’s advertising these days seems to lack soul. Innovation that excites? C’mon. All I see are brainless commercials with terrible CG animations of cars doing fake stunts. And they tell you nothing about the actual vehicle. Seriously. Watch this and tell me it’s not one of the worst car commercials ever made…

And don’t forget this is the same company that back in the ’90s made some of the most clever and memorable commercials of all time.


Does Nissan think car enthusiasts are extinct? Look at a company like Ford; these days it manages to offer a fun vehicle in just about every price range and segment, from bargain-basement turbocharged hatchbacks to a legitimate supercar.


Maybe this is all soap box internet car guy complaining, but it just sucks to see a company with such an exciting history become so conservative and seemingly uninterested in the car as something more than a mode of transportation. When young people adore the cars you made 20 years ago, but you don’t build anything for them today, something feels wrong.


C’mon Nissan, be something special again. You yourself have shown that you’re more than capable of it.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media



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dare I say this is a bold post...lol...but the same can be said for other jdm brands...


patelhishaam Exactly. Do toyota and honda sell anything even remotely fun?


ChrisGoding the FRS?


I also think that Japan is still enduring the devastation from the 2011 earthquake...may or may not be impacting car manufacturers...so there focus may have been shifted to generating revenue...not desires of the hearts...


Civic Si and upcoming Type-R? Upcoming NSX?


Garbage, the new NSX is an ugly Audi R8 wannabe, the Civic Type R is now a bloated 5 door?? Really...Fun cars were the Prelude, CRX and Civic Si 2dr hatchback. How dare you call NEW overweight Hondas fun!


As an old Nissan guy, the brand hasn't been the same since the 90's in terms of enthusiast cars. I've owned an S12, S13, and B14. The B15 Sentra SE-R Spec-V was the last gasp IMO. Now all their cars seem to be plebeian vehicles with CVT that handle horribly. The new Maxima is trying to be a performance and luxury car and succeeding at neither . The Altima is horrible. Don't get me started on the Sentra. ..Bnd why didn't they throw the Juke's turbo engine in the Sentra and call it an SE-R? The GTR is the only thing they having going for them and I'm not noticing any tech trickling down to their more affordable offerings....


ChrisGoding patelhishaam The only thing Honda sells (until the Type-R Civic comes out) is the Accord 6-6 Coupe. At least that's the way it is in the US


yes they do...but the magic of the past is fading...previous jdm icons were done in series and there were many from each brand to choose from...Nissan - silvias, skylines, laurels, Toyota - Supra, JZXs, Levins, Honda - Civics, Integras, NSX, Subaru & Mitsubishi had one car each but were revised constantly...now...it's 1 or 2 appealing sports models from each brand...


I was thinking exactly this just the other night.
I'm hoping that this is really just the same loss of way that the American car companies went through from the eighties on really into the early 2000's.
Ford in particular and with GM and Chrysler to lesser extent have seemingly remembered the enthusiasts among the car buying public and I'm hold on hope that the Japanese will too.


long live the 90s


It's sad. Like you mentioned Mike yea they have the Gtr and the 370z but they've remained almost the same for almost 10 years! Come on Nissan WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!! Honda is doing great things like their new Civic Type R and Nsx, Mazda put out their new Miata, Toyota has got their Frs/86 booming all over the world, Ford has got their ST and now RS models. What happened to the powerhouse Nissan used to be? Fine... Let them become the next Mitsubishi and sell only stale cars and let their legendary machines die off.


The only Japanese manufacturer that sells affordable excitement these days is Mazda. Their cars still handle well, look great, and do not rely on CVT for their automatics.


Bring back the online six!


@Achmiel accord 6-6?? I'm confused




I will be paying off my Armada next year.
Thanks to The JDM Failure in affordable RWD sports cars.
I am 6.2 ft and nothing new works for me.
370?- too tight.
G37? against a 5.0? = pass
FR-S? Sell me the car without the engine! Drop in a supercharged TRD V8 and we can talk.
Honda Civic turbo?  RWD Fool! Are you Deaf?
This will probably be the last new car I buy.
If I am going to go back into debt for a car; it better be Fracking worth it!!
Maybe I can barrow a R34 from Canada for 30days or import a Supra from Japan.
I still have my S13 coupe in the garage to fix up. I just wish I could have bought it brand new.


Toyota needs to get the ball rolling also, that S-FR would be perfect, keep it affordable and it would sell like hot cakes (especially in the US)!
LOVING GAZOO's Racing Concept!


@Saint lets get back to the height issue here, im 6,7ft 
and a lot of modern cars just aren't suited for the taller people whether its:
1. just not being able to fit in the car (especially the rear seats looking at you all small hatchbacks on the market) 
2, not being comfortable and stuck in an awkward seating position that make the the cars terrible to drive 
3, being so far back and low down (just to fit in the damm thing) it creates really awkward viewing angles that aren't exactly safe 
4. the seat behind the tall driver becoming utterly useless apart for double leg amputees. 

how about creating a tall man/woman option with special seats smaller steering wheel etc etc 
so we can fit properly and drive comfortably.


At 6'3" and 275 lbs I fit into my Juke Nismo RS with Manual transmission. I wanted something a little taller then a WRX/GTi/ST and this seemed like a good idea. Looking back on it I sometimes wish I got a V-6 Accord or ST


Considering they were about to dissappear in the late 90's, Nissan ended up pretty well, their cars were always considered pretty bad here in Europe, with low sales until the Juke came out, and it's an ugly car, but it's what customers want, a small and yet useless SUV.


super jesus  I know how you feel. I was all amped when the S2000 came over.  Then I sat in it.
Have you tested  the SC300/400?
or BMW Coupes? my mother-n-law's 325 coupe is the very roomy.
I have to slide the seat forward in my SC400.


EvolveWRC The Z32 TT/ Supra TT, RX-7 TT, 2, Imprezza 22B, and EVO were considered  bad(poor) cars in Europe?


super jesus VW Beetle ??


Jeez i wanna reply to so many comments...sadly to agree with the sad state of affairs that plagues a lot of Japanese automakers...The Europeans are busy making AMG/M/RS models of pretty much everything in their range and they are genuine performance models and Nissan's Nismo are...well underwhelming.
in the 20years since the Z32 came out the Z has only gained 50HP, and rev matching and a return to the cab-back styling...i dunno...i've never been swayed really by the Z33 in stock form...i'd rather stick to the Z32 or jump to the Z34. 

I'm glad Carlos Ghosn came in and helped revive Nissan but i feel somewhere in the corporate scheme of things Nissan has suffered and been subjugated by its French savior....Silvia, GTI-R, Z, GTR, SSS models, there was a great heritage of fun stuff Nissan had to build on but now? The Z and GTR are far from where they started. 
I feel like the Megane/Clio could at least be badge engineered into  a fun turbocharged Nissan of some kind but they aren't....I'll always be a Nissan fan but geez they're making it hard to stay enthusiastic about the current range when they keep killing off exciting concepts.

Where is the Nissan that created cars that punched above their expected class, the Nissan that created ads so controversial they pulled them after one airing, the nissan that was so technologically advanced on the race track the world took notice and could only change rules to compete?


I think you could argue the 370 has been around even longer.  It's little more than a facelifted 350z which entered production in 2002 - 14 years ago!


Speedhunters Read a small portion, as I'm a bit busy, but so far the article is spot on! Hope to see something similar about Mitsubishi!


Speedhunters Renault / French govt? The French state is overplaying its hand on Renault-Nissan, says davidfickling http://bloom.bg/1QhyZ5y


Finally someone said it.  Not only have their cars lost the fun factor, the design is just off-the-wall, and borderline ugly.  What is with the notched headlights... pointless, and hideous.  ...and their advertising is just AWFUL.


Exactly why I fail to see the interest in Nissan anymore


Probably because they spend so much developing their lemans cars and on the gran turismo academy


I wish they would've made the idx happen. I was prepa1to go back into debt for it lol.
Guess ill have to settle for the toyota s-fr. Also waiting to see what happens with the 4 door frs


Is it really just Nissan or all the Japanese car manufactures?

I cant ever see Japan building cars like they did in the 90s again.

Yann Martin Bluteau

Same things with all brands. At least Nissan still have the GTR, 370z, G37 and the specV (better than a LOT of other brands).
I understand that for us, sport car lovers, its sad that they no longer make those RWD/AWD turbo cars but making profits isnt just about selling sport cars.
In the 2000s nissan was in the red and they had to do something and it worked great.
And they still produce some kind of cool cars like the Nissan juke Nismo.
So no, I dont think that article is true, it's just evolution and us being nostalgics about those skyline, silvia and pulsar.


HTOOR I concur sir! Eloquently said.


Definitely feel like Nissan is losing their touch. Their current lineup is outdated compared to other brands. Of course this isn't the 90s anymore where you could pump out cheap sports cars, but Nissan seems to abandon enthusiast driving. 

The other Japanese manufacturers are remembering the enthusiasts, with Toyota with the FRS and coming with concepts with S-FR and the FT1. Mazda being consistent with the mx-5 as well as keeping true with rotary with the RX-vision. Even honda with their Civic Type-R and NSX, with development of others. It seems Nissan is going the opposite way of the other manufacturers


The best advice I can give from being in the industry, give up.  Find whatever old cars you like and hoard as many projects as you think you can complete in your lifetime.  The end is very close and we will need memberships at very expensive Race Track Country Clubs in order to do what we love.  It's going to get really expensive to be a car nut in the next 50 years but I think the closeness of the community will get better as a result.  We don't need as many people as the tech sector, we just need passionate people willing to spend unreasonable amounts of time and effort to preserve something that is ultimate doomed (unless you're okay with motors powering your wheels)


Whats with all of their current and concept cars having giant V's on the front? WHAT ARE THOOOSE?

But seriously couldn't agree anymore. I hope they read this


Fantastic read Mike, couldn't agree with you more. 
I personally drive a 2003 350z and I'm aching to buy something modern, updated, rwd and fun. I would have been one of the first to put a deposit down on the IDX as long as it was below 30K GBP. 

Please nissan - You've got the GTR, let that power and presence pass down - New Z car, 2+2 z and a New Sylvia PLEASE.


@Saint super jesus haha its a pain sometimes especially considering i like small cars 

i haven't tested those,i dont even have the budget to buy a new car. but i know that the merc e classes are just tiny on the inside, the e34 5serie is entirely disappointing i can't even fit as a passenger  and i can go on and on about the cars i dont fit in,,,, but thats life no mx5 or original mini for me


JDMDONG super jesus  yes exactly perfectly describes my troubles. 
i currently own an old datsun that i need to mod before i can even drive it


I'm not sure I'm quite as worried about Nissan as you are Mike, and I still see the presence of the 370Z and GT-R as a hugely positive thing - although both have been around for a while the GT-R is still a special vehicle and the 370Z's simple recipe is something to celebrate when everyone else is going turbocharged.
I've not investigated specifications in the States, but in Europe the Juke Nismo is either front-drive manual or AWD with CVT. The former is a lot more fun than the latter, though I was on the ice driving event from which your Juke Nismo RS picture originates and I can confirm that even the CVT is a whole lot of fun on loose surfaces. It's a pity they don't do an AWD manual - it'd be a really entertaining all-weather fun car.

