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Nissan May Launch GT-86 Competitor

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On: Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 5:30PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan May Launch GT-86 Competitor

The Japanese sports car industry is in the midst of a renaissance that's showing no signs of slowing down. Japanese sports car options may soon be as plentiful as they were in the 1990s. Toyota and Subaru are very close to getting their jointly developed coupe to market, and word is that Toyota might be working on something a little more upscale. Honda is in the process of building a revived NSX, and now it appears Nissan is looking to do something at the other end of the market.

The first thought that comes to mind when talking about an entry-level Nissan sports coupe is a 240SX revival. Nissan built the 240SX back in the 1980s and 90s as a cheaper complement to the 300Z. The car's rear-wheel drive configuration set it apart from front-wheel competitors at the time.

Nissan may be looking to go even farther back in the playbook, though. According to Drive, Nissan is considering bringing back the 200SX/Silvia that it sold in the US prior to the 240SX. That model could fill the current entry level sports car void in Nissan's line-up.

Nissan is also considering shrinking the size of the 370Z - a car that's ballooned from an original 240Z up to 300, 350 and 370 based upon growing engine displacement - to offer a lighter, more efficient Z. It's not clear whether that move would be in