Though even the regular Juke is good fun. No, it's not a performance car, but it's one of the more interesting small cars on the market right now, it drives well, and it's successful. To use the Porsche Cayenne and Macan parallel, if cars like the Juke continue to be successful, it does leave Nissan's hands free to continue making cars like the GT-R.

And although I'm not keen on the Infiniti Q50's weird steer-by-wire system, the rest of the car is still pretty good. I like the way it looks, the turbocharged engine is great (again, not sure whether it's available outside of Europe) and the cabin is really comfortable. As someone who prefers oddballs, it's probably the car I'd buy in that class - ahead of 3-series, Jag XEs, C-class, Lexus IS and the like.

I do think it's a shame the IDx was canned, but speaking to Shiro Nakamura earlier this year, he seemed keen to produce a car that had its character, if not its styling. Maybe I'm just hopelessly optimistic, but I'm sure Nissan is watching cars like the new MX-5 (and Fiat 124 Spider spin-off), and future products like the Toyota SF-R quite closely. If they prove successful, it'd surprise me if Nissan didn't follow suit.


it would be nice if there was a modern equivalent of the original mini.
same size dimensions, perhaps a small and revvy turbo engine, cheap and practically designed to be tuned.
something for the car nuts stuck in the cities something the can enjoy. would sell well in europe


Didn't read the article whatsoever as it's about nips 

Fuck em i'll stick to my old reliable German cars which doesn't sound like some drunk cunt playing a trombone


Haha thats a good one. Instead they (german cars) sound like sewing machines instead, I wonder whats worse.


Frogs, what happened was frogs


I think Nissan make more cars that are for the mass population. I'm still happy they make the Z and the GTR. I agree they should bring back something to compete with the FRS and miata but it doesn't look like it. Infiniti is going a little weird lately but I'm not in thearket for an Infiniti. Mike it seems like Nissan needs to come out with something new such as a new Z or GTR.


Racist much?
I've got a German car, a v10 M6 in fact. It's sat outside with a seized engine after spinning a shell. My nissans never did that. My Hondas didn't either.
My mk5 golf also has rusty arches and a dodgy fuel pump. Again my older nissans and Honda didn't do that either. You can keep,your German rubbish, after many audis and bmws I'll not have any more.
Nissan need to build something that fills the gap left by the 200sx. A decent spec 370z is mega money in the UK. Something circa 20k with a decent after market scene would be mint. Sadly that's not what sells these days. Big engined cars are seen as antisocial at best. Nissan being the size it is can make more money from selling the equivalent of a washing machine than it can a rwd flame spitting driftatron. As much as we want something cool, that Juke with dodgy stickers is about as interesting as Nissan is going to get


I saw an article that said Nissan Gripz concept could be a preview of the next Z. They even photo shopped it to lower it and the wheel arches were set a lot further up into the body. It looked really good in my opinion. I can't find a single picture or an article about it when I search now, which is really odd. Maybe it looked just like it and Nissan didn't want that or something, but who knows.


Kitch Mk5 Golf awful car as is any Audi made after 2002.

My Rs2 is perfect and so is my B5 S4 , i have the ability to maintain them but they never need much.

I also have a new Golf but that's a lease car and if it goes wrong it's VW's problem not mine, I would never have anything made these days without a manufacturers warranty regardless of marque.

I did say "old" German cars


The Nissan of old is dead. Ive said this on many forums. I had the deposit ready to go for an idx, but it was not to be. It would have been the first time I bought a new vehicle (yes I liked it that much). I think it could of had cult status especially if it was rwd and manual. I mean look at the 86/brz, it allready has arguably cult status. Nissan need to pull there heads in and make some vehicles with passion again. But until then I'll just keep my 1974 datsun 610sss ( I'd keep it even if they made the idx ;)). I say again the Nissan of old is dead!!


I lost most of my love for modern Datsun/Nissan when the pathfinder became a crossover.


Whats happening at Nissan is just the general revolution thats happening right now in the industry.
Modern cars are made to be "eco friendly" and safe.
Performance doesnt really matter anymore, since the world is already full of other cars, speedhumps and police cameras.

(for the 0.0002% who wants fast cars, there are still many new sportcars or used tuned up oldies available)

And dont even mention the new generation kids, who dont want a driving license.. They want iGadgets instead of cars. The car is not cool anymore.


super jesus : I doubt that such a car could exist and will meet demands :
1) A car as light as old minis would be difficult to make on "mass production car" (security rules changed a lot since the old minis). Light cars still exists but if you look at "sporty" ones, there aren't cheap.
2) It become more and more difficult to legally modify car on continental Europe (take Belgium, France or Italy for example).
3) It seems that a lot of people look more to number than fun when you look at  reaction over GT86/BRZ.


... I'm absolutely shocked the Renault Clio has not been sold as a Nissan on US soil........... the sentra? WTF happened?

Toybaru is successful at the good 'ole "GM cross market and compete with ourselves" thing, but Nissan refuses to try???

wait .... wait

Nissan does cross market and compete with itself - they made the Altima the Maxima, and made a G35 sedan that should have been a Maxima.......... and they still make the Maxima...... and spend more money marketing that car than the others mentioned - LOL (saying this because I always see Maxima ads that profess it as a sports car - yet I DO NOT KNOW A SOUL that thinks a Maxima is a sports car)

But I do understand the financial side of the IDX - new platform, that doesn't exist - I mean if you remember Mike, multiple platforms was what nearly bankrupted Nissan

hey, I too wish they made the IDX, but I totally understand why it doesn't exist..........

....... and YET........ they took a 350z - gave it a bigger motor, made it a 370z, more power... AND made it smaller and lighter..... that was pretty ballsy

..... I'm confused Nissan, what the hell is your plan???? the G35, turned into a G37, got more power, but got heavier

Nissan sucks at comprehensive logic


Beautifully written, the feelings are truly mutual. Please read this Nissan and learn.


mlc5309 Glad it resonated!


ethosVeritas_Z32 That last paragraph. So much.


patelhishaam Yeah completely. There are exceptions but none of the Japanese brands are anywhere near what they were in the '80s and '90s.


patelhishaam I don't think that specifically has anything to do with it, but for certain the economy and environmental standards play a big part in it.


@Achmiel Hard to disagree. Don't forget the AWD Pulsar either. Never sold in the states - but an awesome car nonetheless.


It's like we are telepathically  linked! I've been crying about them for years. How the F do you continue to sell the Z34 that is mechanically identical since 2009?  Meanwhile the Mustang has undergone numerous changes and the market has left the Z behind.
I don't get it. 
I truly lost it when the BRZ/FR-S came out. Those were begging for NISSAN badges. They missed the boat. again.


great points


TheRobotCow It's sad but that's way it seems to be going unless you have 100K for a GT-R.


rayyuson I do love what Mazda does. Even their normal sedans and compacts look good and drive well. It's hard to fault Subaru these days either. BRZ, WRX, STI.


boyleged Interesting. The Juke doesn't look terribly room inside - at least not compared to a lot of normal sedans and hatchbacks.


GwynnBallantyne Yeah that's a good point. Think about how much the Mustang has changed in that same amount of time!


R_Lar Speedhunters Mitsubishi is also pretty disappointing, but at least they have the excuse of being a small company trying to stay afloat. Nissan is huge.


caferacer650 To be honest I don't hate the styling of some of their SUVs or even the Maxima, but really there's not one car they make that's a standout in any segment.


Mike Garrett boyleged Honestly it isnt that roomy but for some reason I wanted those seats and I fit in them well enough. I've driven 4.5 hours in them with no more discomfort then any other car. For my first and possibly last "fun" car before kids I was willing to make some allowances.


JakWhite Interesting you bring that up, because it shows that someone there is interested - but I guess not on a deeper level than the marketing department.


MikeDonnelly I really think the IDx could have been awesome as a more practical alternative to the FR-S. The thing I dislike most about the FR-S is that it's essentially a two-seater.


Smiggins There are a lot of cool cars made by Japanese brands - GT-R, RC F, GS F, new NSX etc. But they seem to have left behind the idea of making AFFORDABLE cars that are fun. You know, the thing that they were known for in the '80s and '90s.


rayyuson Id hardly call anything Mazda is making exciting. Last car they made that was worth anything was the FD.


I posted this on the Nissan fb page... Maybe if people make enough noise there's still hope?


Donkies Yep.


@KBanks You might be right I'm afraid. At least GM, Ford and Dodge seem ok with selling badass V8s as long as they can.


James Oversteer Thanks! And yeah it's kind of sad that your 12 year old Z is still almost on the same level as Nissan's current offerings.


I think the way people buy cars today combined with how much they cost plays a big part.
People don't buy 370z's, they buy Audi rs3's and m130's. Why? Because most finance them and residuals on bmws and audis are much higher than they are on Japanese imports. Payments are then lower so people go German rather than Japanese.
Additionally, when the r32 skyline and s14 were new the equivalent bmws were out of most people's price range. E36 M3's were pretty uncommon and the smaller segment didn't exist apart from the 16v golf gti and a pug 205 gti making what...130bhp? Nowadays a golf R makes 300bhp, and Audi S3 similar so why would you bother with Japanese hatchback that makes 138bhp similar to the Note above. Given 30k would you buy a m130i bmw or an FRS? I know what I'd have.
I don't blame Nissan for changing focus. Nissan isn't an aspirational brand and apart from a few the majority of their customers care more about transporting the kids and a 5 year warranty than an LSD and 300hp


antonyingram Thanks for the insight. Yeah I don't hate the Juke to me it just seems strange to build funky models like that and then say it's too expensive to do other things. I actually really like the Nissan Cube as well. It's not a driver's car but it was funky, unique and practical - and they don't even sell that anymore.


super jesus 500 Abarth a lot like what you are talking about. Not sure if you could really make anything much smaller in today's market.


jeffsmith13 I heard that too, but who really knows what's going on.


MPistol Yep even Ford has done wonders for the American market by bringing over their European stuff,


Yea i found that out back when the frs first came out and i was going to be the first person in the Sacramento area with one. I took one look at the back seat and thought, that ain't gonna work. So i just hung on to my miata instead.


Kitch Good points. The problem seems to be you can get cars that are both fun and cheaper (GTI, WRX, FR-S etc) or you can get cars that are faster and a lot more comfortable/luxurious/prestigious from other brands. The Z and GT-R fit somewhere in between.


The hard truth is you can insert quite a few car companies into this title and you'd not be wrong Mike. The Japanese in particular...they've gone the way of the accounting dept. driven companies in the main stream sense and lost most of their sporting DNA's...

Personally, I think it is intrinsically linked to winning on Sunday (or rather losing...), when was the last time a Japanese car or engine made the international community their bitches on the big stage?! I'm talking take Audi down and own them for 8 Le Mans in a row??? The Honda F1 program is similar in name only to the glory days of the 80's McLaren partnership, they have a HUGE mountain to climb just to get to the bunny slopes of F1 winning, let alone own Mercedes and beat them the way they are getting run over now. 

Same for Nissan... if you want true sports car DNA in your company, you need to win consistently on Sunday's on a global stage. However, that all make great, reliable and safe family transports. So it's more a matter of principles and what the company is really about. Me thinks in the end, the almighty dollar trumps it all and this is what we are seeing in the product selections from Nissan, Toyota, Honda, et all.

The reasons NOT to make the IDx, well I call BS. Nissan was created from low-cost rear-drive platforms and now they suddenly forget how to make a low-cost parts sharing rear drive small car. Lmao...please. And thus we ("we" being sports car minded drivers) collectively shed a tear...and I'll just keep rocking my 86 Golf Mk II, smiling all the way in my old school 5 spd/2000lbs/130hp rocket ship. ;)


But today we have similar FWD platforms with that in mind, even from Nissan, as the K13 Micra is available (in some Countries) with 111hp and 960kg. Yea its kinda pathetic compared to your GTI, but they even have a Micra cup in Canada and its a damn affordable model anyways. The only thing is getting that engine and not the 3 cylinder version which is really pathetic, or the CVT transmission.


Mike Garrett super jesus if they can make smart cars I imagine they could try


I couldn't agree with this more. I mean, look at Chrysler. Those guys aren't doing so hot and they could really benefit from some eco-crossover thing as a cash cow. But nah, they build the Viper ACR instead and whoop everyones ass because racecar. Then we have Nissan, the brand that has a pretty darn good motorsport heritage, and awesome production cars like the skyline, silvia, Z and perhaps in a better financial position than Chrysler... And they give us the Murano CrossCabriolet. 


I mean, I love the 370z and GTR but if I had the money I don't think I would buy one simply because I don't want to give money to a brand that's been so disappointing lately. Please Nissan, be great again, I beg you.


Don't get me wrong, I'd love Nissan to bring out something with 300bhp, rwd and looks cool. Would I buy one? No, I'm 36, I need to carry my push bikes around and my other half would rather a German car than a Japanese car that, historically, is normally fairly awful inside. If I was 21? Definitely but then I probably couldn't afford £30k on a new car and if I could, lease deals are better on German cars cause they're cheaper and girls like audis and bmws.
The cool Nissan days are gone I'm afraid. The gtr is 80k in the UK for a base spec one, the 370z doesn't really fit with most people as its too much of a compromise and if you've got 30 to 40k you'll probably buy a second hand Cayman or M3 than you would a 'new' 200sx.
Good article - made me think!


As an early-middle-aged bloke who grew up on Group A/B racing and streets filled with all the cars about which we now reminisce, I can hear the bell tolling loudly for enthusiasts. It saddens me when a car like the BRZ/86 is a stand-out rather than just another knife in the drawer. New hatchbacks are hitting the roads these days that weigh more than my 19 year old, 4-door, RWD family taxi, which is nearly 5m long. Fifteen years ago the car yards were full of second-hand vehicles that spoiled you for choice when it came to driving fun, now they're full of mobile lounges.
I don't want bluetooth in my car, nor do I want it to have the ability to create its own wifi hotspot (seriously?). I don't need a backing camera, 8 cup holders, or a 100kg in-car entertainment system. I don't want stability or traction control. Hell, I barely want ABS.
I want the visceral thrill of a car that responds to my inputs exactly how I make them, not one that second-guesses me. I want a soulful NA engine (preferably with six cylinders in a row) that will happily rev over 7,000rpm and act like it's just getting started. I want to hear it pop and crackle and fart without any "sound enhancers".
I don't want a car that's the automatic equivalent of the old Microsoft Word paperclip: "It looks like you're trying to initiate a slide. Do you want me to a) slow the car to a crawl, b) direct the car around a corner, or c) something else?" Well I'll take option c thanks, I want you to piss off and just let me enjoy driving again.
Far more of today's cars will keep you alive in an accident much better than any from the "good old days", but few fewer will stop you from dying of boredom and depression.


Sounds like a sporty Kei car (or Kei-style car) would do the trick. If there's one segment that would be interesting for Japanese manufacturers to bring over would be Kei cars. As long as there are no Kei-style regulations, manufacturers could go crazy with them, too.


We should hold an intervention for Nissan...


Watch this episode of Top gear and sub in Nissan rather than Peugeot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTwa0ze2EMA

They are making boring cars that people buy en-mass before they get back into what they're good at.


well, not boring cars from a style point of view, challenging the norm shall we say


You mentioned Ford but to me they're the biggest disappointment out of the big three. They've abandoned the V8 and RWD in most of their line up. Every vehicle they make is front wheel drive with at most 6 cylinders. If you want a rear wheel drive Ford with a V8 you have three choices. The Mustang, the Expedition, or an F-Series truck. You're known for making big, burly, rumbly muscle cars, and yet every single other car you manufacture uses transverse mounted engines? You've named a performance engine the Eco-Boost?! Turboed sixes and fours are cool, don't get me wrong, but this is Ford were talking about. Why have they replaced their mighty Crown-Victoria with a front wheel drive Taurus? If I saw a Taurus in my rearview mirror, i could give a shit, but if I saw an SS in the same spot, I'd be a hell of a lot more intimidated. They teased us with a Bronco concept, but if you want a small SUV you're stuck with either the Explorer, the Escape, or the Edge. Speaking of which, what the fuck are these names? What happened to the Falcon, the Galaxie, the Thunderbird, the Country Squire? Names with character. The brand is lifeless, and in my opinion worse off than Nissan. The I4 Ecoboost Mustang is a cool idea, but don't call it a Mustang, put a different shell on the outside and sell it as the Maverick. GM and Chrysler are doing some great things with their sports car programs with the SS, the Stingray, the Hellcat line up and the Viper. yet ford is sitting here with a turbocharged six cylinder 'super car.' Stop calling it the eco-boost and come out with a turbocharged V8. than I'll start looking at Ford again.


agreed...forgot the environmental bit...but as with most business giants.
..always striving to make more for less...why bother making a car that only 2 or 3% will buy when you can make more from the 97% ...they no longer have to win the hearts of ppl they've done that already...average buyer now cares only about how cheap it will cost & run and if it gets from A to B...




Mike Garrett the abarth comes quite close but its still too big compared to an original mini i was thinking more long the lines of the k11 nissan micra/marches or just a kei car for the european roads that sounds a lot more doable might need some reworking to fit the generally taller population 

but perhaps in the future we could see an affordable carbon bodied electric car but that sounds like its going to take a while


JohnTruitt  they don't need to make a turbo v8 because they have so many aftermarket houses following them that will do it for them, cosworth, roush etc etc.


@Nate Mike Garrett super jesus they are similar in sizes so why not?


Mike Garrett antonyingram I'd forgotten about the Cube - another favourite of mine, though perhaps more for its concept and style than its driving characteristics! Went downhill slightly with the third-gen model too - not quite as compact as the second-gen car, and a bit less... well, cubic.
Unfortunately, it lasted even shorter here in the UK than it did in the US - I think the carbuying public is as much (if not more) to blame than the manufacturers. Ultimately, Nissan and the others just build what sells.
Car enthusiasts mainly just scream all over the internet for affordable, fun cars, then don't buy them when the carmakers oblige - or buy the optioned-up, fully-specced model, or the automatic for convenience, or something bigger for the practicality, and then wonder why the affordable, fun model disappears after a handful of years.
I'm amazed the Miata has lasted as long as it has (and I say that as a Miata owner), but I suspect much of its longevity is down to it being in a market of one at its price point. If its market share went down Mazda might struggle to justify it... but other manufacturers find it hard to justify building a rival when the Mazda has such a head start!


JohnTruitt  that and 4 cylinder turbo's make the same power as v8s and give a lot better fuel economy these days no-one (in the UK atleast) buys a 5.0l car unless they really have money to burn, mercedes current cla amg makes a bunch of power for a 2.0 so why put in the 6.3 litres they used too.


tunerguy21 i would go absolutely nuts for a 660cc turbo kei car... if anything i think they there should be similar rules and restrictions (with lower tax and insurance) i think it would be quite popular here. its a step up from the scooter powered cars and a step down from the small hatchbacks. especially fully electric versions  so it frees up some room.


JakWhite super jesus  tunerguy21 i see what you mean there and you could add the toyota aygo to that list and all the euro variants 

but none of these cars are exciting and i would argue that they are all the same bloody car 

i want something exciting add a turbo or a track pack none of these cars are appealing none of they scream take me for a ride. sure some of the look good 
but thats only half the battle to get the people to enjoy their little hatches


What about that new little Toyota concept? Plus I've seen people make due with certain cars in regards to fun. I have pics of a Chevy Spark, Kia Rio 5 (2013) and Toyota Camry (2015) participating in rallycross events. The Rio and Camry didn't do too bad. The Spark sucked, understandably, because it's a Spark but the dude was having a blast. Oh, forgot to mention the 9-5 wagon. Everything is else are Subarus, 240s, BMWs and Fiestas.


JakWhite tunerguy21 or maybe its just me. and i long too much for what i cant get and write off what is available to me


super jesus  JakWhite tunerguy21  my comment has gone? Yeah it's all about advertising and branding. There really needs to be a revolution in ultra compact sports cars, VW UP GTI etc, but then again, the standard cars are already quick enough to enjoy when driven at the limit, maybe we are blind to what we are being offered already, we just don't see their potential


JakWhite JohnTruitt I'm not arguing that, like I said turboed 4 cylinders and 6 cylinders are cool, just not in Mustangs or full sized trucks. If you don't have the money for a 5.0l car then don't buy a Mustang.


I've gotta chime in because I want Nissan to see this article and the number of comments it has.
Dear Nissan,
You're blowing it and you have been blowing it for years. Get your shit together.
- One of the hundreds of thousands of young motoring enthusiasts who loves the cars you used to make.


After being a Nissan fan for the last 15yrs I've switched now to Subaru. I've owned R33 and R34 Skylines, a 350z and my brother owns a R33 GTR. They were honestly amazing cars that performed and handled like nothing else at the time. Nissan now is way out of the price range of an average Australian. the 370z starts at 70,000k and the GTR is roughly 180,000k and honestly I'd rather buy a house for that sort of cash.

The only options now for affordable, Japanese performance is Subaru in my opinion. The WRX, STI, BRZ, Liberty 3.6R and Forester XT are all amazing performance cars that are within reach of the average Australian. Yes I am biased as I just bought a new WRX but there is nothing else in my opinion on the market today that comes close. Mitsubishi killed the Evo, Mazda's MX5 is nothing to rave about, Honda has nothing exciting here in Aus and Nissan have expensive halo cars. Long live Subaru!


You sound like Bunta Fujiwara, but if theres anything close to bringing performance to an affordable level that would be Subaru. Just don expect it to be reliable (too much) or good looking, it's the japanese equivalent (altough more poweful) to any Boy-racer or tuned up Renault etc., no offense though, 4wd and that boxer engine beats the ass of wrong wheel drive any time of the day though.


JakWhite super jesus  tunerguy21 possibly. maybe we need to be shown by the way of racing :)

racing events held in the cities (so everyone can see them)
cars must be stock except for safety equipment (incentive to release better performance hatches to win races) 

like rallycross 

to get the public intrested in racing, tuning, small cars and most importantly driving 
race on sunday sell on monday


super jesus  JakWhite tunerguy21  like the BTCC of days gone by.


JakWhite super jesus  tunerguy21 exactlly but bring the races to the people in the cities


Mike Garrett perhaps this is a job for speedhunters?


NISSAN needs to see this, get it together and stop being a drab, uninteresting, predictable company that sells cars for soccer moms. Go back to your roots. I miss the old Nissan, come back. 

All the best,


JohnTruitt JakWhite  Its a style and status thing, they want to bring the mustang to the people, rather than only for the few that are better off, sort of the ethos of the original.


Well said Mike, I couldn't agree more! Nissan has always been my favourite brand ever since I owned a 180sx. I still love all those awesome cars from the 70's through the 80s, 90's and early 00's. Can't say I have any feeling for Nissan now though with their current line-up, except for the GTR. Sad times....


@MarkJ910 The fact that you threw the BRZ into a performance line up is a bit funny. It might be a fun car(not that I'd choose to ever own one), but it's not a performance car and if you think it is then Toyota falls into your category of affordable Japanese makes, with it's twin. If Mazda release a new AWD 3 MPS that'll be one to watch. I have no idea if that's on the cards though. Nissan used to be good, until the early 2000's.


THIS.  Finally someone said it.  Even the ultra conservative Honda is making a comeback with the Civic Type R.  Hell, Toyota's been at it for a while now with the FRS.  Nissan used to be ahead of the game, and now they're holding back.


Even the B13 SE-R was a super fun car in the 90s.  I drove one over the ubiquitous Si and CR-X and could smoke them all day long from stoplight to stoplight in my suburban town.


Alright.... clearly the company is hard on money. There's the answer to why their line up is drab and they cancel "nobrainers" because of cost reasons.


Sure is sad to think that my 350Z might be my last Nissan.


This article was certainly written through the rose-tinted spectacles of nostalgia. I'm really scratching my head trying to find the point in all this. So, a Japanese car manufacturer isn't making small cheap RWD cars like it used to? Headline news.
This is no secret, especially to the auto enthusiast community. What I do understand about the article is how it seems to group cars of past and apply them in a modern setting. Sorry, you just can't do that. It seems to glorify Nissan for being present in motorsports of yesteryear, and then flat out ignores Nissans current foothold in Motorsport. Creative avenues like the Delta Wing, GT Academy and not to mention, the GTR is in more racing series than you can wave a stick at. They haven't dropped the ball like other companies have on that subject.
Continuing on the subject of false glorification, where the hell did this idea that Nissans performance cars were cheap come from? I can't imagine an S15, 300zx or GTR were cheap at all upon release. Just because you can pickup a 180sx for 14cents doesn't make Nissan the echelon of budget performance.
And another point about Nissan cancelling it's concept cars. These things happen. Complications in product or finance cancel projects often before they begin. This doesn't mean they don't love their customers. (Seriously, count how many cancelled performance car concepts there are. It's amazing).
In closing, I think this article is lacking in direction, and ill-informed. SH was right to not allow this for so long.


I had a Sentra SER Spec V when they first came out and that car was a BLAST to drive considering it was a 4 door Sentra.  And my car before that was the new Civic Si (before it got stolen).  I loved the Nissan more even though everyone I knew loved the Civic more.  It was just a fun compact car to drive.  Nissan needs to make a compact car with 200+HP under $25,000 (preferably under $20,000) with a young tuning customer in mind.  The car culture is still there for young people, but just look at the choices they have currently.  Nissan needs to remember that they may take a small loss or breakeven selling something specifically to a younger car enthusiast market, but they are investing in a customer for life.  When I got my Sentra I also talked my mother into test driving the Maxima before she bought the Lincoln.  She loved the Maxima and that's what she got.  Just put out a renewal of the SE-R, or perhaps the 240 and keep in mind young adults get bent over with insurance rates


@MarkJ910 how is the mx5 nothing to rave about? the new one is just a few pounds heavier than the first gen, making it the second lightest generation. it's still supposed to be light and fun.


Carlos Ghosn https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Ghosn

Saved the company from bankruptcy.  Seems his focus is more toward zero emissions.


Finally someone other than me finally said it!!! In my opinion I always thought Nissan was the only Japanese car company that kept its heritage for providing sports cars, but as time went on they just kept teasing us only not to keep their promise. Eventually it was bound to happen though. Especially with the American market wanting bigger cars. Its just a shame that a car like a Juke is made not a S16. I feel like Nissan is gonna stop production for the GT-R and Z car. It sounds like a long shot but Toyota ended the Supra, Celica, and MR2 and they had a long successful history. Honda ended the S2000 and Integra; sure they brought back NSX(even though they should've named it something else) and the Type R sounds promising. Mitsubishi not planning on making another Evo for a longtime while they axed the 3000gt and Eclipse. Looks like were just gonna make due with the FR-S, WRX, and Muscle cars unless you got cash then you got sport luxury cars of Lexus, BMW, etc.


Couldn't agree more with all of the above. Nissan has lost its roots and is slowly disappearing... Long live the BNR32!!


I was always a big nissan fan up until they cut production of the r34. After that the design team and marketing team kinda went downhill. Your points on the R35 and 370z are spot on. Nissan won the hearts for Car Enthusiast by making affordable cars that perform way beyond their levels. Now the designs feel like they're doing away with what worked. Honestly speaking the R35 is just a AWD, twin turbo version of a 370z, hell their styling is even so remotely familiar that the big difference would be the tail lamps. I wish that the next lineup of nissan cars would be back into the affordable range, and the styling would remain or still be loyal to its roots, but after seeing the Nismo Vision, I doubt that would happen anytime soon.
oh well at least the pre-2002 era of nissan cars rock.


Nissan has been lack luster ever since Renault took over..


nissan JOKE...#hmpf


Nissan, the new Toyota.


ConeDodger240 Agreed. the dealers don't help either, last time i was in the 'fun car' market, no dealer near me had a manual 370z :/


We_Can_Game which has also pretty much priced itself out of the market


ConeDodger240 yeah all the ones on the lots were 38k+msrp, at least the rx8 had crazy rebates which brought it down to miata price!


Nissan and Mitsubishi seem to be doing the same thing with their car line-up. The Z and EVO have both had their respective companies admit that the heritage will continue in SUV form... what the... :(

Unaffordable huh? Maybe team up and get your shiz back together and do what Toyota has done/is doing with Subaru/BMW?
Mitsu is a laughing stock with what excuses they said for cancelling the EVO... While Subaru giggles to the bank.
Nissan's cancelled concepts mentioned in the article were good contenders, shame they just didn't follow through.


working at a Nissan dealer I'm been constantly digging for hints of some new fun car and only read vague hints of a possible smaller lighter Z coming back. but i guess time will tell.


People say they'll buy if A great car is made. The truth: More people talk than they walk.
A major reason why Nissan probably pulled out??? FRS and BRZ numbers are low. There's a reason Toyota and Subaru teamed up to make a sports car. They're just too expensive to make with low return.
Read below.


I hate them too. Lets get them!!!


a rwd econobox with semi-stiff springs can't be that hard to make, can it?


Spot on man! We can only dream for the return for an S chassis!


It would kinda make more sense if they tried to build a decent hot-hatch. I mean, the Micra wouldn't be that bad of a start, or would it mess too much with Renault's line-up? An affordable RWD (...yes, could be named Silvia) wouldn't be a bad idea either.


@pb39997  I wouldn't say ill informed, I would just say its there to incite a conversation, to get viewership ;)


ylee If you're saying the GT86/FRS/BRZ failed, that is incorrect. Majority, if not all, sports cars are like that, to some degree, nothing new. Even the regular market cars do this just not as bad because the audience is larger so the drop-off is felt as severely.
If you ask Toyota/Subaru if they regret it, the answer will be: No.


This article makes a good point. Look at the success of the frs, civic si, sti, m4, '15 mustang, etc. The car enthusiast market is alive and well. Why Nissan would be so neglectful with this market is beyond absent minded in my opinion. It seems souless eco crosscabriolet family utlily Leafs with NISMO badges is the way of the future for Nissan.
R.I.P to the spirit of Datsun


Please. I've seen close to 15 frs's today alone.


Hit the nail on the head, all the same things ive been saying for years  Last good nissan made to me is my 2006 altima se-r,  was a fun take on the altima, and i love mine.  I wont own anything over my 07 pathfinder, beause even the pathfinder now looks like crap :(


My first car was a nissan S12 2.0. Then I had S12 200sx turbo, and I LOVED it. It's the silvia that ppl forgot about. Crap in the snow, and never heat up in the winter due to stuck fan clutch. I spent most of my money on it, 3" turbo back, FMIC, autocross, HPDE, etc. The bad part: girls didn't understand it, only car guys did. I would rather had girls than hangout with car guys all the time, as much as it was fun talking about bhp, turbos and mods. Then I bought a ford focus ZX3. Modded it also, and never put any repair money into it. I have SER spec V with LSD up front after. also loved it. Had to sell it due going t be working in the oilfield area. That car will not survive the winter around here. 

My next purchase would be a truck with 4wd and MANUAL transmission, as it needs to go on the dirt road and get over unplowed road in the winter. Hopefully the global ford ranger or the new nissan navarra would show up in Canada. Was going to buy an xterra, then I read about the so so review and awful gas mileage. Ended up with Ford escape 2.0 turbo, and very happy with it. I look into get a rouge or pathfinder, but those were out of my price range. Being didin't know if I could get a dealer support or not nearby the Ford made most sense, as there's almost a ford dealer at even the smallest town in the prairies. So by by sporty cars, hello old beat up pickups for me. If I buy a nissan again it would be a Mid 90s RWD or Z33/34 or Skyline GT-R. Always been a nissan guy at heart, but the company makes joke cars right now.


@pb39997 Since you clearly know better than everyone else, why don't you stop torturing yourself by coming here? Put up your own site and do yourself (and us) a favor.


If only those people could continue and make there own company! call it Rissen or something haha


LoL, I get it, ricer.


Spaghetti Porsche 911 Carrera Rennsport (1973): 1,075 kg., 2.7 L, 210 PS. Subaru BRZ (2012): 1,251 kg., 2.0 L, 203 PS. Is the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS a performance car?

Gianluca FairladyZ

Halleluja, finally someone speaking it out!!! I think about it exactly the same way!


Thank you Mike Garrett


They are releasing twin turbo Q50/60's and the new Z will have a 3.0L V6 TT.  That is something in the right direction!


These days, Nissan is more interested in beating a certain sports car manufacturer from Stuttgart and becoming the fastest car if its class at the Nurburgring.
There's not such thing as "too expensive to make a develop a new sports car". It's just that they are focusing on something that does not worth much on the streets: lap times.


i23sonny Mitsubishi is all about going green now.
As if cancelling the Evo is not enough, news that they are planning to revive the name as an EV crossover called "EVo" ("Electric Vehicle King" for "O" sounds like the pronunciation of "King" is Japanese) is a serious insult to enthusiasts.


I think it's fairly simple, like most manufacturers, they are no longer building cars for the 'fun' part. These days, it's the accountants who own the company, they have to sell cars that make bucket load of money, im pretty sure the r35 wouldnt be built if Carlos didn't push for it



You made very good points. (1) Affordability will have a bearing on people's decisions. (2) Competition from Euro brands is stiffer.

Do these points suggest that Nissan should get out of the affordable performance car segment? I do not think so. Price and quality competition is present in all segments of the market - from economy cars to sports cars. If they do not think they can compete in the low-priced sports car segment, what makes them think they can compete in any segment?

I understand that the return on investment from the performance car segment is generally not as high as the return in the economy segment. But beyond financial returns, the performance car segment, when executed properly, helps in brand building. Nissan will not earn as much brand points from an econo-box compared to sporty cars like the S13, S14, S15, R32, R33, and R34.

In Asia, Euro cars are still significantly more expensive than comparable Japanese cars. In this part of the world, therefore, Japanese cars are still in a good place price-wise. (The FRS or GT86 is USD 34,000 while a BMW 116 is USD 40,000.00.)

In terms of preference, while it seems more people would take Euro cars over Japanese cars given similar pricing, there is a good number of people (like me) who would choose the latter. (I am in my mid 30s by the way - not a hot-blooded teen.) Many of friends and I can afford Euro cars but we never buy because we do not think the quality is up there with Japanese cars. Given the harsh weather, road and traffic conditions, quality is important to us. I personally know three billionaires who all ride Toyotas - Land Cruiser and Alphard.

A final point - Nissan is may not be an aspiration brand but it does not mean they should not try to be.


I have been saying for years now that Nissan could re-release the S15 EXACTLY as it was in 2002 and outsell everything. I understand the Patrols, Navaras, Maximas, Pulsars, Infiniti Q-whatevers and Datsun GOs are where they are making their money nowadays but they could at least look into bringing the S15 back as a sort of heritage/enthusiast model like they're doing with the NP300 Hardbody truck. Nissan's been making that thing pretty much unchanged since 1998; they even still offer it with the KA24. Enthusiasts don't need a new car, just a good car and the S15 was just that. Offer it new with the KA or the 1.6 MR turbo with the five speed manual they already make for the NP300 and the NV350, Ship the tooling over to South Africa so you can produce it at the Rosslyn plant next to the NP300, NP200, NV350 and Datsun GO and sell it at the same price they used to ($19 900 in 2002 meaning $25 100 today) and watch it fly off the shelves.
I was drawn to Nissan because of their pretty great vehicles in the past; the Stagea, the Skyline, the Laurel, the SILVIA(!), the Hardbody, all the Z-cars. I'm one of Nissan's customers, I own an X-Trail and I'm looking like I might get a Fuga (what Americans called the Q40) after that but I am really disappointed with the direction Nissan is taking...for some reason they think the future is screens you can sit on and stupid projected exterior graphics (REF: Teatro For Dayz concept (kill it, kill it with fire! Do it Now!).
[Jumps off soapbox] Thank you, rant over.


tjlazer Not bringing out any new Z that I know of... Where is this info?


@KBanks It is a sad possibility. I hope the future reality surprises us but I would not count on it.

Anyway, I hope I do not have to get close to some of the punks who comment here. Hahaha!


Johnny_916 I hope Toyota puts the SF-R into production but I hope they improve its appearance first.

You can make do with any car. You are absolutely right. 

However, does that mean car-makers should slack-off because we will make do with anything anyway? I hope not.


Smiggins rayyuson I like the design of the new Mazda's coming out. I have a poor impression of its quality though. I had one a few years ago and it just does not compare to Toyota in terms of quality.

Toyota is not doing a bad job on the excitement department in my opinion. Subaru too. In fact, I think they are doing more than Mazda. I just hope they hire better designers for future models.

On Mazda not coming out with anything exciting since FD, the MX-5 is pretty good isn't it?


ChrisGoding patelhishaam RSF, GSF, LSF, FRS


Oooooooh, he went there.
It's easier (and cheaper) to market six cars across the globe, then specialising to the local markets need. This has lead to cars that are trying to be five things at once, to everyone. never a good thing at all.
Localised markets are what gave us some of the best machinery out there. The humble BMC Morris Mini, born out of a fuel crisis and a want to smash the bubble car market in the UK amongst other needs like our road network at the time etc. The Mustang could only ever of worked in America as a sales option when the first rolled off the production line. German Manufacturers who do the Luxuary autobahn mile muncher end of the market ever so well... Those tight Touge roads I'm sure had a lot to do with japanese manufacturers designs for their cars and DNA...
By globalising your market it makes your PR & Marketing guys happy as they have to do less work but it stumps your growth as a business. Nissans problem is they don't know where to start anymore. When working at a more macro scale it's easier to pick out what the market in that area needs, which in turn sometimes makes cars that are loved world wide.
You can't jump a step and expect similar results.


@Saint EvolveWRC I'm talking about post Renault Nissans, 90's Nissans were good


After seeing the crazy sales of the 86/BRZ I thought Nissan would jump into the (somewhat) cheap, light RWD market. Kinda sad that Jap companies are phasing out "fun" cars. Im glad Toyota and Honda have a few cars in that segment and are trying to relive their glory days which enthusiasts loved so much.


The Juke Nismo RS I available in 6 SPD W/FWD or AWD w/CVT if only they put the and w/ 6spd then it would be much better. But your articles incorrect no FWD CVT option. Research much? :)


There's one model that I'm eager to wait, and it's the Pulsar Nismo concept that was unveiled in Paris last year. Pulsar was a legendary car back in the 80's and 90's. The current Pulsar looks nice but not fun, so I hope they release a Nismo version really soon.


I couldn't agree more on the article!  I fell in love with the bnr32 and s13 but where have those cars gone today....100k and non-existent.   C'mon Nissan!!!!


Love this article and great point to bring up. The Van Halen G.I.Joe and Barbie commercial combined with my Dad's love of cars definitely had me hooked!  One of my top 3 favorite commercials of all time and reason #1 why the Z32 300ZXTT is a car I will always admire (owned one for a bit too).
Unfortunately the same can be said about most of the Japanese car company's with Mazda being the best at maintaining some soul in it's line-up...even Mazda's everyday mundane cars are still fun to drive.  Toyota has brought some glimmer of hope back between Scion, some spiced up Lexus offers and of course the FRS, and now teases of a Supra successor of some type (expect GTR levels of pricing though).  Honda has been lost for a while, but they're trying to make a comeback.

Supposedly Nissan has been in a strangle-hold position courtesy of Renault (according to rumors anyway) and I've always been a little surprised more sharing hasn't happened between these two Brands in larger markets.  Both company's make great engines and chassis, but they rarely pair the two together.
So here are my thoughts on the next Z if I were to guess (or if I had the control)...
The next Z has been a well kept secret from Nissan.  The Q60 has recently been caught un-camo'd and I'd have to imagine the Z will likely borrow heavily from this chassis.  The details on the Q60 are slim, but they are saying it will feature an all new 3.0l TT V6 with 400hp and a tad more torque.  My guess, is that the Q60 and the next Z have a derivative of the current chassis (to save cost).  I'd suspect the next Z to see some refinement, but still remain large when compared to the FRS/BRZ.  IF Nissan is smart, I think this is just a stop gap until the 2020 50th anniversary of the Z lineage where they can introduce an all new chassis, that is smaller, lighter and more true to the original Z lineage while implementing modern powertrain technology and driving dynamics.  

The current problem with the Z is it is in a weird middle space.  It demands a price that makes it cross-comparable to cars like the Mustang and Camaro and used cars like the BMW M3 and various Corvette models, but it doesn't really offer as much bang for the buck or daily driving excitement.  Sure it's great on a track and it's interior refinement WAS better at one point, but it still falls short and it's not as powerful.  So the Z either needs to continue to move up market where it price suggest and bring power and performance to match or it needs to tone it down and offer a better bang for the buck closer to the BRZ/FRS level.  If the Z moves up, this leaves room for Nissan to develop a proper FRS/BRZ competitor (aka Silvia successor) and it better bridges the gap to the very spendy GTR which in turn will give Nissan a healthy sports car line-up covering the $25k to $110k price range divided up between 3 cars and roughly 6-12 varying inter-model line-up offerings.  
That all makes worlds of sense to me, so I'm not sure why Nissan isn't seeing it this way.  I could wax on about this all day....


The whole singling out Nissan doesnt make much sense to me. They have the GTR and the Z.

Do Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Mazda have more than 2 sporty cars?


I could not say it better, I have owed 7 Nissan's in my life, and currently driving and Infiniti.  I fell in love with the Z at a very young age and still drive one. I truly enjoy driving them but as my oldest asked, Why do manufactures stop building cars that are fun to drive or tease us with cars.  I was once told  "that we build cars the consumers want". Well if you ask me I am a consumer and I want more excitement. The New Maxima is a lovely looking vehicle but it needs to be RWD or AWD to be more of 4DSC. The Z needs to have a second engine option, Turbos or even take supercharged. And what a but the other coupe. Offer options like they used to back like our parents had.


Love the article.
The reason is simple, Nissan is not anymore a pure japanese breed brand; since Renault acquisition most of Nissan focus is in profits and cost effectiveness. they should acquire a better fun based focus on costumer like Mazda is still doing.


For years and years I was a huge Nissan enthusiast but lately I've found myself much more, and increasingly, interested with Honda and Subaru. I have to say in short, as of now, Nissan is sick and sad joke. It would be nice to know that someone up top at Nissan would see this post and that it would hit a special nerve but once your pants get so big, you forget that you put them on the same as everyone else so consumer feedback becomes unfortunately irrelevant. I'll always remember Nissan for what they used to be but today they're a dead company. I couldn't tell you the last time I passed the local Nissan dealership and even looked over at the lot. I truthfully consider them to be in the same class as a Buick, dull and boring people movers. There's no "Innovation That Excites". I don't even think there's any innovation. Rest in peace Nissan, you'll never be forgotten.


Nah dude they are better than Chevy, Buick, and Toyota to a level, but yeah its underpowered econoboxes and CVT Crossovers mostly now. I don't like the future at all.


Why that turbocharged lump from the Juke isn't mated to a 6 speed in a Sentra SE-R is beyond me. Sure, R&D for a brand new platform is expensive. What's not expensive is taking an existing motor and placing it in a different but also current vehicle. This is stuff that is done in people's garages and backyards for god sakes.


Trentworth You made an excellent point that most manufacturers need to hear.  We don't necessarily need brand new models, just a new car for those whose cars are getting older and need something reliable but isn't priced so high for the average working joe that wants a little fun. A well built car that was popular in the past can still do well. On the other hand if they don't make new models then they won't have a chance for innovation as the R&D department may get behind (unless they do R&D on other brands lol)


I'm a huge Nissan loyalist and own Datsuns, Nissans, and Infinitis.  I am a bit disappointed in the current offerings but have faith that it will get better.  Today my daily driver is a 2009 G37s sedan with the six-speed.  Only around 10% of the sedans were available with a manual transmission, and I love mine.  It's a great car.  However, it's a shame that Nissan doesn't produce a Maxima with a manual and the new Q-series that replaced the G also are not available with a manual (yet).


For me, Nissan is all about their GT-R, just look at some gt races to understand. Its always an all nissan podium. Quintarelli just won his 4th super GT championship. Hell, they even made a FWD one !
I will be patient and will wait till they put out something like the IDX. It will happen the market is going to have an opening for such cars. Get Carlos Ghosn out. He's done enough for the brand. Put a japanese men at the top, he's going to bring us excitement and driving pleasure.


Smiggins Mitsu is dead, Mazda is working on a halo car, CX-3 is great w/o being sporty, Suby has two affordable one, toyota is doing good things with the lexus brand, Honda ... hybrid manual with a supercharger from HPD plus CTR plus the civic is getting turbocharged


Nissan, you are dead to me.


I wonder if any of the engineers die a little inside every time they make their way to the drawing board for another bland econo box SUV


If you think that the U.S. commercials are bad, you should see the Japanese market one where they have a Leaf crushing a "sports car" (180sx) in a drag race. They haven't just abandoned the affordable FR sports car platform, they're actively distancing themselves from it.


Well said, and "But I can’t see how abandoning exciting ideas and teasing car enthusiasts with cool concepts is going to win you any good will or brand loyalty." is exactly what i was thinking.
As for the Murano CrossCarbriolet, laughable doesnt even begin to cover it...


turboboxer6spd You're right there; the whole company (read: marketers, executives, R&D and [shudders] the accountants) might not be able to get behind using the old stuff, but notice this, the FM and PM platforms have been around for more than a decade and Nissan says there is a ton more development left in both of those. . The PM has been used on the GTR, the Eau Rouge concept, it's been shaved down for the Juke-R and stretched for the Qashqai-R. The FM has underpinned saloons, sports cars, wagons and a damn MPV, So they can't claim that a new silvia would be too much to develop, they use three or four platfroms for everything anyway. Wouldn't a solution be to hand the R&D guys the FM, tell them to slash a few inches and drop a few kg's off the thing so they can use it to underpin a new light sports car which the design department can update the S15 body for, then tell the marketing guys to figure out how to sell it to a new audience. Be sure to have the accountants bound and gagged behind the shed when doing this and send the executives on a cruise for a while, you can send someone to fetch them when you're done...[Jumps back on soapbox] Nismo would have no problem jumping on board; today I saw a March Nismo, a MARCH NISMO! good god whoever is in charge of Nismo must wake up in the morning and wonder how he ever allowed this to happen.
Is that what Nissan thinks enthusiasts wants? A March Nismo? MARCH NISMO?!
[Jumps off soapbox]


@gooses Now that is a low blow.


CharlesLau1 *Designers


@Just Saying Spaghetti It's a performance car from 1973.  The game has moved on quite a bit.


It's people who don't like cars running car companies.


NickDiLuca I think that was the whole thought behind the original SE-R.  take a small two door compact and drop a huge engine in it and have fun.  And it was fun to drive


Confused by this article.  Nissan has been doing one hell of a job in the sports car arena, vs a lot of other import companies!  Yeah the Lexus LFA is cool, but it's far from being accessible as the GT-R is.  Yes I think the GT-R has been more out of reach as it was in 2009 and I think Nissan needs to reduce the price for the car.  I bought a 2010 for this reason.  I think Nissan is doing a great job.  And I can see why they are extending the line a few more years as sales have not been too good due to the economy. 370Z's and GT-R's are nice to have cars vs cars like Maximas and Altimas, so they will not sell as well!


CharlesSangollo Smiggins 
So Mazda is working on something, the cx3 is a slow crossover, Nissan already has the GTR, Z and I forgot about the Infinity v8 Q. Subaru has 2 sporty cars, 1 less than Nissan. Toyota has probably has the most sporty cars, Honda may or may not have 1 sporty car depending on whether or not you want to count the 200hp civic but we'll eventually get the Civic Type R.
Sorry, Im just not seeing that much difference in what Nissan is building from all the other Japanese manufacturer. Actually in my book Nissan is tied with Toyota for the most sporty. The only car from Toyota that is actually used by enthusiasts for sporting purposes is the FRS.

Basically this article doesn't make much sense. It would make more sense just saying Japanese auto manufacturers in general arnt making sporty cars anymore.


TarmacTerrorist Very true.
Theyre just businesses. You cant expect businesses to do more than make money. They dont care how they make money, they just want to make it.


The point is Nissan had all these potential sport cars, but canned them. Other companies have confirmed up and coming sports cars at least. Nissan also said the Z is no longer and going to SUV mode. They have one barely accessable sports car for the foreseeable future.
Compared to it used to have sport versions of everything in its line up, now down to one. The GTR...


@tjlazer The point is Nissan is cancelling sports cars leaving only the GTR. Other companies have confirmed sports cars coming soon. Nissan is the opposite.


I work at a nissan dealership and i cant agree more...the lack of seeing anything cool from a day to day basis because a basically non existent market of fun cars is rather dissapointing.


Hi Jobby. What is the new HP or weight requirement for a performance car?

Closed course films

Imo Nissan has been the only Japanese brand that didn't sellout. After the 90s and 2000s there are they brand to keep making a sports car. The 370z.
Which I owned a 370z Nismo. And then they came out with the Nissan gtr, which I own now. A crushing car that is a top brand killer.
They have been holding the torch and I support them with my buying power, sure there has been the Evo and wrx. But those have never been attractive to me,
Toyota , Honda, Mitsubishi still don't have shit to offer . So I'm praising Nissan for giving us something to buy....I think they are doing great,
I am was a Honda s2000 owner before but Honda sells recycled bags now. So fuck Honda and fuck Toyota hydrids .....


Used to work for Nissan Prinsipal and I agree with what you wrote completely! Nissan has lost its souls after that merge with Renault!


Jesus this is a horrible article. All of the photos come from the internet. The writing is that of a freshman English comp class. Who the hell is approving this stuff?! There are typos everywhere. The sentence structure is atrocious. The points are invalid and irrelevant. This is tripe. I am utterly astounded that anyone would read this website with even the slightest degree of journalistic expectation. 

I unsubscribed from SH long ago because its content is so terrible. I check in occasionally with the distant hope that something has changed. It hasn't. 

PS - If SH is looking for a highly paid remote line editor, I'm happy to submit my resume. I believe deeply in the website and its purpose, as well as its contributors and subscribers. #joyofediting


@John Arthur You "unsubscribed... because [Speedhunters'] content is so terrible."

You also "believe deeply in the website and its purpose."

The contradiction innate to these two points, your floral verbiage, and the fact that you accidentally addressed your comment to Jesus instead of Mike all lead me to conclude that I would not pay you, highly or otherwise, to edit anything.


Sorry you feel that way.


Well a GT-R is about triple the price of all the other cars you mentioned. No one disputes that it's a great car if all out performance is your goal, but IMO Nissan and Japanese cars have always been about more than lap times and crushing the competition.


I do love me the G37 sedan, just a shame nothing much has happened with that platform for quite a while.


Jobby Spaghetti Porsche 964 (1989 - 1994): 1,375 kg., 3.6 L, 250 PS. Subaru Impreza (1992): 1,220 kg., 2.0 L Turbo, 240 PS. Are these cars performance cars?


Jobby Spaghetti Was the GT86/FT86/FRS/BRZ designed to be quick? Its center of gravity was deliberately lowered. It is a RWD. Its weight was kept to as low as practically possible. Why? The answer is for it to go around corners faster.

The GT86 has been entered into the 24-Hour Nurburgring race by the Toyota Swiss Team. It one in 2-classes one of which is an almost-stock class.


It was envisioned as a performance car. Hence, the press, during the car's launching, was invited to drive the car fast in race tracks.


Above is Chris Harris' appearance in one such press event. You can judge yourself what he will say to the question "is the 86 a performance car?"

Finally, below is the list of lap times in Tsukuba Circuit.


Look at the cars that have track times close to that of the 86's. These are some of the cars which have lap times within 1 second of the 86's: Subaru WRX STI, Audi RS Q3, Nissan 350z, Mazda RX-7, BMW M235i, Ferrari 348TB, Audi RS6 (C5), BMW M5 (E34), Lotus Elise S1, Nissan GTR (R32), Porsche Boxster, Nissan GTR (R34), etc. 

Can any of these be considered a performance car?


Jobby Spaghetti Was the GT86/FT86/FRS/BRZ designed to be quick? Its center of
gravity was deliberately lowered. It is a RWD. Its weight was kept to as low as
practically possible. Why? The answer is for it to go around corners faster.
GT86 has been entered into the 24-Hour Nurburgring race by the Toyota Swiss
Team. It won in 2-classes one of which is an almost-stock class.
It was
envisioned as a performance car. Hence, the press, during the car's launching,
was invited to drive the car fast in race tracks.
is Chris Harris' appearance in one such press event. You can judge yourself
what he will answer to the question "is the 86 a performance car?"
below is the list of lap times in Tsukuba Circuit.
Look at
the cars that have track times close to that of the 86's. These are some of the
cars which have lap times within 1 second of the 86: Subaru WRX STI, Audi RS
Q3, Nissan 350z, Mazda RX-7, BMW M235i, Ferrari 348TB, Audi RS6 (C5), BMW M5
(E34), Lotus Elise S1, Nissan GTR (R32), Porsche Boxster, Nissan GTR (R34),
Can any
of these be considered a performance car?


Motorsport success is great, but how many race fans can afford a new GT-R?


chesing I'm not claiming there is one.  More that comparing two cars four decades apart based purely on two statistics in order to apply a label that is largely subjective in the first place is pretty asinine.


There was the Sentra SE-R Concept a couple years ago that sounded decent, but that might be another one left on the cutting room floor.


I was actually at an auto show the other day and was thinking was thinking about Nissan. Hey cool stuff would they have in their booth! Oh yeah the same GT-R and Z we've been looking at since 2008.


@John Arthur Please do yourself (and us) a favor and stop coming to this site for good. To alleviate the pain that you clearly suffered while reading this article, may I suggest writing yourself a letter? I'm sure you'll like what is written there.


I don't know how much of the blame can be put on the French, but at the very least you'd think Nissan could borrow some of the cool Renault bits to create something cool and global.


It really feels like they are without an identity and their marketing lately kind of shows that.


You are right a lot of these same criticisms are valid for Toyota and Honda as well, but they seem to at least be trying to refind the spark. Honda's got a very promising Type R, an NSX and a cool mid-engined roadster that's Japan-only at the moment but still very interesting.
Toyota has some cool V8-powered Lexus models, the 86, the FT-1 (which hasn't been killed yet AFAIK and the new S-FR stuff.


Yes I know that, the point was you have to one or the other. The ideal combo is not available, as you mentioned.


Jobby chesing "It is a performance car from 1973. The game has moved on quite a bit." Were you implying that the 86 is not a performance car because the game has already changed quite a bit? How did the game change?

Rather than labeling statements of people, you might get your points across by explaining yourself.

"Comparing two cars four decades apart based purely on statistics in order to apply a label that is largely subjective in the first place is pretty asinine."

You believe that the matter is subjective yet you believe your are absolutely right in that you cannot compare two cars four decades apart. Is there a rule against it? Can you compare two cars a decade apart? What is the threshold?


Jobby Spaghetti Was the GT86/FT86/FRS/BRZ designed to be quick? Its center of
gravity was deliberately lowered. It is a RWD. Its weight was kept to as low as
practically possible. Why? The answer is for it to go around corners faster.
GT86 has been entered into the 24-Hour Nurburgring race by the Toyota Swiss
Team. It won in 2-classes one of which is an almost-stock class.
It was
envisioned as a performance car. Hence, the press, during the car's launching,
was invited to drive the car fast in race tracks.
Search Chris Harris' appearance in one such press event on Youtube. You can judge yourself
what he will answer to the question "is the 86 a performance car?"
Finally, you can easily find the list of lap times of different makes in Tsukuba Circuit.
Look at
the cars that have track times close to that of the 86's. These are some of the
cars which have lap times within 1 second of the 86: Subaru WRX STI, Audi RS
Q3, Nissan 350z, Mazda RX-7, BMW M235i, Ferrari 348TB, Audi RS6 (C5), BMW M5
(E34), Lotus Elise S1, Nissan GTR (R32), Porsche Boxster, Nissan GTR (R34),
Can any
of these be considered a performance car?


Here I am, 17 years old, sitting here with my Need For Speed and in my garage are: a 180sx Type X, two R34s, one R32 and one R35 GTR... All Nissan cars... "young people adore the cars you made 20 years ago", thats sentence just hit me right in the heart. I´ve allways dreamed about owning a R32, R34 but since they have gone up in price and are pretty rare here in Sweden it´s so sad that they don´t make a new, fun, cheap, range of cars for us younger people to enjoy...


Mike Garrett Agree, but at the same time while variety is definitely dwindling down, 370 is a helluva option just like 350 was during 2000s. IDx would definitely give Toyota a real run for their money, but I assume Nissan is still making enough off of non-enthusiasts not to care as much as other brands.


I think there's no need to compare Nissan's nowadays sports cars to other japanese brands' sports cars. The subject is all about Nissan here. Ane, Mike, I have no idea you could hit the point more precisely. Nissan is simply blind today.


@Patrik Define cheap man. If anything new was made today, you're looking at ~25-35k and for that price range you can easily import almost any one of the oldies from back home and enjoy EXACTLY what you'd want to.


I could not have said it any better. I owned a 2004 G35 coupe and it was by far the most fun car I've ever owned. You would think with the popularity of the FR-S and BRZ, now would be a great time to bring the Silvia back to the market but I'm thinking they won't because it may kill Z sales.


As i see it, the 3 biggest japanese car builders (toyota, nissan, honda), are trying too hard to be in the american market, i own a Toyota Starlet 1998, it is an small car, the replacement of this car is the Toyota Yaris, which is a bigger car, right now i'm living in Venezuela, a country with one of the worst economies on the globe, so it is very strange to see a "new" car, a month ago i seen the new Toyota Yaris, and i first think it was a new Corolla, it is a really big car. the same situation it is happening with all japanese brands, just see the Honda Civic from the 80's to today, it just has grown.. when i see a Toyota Corolla i don't feel any like to drive it, i just look like a fat cow, so as i see it they should recover that spirit that japanese cars use to have.

in other topic, if you are planning to pay $100k on a sports car, is probably because you are at least an enthusiast, and if you tell any enthusiast: which Skyline do you prefer, R34 or R35, i'm sure that the most will select the R34, the R35 it's a great car, but it doesn't have that spirit of the R32,33,34.


One car does not make a brand and especially one that should have been an Infiniti in the US! The 370Z is nice but cars you can get for similar money blow it away on the track! Nissan used to make pretty cool cars and had a Sentra Spec V which was an awesome car and very unique in it's time. 

However, the focus as of late has been to sell to the majority of the population. The problem with that is; the rest of the industry is doing the same thing. Therefore you end up with an entire Compact Car segment where there is no significant difference between the cars. (don't even get me started on Mid Cars!)

Net net no one is really looking for the white space out there other than Ford. Mazda has always done a pretty good job but the absence of a real Hot Hatch for me puts them out of serious consideration. Toyota and the FR-S have made a valiant attempt, but the sales haven't really gone their way. 

In the end, it's up to enthusiasts to buy and support the automakers that are developing the more affordable cooler cars. No point in giving money to Nissan for a Sentra or Altima if in the end they will not develop cars that you care about. Buy a Ford or a Mazda and as sales go up for those companies and other brands see the benefit of making more sporty platforms then we will have more choice. Until that happens we will continue to see the used performance car market go up and the development of performance oriented cars go down.


This is why I still have my 1995 twin turbo 300zx


oh what the....not cool.


You have hit the nail on the head here, Mike.
I've always been suspcious of Nissan's misgivings since Ghosn took over as CEO of the brand. Certainly, it's never been anything that simple, but I'm finding it hard to believe that the best interests are at heart here. This strange infatuation with crossovers is absolutely cringe-worthy. I thought when they decided to put the GTR's mill and powertrain into the Juke that it was just a joke, but they took it kind of seriously. And this GripZ that was shown not too long ago - while appealing to my 240z Safari Rally side - made me feel really uncomfortable. This post alone shows great cars, the Pulsar GTI-R amongst one of my most desirable models of theirs (especially here in the North America where we never recieved them) that really went unsung, despite the rumors of a revamped AWD NISMO model being introduced in the future, albeit not on these shores again.
The loss of the IDx twins was a serious blow. They need to get onto the affordable sport market, and they're biffing it.


i23sonny They don't regret it because they split the cost. If they continue to go down this road then they will regret it. Sales have decline. That is fact. They sold over 200,000 toyota camrys this year. Tell me why they would want to continue losing profit on the FRS. As a business, which they are, that is stupid.


AaronDean1 The fact is, they don't sell enough to make a profit. As a business, the FRS is not a high profit product.


not even in consideration and the Q50 Eau Rouge was put on shelf/hold.
The higher ups at Nissan need to get their priorities fixed. The Z and
the GT-R are outdated if you put them into a marketing perspective. If I
were the head, I would look at the expense as an investment because I'd
know that people would buy them because they demand them.


Great article. I love the GTR it's still one of my dream cars that I would like to own, but you hit the nail on the head on the GTR being  Nissan's Halo Car for 7 to 8 years and there's only so much you can do with your halo car. The 370 does feel like it's in that space where there's not much competition and I like the nismo variant Juke, but it's kinda in that same area. I'm sad that Infinity axed any chances of having the Q-50 Eau Rouge be a production car. 

I read the comments down below and one comment did leave me thinking about the time now where we have the FRS, GT-86, and BRZ which are really raking in consumers and enthusiasts, and you think that Nissan would jump in on that with a car that could rival that. I would love to see Nissan do a next generation S15 that would be perfect competition. And it sucks that Misubishi just killed their Evo, Mazda has only the Miata, (And making it hard for me to believe that they are doing a next gen RX7 or an RX9), Toyota is doing well however with the GT86 as mentioned and what they've been doing with Lexus. (Jury's still out for me on the talk around releasing their FT-1 marked as they're new Supra, but I'll believe it when I see it.)

It does make me wonder with the success of the FRS, BRZ, and GT-86, what if Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Mazda, all made cars that could be in that price and performance range as competition to those cars. We could be seeing real competition between the biggest Japanese manufacturers and it could have the potential to move upwards in performance where the 370Z could have some rivals and even ascending up to a war of Halo cars between the Japanese manufacturers. It could bring the passion for performance and wanting to aim at enthusiasts again. Kinda like how in racing games, cars are organized by performance class lol.

I guess what i'm saying in the end is that this article makes me think about in the time where everyone's making economical, effecient, cars, SUV's, and crossovers, I just hope that the desire to make sports, high performance cars, and overall cars that could appeal to the enthusiasts doesn't die out.

Just my two cents and great article :)


i agree 100% with this, there once was a golden age of nissan but that era is over. We all miss that era, and the car world just isnt going to be the same with the old nissan weve all known to love. Below is a picture of yesterdays z meet i went to, and what nissan used to be.


As a retiree of Nissan North America (and an owner of many Nissan and Infiniti vehicles over the years) I am VERY UN-EXCITED by what Nissan is offering and almost depressed over what seems to be in the pipeline.

If Nissan doesn't get it's excrement together I won't even own another.


what the hell has happened to toyota too? their design is going worst than 90's design


Now print this article in A3 and paste it on the front door of Nissan HQ


AHMEN! This is exactly how I feel about Nissan, blue balls for the past 15 years.


I've given up on Nissan. I've owned 3 Skylines (R31 GXE: still have it, R32 GTS-t: my dad crashed it, R32 GT-R sitting in garage). Sold my N16 Pulsar daily (quite peppy and cheap to run) for a Subaru wagon (BR9 GT, dog hauler), didn't want to haul my dog in a V36 sedan. I was looking forward to the iDX as it would have been a fun weekend car that I could slowly build for track work, but no. Nissan no longer makes attainable sport-y cars. Pulsar SSS is not sporty. Game over Nissan.
I'll just wait until the R35 is sub-$30k. Until then, I'll enjoy my turbocharged Subaru Liberty and R32 GT-R.


IMHO this is not just Nissan, this is just about every JDM company that we know, its really becoming a joke. I left JDM for some time now as sad as it is, and again I think that JDM died long time ago in the US. I dont think that things will get better as mainstream boring cars have taken over as everything today is considered "Sport" even the Murano comes with paddle shifters???? For what, so you can walk faster than what it actually shifts??? The true enthusiast cars are dying each and every day, therefore make sure you hold on to what you have! Electronics have taken over, autotragics, and more "Sport" features such as an exhaust note that comes from your speakers. 

It is soooo disappointing to look at cars these days bc I always seem to go back to the 90's or beyond. I hope that there are some true enthusiast spirits that we can pray to that will bring a third pedal back with some turbos and less of assisted driving comfortable cars. Whatever happened to the true enthusiast? I guess they were left behind, hopefully the car companies will realize that when they advertise performance it means third pedal turbocharging/SC/NA high revving machines that are not size of a boat that are meant for the person that actually enjoys feeling the road and not taking a selfie and massaged by 60 different motors in a leather bucket seat.


been a Nissan guy/kid since childhood, I'm still is, but I miss the glory '80s
era, where almost every Nissan model in the fleet, has a sport DNA, and pedigree
running in it's blood system. It may be a 4 door family car, or 4x4, however,
almost all of them seem to have been born in Tsukuba. Not to mention the proper
sports cars, like the Skylines, Z series, the 510s, Laurels. Now seem to have
gone. Why is it so difficult for Nissan to bring back the Sylvia? or the 510
for that matter? they have the engines, and capability to do it?
couldn't deny the fact that some of their modern designs are pretty awesome,
but cars are more than just design. Why not make the Maxima rear wheel drive,
and make a 2dr coupe version of it.
can't believe they killed the Q50 Eau Rouge Concept. I don't know, but I'm
hoping for a change the future.


@John Arthur Dear #joyofhashtagging,
I'm pretty sure bashing an entire company is not how you go about getting a job there. Perhaps it's you that needs a break from the internet.




It'd be interesting to compare the 370z vs the Mustangs sales. The 370z isn't really an option comparing fuel economy, power and price. Ask Mike what he thinks of the mustang ! Conclusion Nissan needs to get back in the affordable turbo game SE-R or IDX. The new civic's engine is getting me really excited 1,5 liter 174hp. I want to put one in my RSX


Let's just be honest.. we ALL knew that the IDx was never going to happen.


Everybody can afford Micras and there series is having some success. The races are interesting and full of actions. There's a commercial with a fully prepped micra and a racing driver which is mildly exciting. Top that with nismo's channel commenting super gt races. I have hope for Nissan.


I disagree. 

Nissan hasn't forgotten, they are just catering to what people are buying. Much like the quickly disappearing manual gearbox, we only have ourselves to blame


Why after 40 years of being a Die hard Nissan Nut , I am looking at Subaru ... For the same price of a FWD 6spd 215 HP Juke .. You can buy a 265+ Hp AWD 6spd WRX ... Makes no sense ....  Why My wife is driving  Crosstrek now , No Nissans that could come close to the value .... And yea , the teasing is the worst part ... They show a Sentra Nismo  ...They have all the parts to build it .... But no .. then the IDx  ...goes on and on , but no Good fun $30K area cars ... I miss the SE-R's ....


Could have just built the a 2 door Sentra, with RWD setup. I don't mind if it has the old SR20 motor, with modern day technology, and a manual transmission as an option.
Could have built a 2 door Maxima, with RWD setup, and a VQ30 turbo engine, and a little over 350 hp, would be an instant winner, could sell cheaper than most of fun cars out there.


After years of owning Subie WRXs (including a GC8 STi 2 door and a heavily modified MY03 STi) I took the plunge in 2009 and bought an R35 which was so good back then I decided  to buy another in 2013. But now I look around and think "where next?". The R35 is an incredible supercar for the price, amazingly capable, incredibly fast, easy to drive at any speed, but it lacks the involvement I now have worked out I want in a car. "Why did I buy a second R35?" I hear you ask, well because there was nothing even approaching it on the market in 2013, and the updates made it compelling. But the more I look at it, you need to be antisocial on the public roads to really enjoy it. And lets be honest, at the end of the day it's only a Nissan.... I've ordered a Cayman GT4 to replace my MY13 R35. The GT4 is a real drivers car with a manual gearbox, slower for sure, but who cares. There is no R36 on the horizon to replace the R35 and really I must say that given the lack of involvement in the R35 I'm not confident the R36 will deliver the smiles it needs too, whenever it may arrive. I hope Nissan wake up and deliver cars that provide challenge and enjoyment just like their older R32-34 models!


A GT-R is the only car in the current Nissan line up that I would want to buy, but costing nearly AU$200,000, i'm never going to be able to afford one, unless the internet helps me out ( http://www.buy-me-a-gt-r.com ). Actually I might even consider a Leaf to offset the pollution my weekend Datsuns may cause.


A GT-R is the only car in the current Nissan line up that I would want to buy, but costing nearly AU$200,000, i'm never going to be able to afford one, unless the internet helps me out ( http://www.buy-me-a-gtr.com ). Actually I might even consider a Leaf to offset the pollution my weekend Datsuns may cause.


Would some one please send this to the decision makers in Nissian, sit them down and force them to read and discuss this topic.  Well written and on point.  Great Job!!!!!


Mike: I'm nodding as I look at the front grill of my EVO X, and can say that according to Japanese auto executives, we don't car about driving exciting cars any more. So much potential being wasted!

On a side note though, Nissan took a chance on the driver Academy on the PS, and it was a shocking success. You have legit drivers coming from the gaming world... but you'll notice that even in the game, they make us play with some of the older Nissan cars to draw interest, then sick a Leaf on you!


Nissan hates car people


Something to consider, I remember hearing a few years ago that Nissan filed bankruptcy. (possibly 2008?) This would cause them to stay in the lines for at least a decade I would think. Also, take in to consideration the huge recovery the auto industry is currently in. It's been less than 5 years since America almost lost 2 of its big three manufacturers. Granted we make terrible cars, I can imagine the rest of the auto industry must have had some kind of negative impact if we suffered that badly. 

Hyundai, Subaru/Toyota, have taken a risk in making sub 30k RWD sports cars and have found tremendous success. I say give it time. Let Nissan recover a little more, and I'm willing to bet they will reenter that market as well. 



TL;DR but I tell you one thing
I work as a mechanic-Most of european Nissans are RENAULTs, with crappy french electronics, engines and so on. I'm criyng when I see this... Note is the best example. I hope that JDM and other markets don't have to meet up with those "Nissans"...


IAMSTIG05   Ya, I dont really understand how someone could think its just Nissan and not all the Japanese auto makers.
Theyre making what sells.
If they sold more sports cars they would make more sports cars.


San diego z32 Its a classic. Might not be apparent to old white men yet but all the Japanese sports cars from the 90s will be classics.


Mike Garrett  For Honda the Type R will be its only sports car. 1 sports car? Come on dude, how can you point out Nissan when Honda will have only 1! The so called new NSX will flop, maybe last 5 years if that.
As far as I know Nissan is the #2 Japanese sports car maker.
Toyota is #1.
Nissan is ahead of Subaru, Mitsubishi, Honda.
Mazda has the Miata. I dont know how sporty any of their econo boxes are.


i23sonny What sports cars have been confirmed by other Japanese auto manufacturers?


Same case with Toyota! Nowadays people just want to be fancy and modern, you can not expect to see anything different from this more than stupid cars! The issues are not just with cars, with almost everything, without soul heart, passion, just a plain stupidity! I am soooo sad that there are no more the best engines and I mean inline 6 engines like 1jz 2jz rb25 rb26 sr18 sr20 3s-gte 1g-gte nothing only hybrids because government says they are better buy them be robot be nobody! Now you can buy the stupidest engines ever made v6 engines without any style or anything, made for making money and that is all folks! I feel really bad I can not describe how bad exactly! One of the best engines brands and people who know how to do it, decided to be the same or even worst that everybody! They are lost, but not only they no rwd from most of the producers no interesting cars nothing! The last gt-r complete tragedy, fat nothing in common with the real heart of gt-r no no no! No Supra no Chaser no anything! I can not believe!


The harsh reality is that.. People like us are becoming minorities. The majority of people just want a simple form of transport that is affordable, low ownership cost,and can fit the whole family.
We are becoming those people who always said "back in my days.." But the truth is the era has changed.. We are now entering the "hipster" era..
But I feel good being able to own a piece of 90's Nissan. :)


You hit the nail on the head, how can you tease a seemingly viable 510 remake that could compete with the Subaru BRZ and scion FR-S AND NOT BUILD IT. Last time I checked Toyota/Subaru are selling boat loads of those things. I was next to one last night at the stop light and though about selling my 02 corvette Z06 just so I could have a driving experience that you can reach "safely" on the street; not to mention the hoard of aftermarket parts that I can have to make it what ever I want. A small part of me is holding on to loyalty for what Nissan/Datsun had build in the past, I had a Datsun sunny and at the time I hated it but it cause it was all i could afford, but embodies all that car company's/ enthusiast want. Light weight, decent handling (ok ok I know not really for the sunny but other Datsun's handled good) and good gas millage. So COME ON Nissan build us something we can afford, and get excited about to drive.


My B210, brings a smile to my face whenever i drive it, cant say i would get the same feeling from any post 90s cars other than the GTR

JMax Paint Garage LLC

i cri evrytiem 2


Well said, if the BRZ works surely nissan can do something to stir up some action.


Digging the editorial content Mike Garrett


Closed course films I agree with what you are saying but don't you mean when they kept making sports cars after the 90's, it was the 350Z?  Then the 370Z came out at the same time as the GT-R (2009)


well said.. i mention all the time how nissan and honda have become the most disappointing companies for what use to be the greatest sports cars of the 90s. they dont even try anymore


So totally agree about Nissan's 'cool-car' decline. This is especially reinforced by having just watched the Paul Newman documentary by Adam Corolla which would've been a great ad if Nissan was still building cool stuff. I want to love the 370z, but it's nowhere close to my E46 M3 in terms of performance or fun, and that car is 12 years old.
I drove a 2007 Z and loved a lot about it, except the lack of space for a simple suitcase, but they haven't really moved it along except to add a 'blip the throttle for you' function, which I don't want. Look at what Mazda did for the new generation Miata and you'll see what progress looks like. They are totally different cars for sure, but Mazda is obviously focused on building something for the brand's enthusiasts, and Nissan is being run by accountants. If it was anywhere similar in price to a GTR vs 911, I'd have totally bought a Q50 Rouge over an M4. Such a gorgeous car.


the sad thing is that this is true for every japanese manufacturer,
just look at toyota, the only car that does 0-60 in their european
lineup is the gt86, Subaru has the wrx sti and brz, but only offers
boring cvts on anything else, honda only has the civic type R in its
sporty range, it's like they all lost their balls.
not just that they don't build actual sportscars, they don't even offer
sporty versions of their mainstream cars, the most powerful engine
choices in their mainstream models correspond mostly with the lowest
choices in the likes of BMW, VW, Audi, Volvo etc


I believe the bigwigs at the car makers truly believe car enthusiasts are extinct. But take a step back, and they might be on to something.
Most people view driving as a chore, a necessary evil. Few people actually enjoy it. However, I also believe it has something to do with car makers continually churning out boring cars. I'm blessed enough to enjoy all manner and variety of cars in my collection. I can't stand driving a boring vehicle. However, when travelling, I am often forced to drive whatever rental car is available and it's a soul sucking experience when I get behind the wheel of, say, a "Nissan Altima or similar". This is what 95% of people know and it's no surprise they would rather move to autonomous vehicles than put up with driving automotive garbage.


I think the Juke Nismo RS with the 6 speed and a LSD is actually a freaking blast to drive.


Yes I agree we miss 90's fun.... ^_^ Long Live SR20 ^_^


What has happened to Nissan? They have simply devolved into their Datsun ways....


Would have been awesome if they released a production version of the IDX Nizmo. Reminds me of the old school Nissans from the 1960's & would have made a great modern tuner car as well. Other than the GTR & the IDX most Nissans are pretty ugly & parts for them are litteraly from all pver the world instead of built in house (built in a factory in the country the company is based in as it should be)


I've owned a Nissan frontier and a 350z. I can attest that Nissan has gone downhill. I think it happened when they merged with Renault. cheap parts and material. with my 350z the clip to my sun visor had to be replaced twice! and the interior would scratch easily. The 370z is too wide and bloated. I'm curious to see what the next z will look like IF they even come out with one. if i'm ever in the market for a sport scar, I will save my money and get an r8. I never thought i'd go for a European car, but that sports car is amazing. I heard it's actually a good daily driver as well.


with the frontier, I wish they would have stayed with the compact truck concept. the frontier is now mid-size and not everyone needs a big truck.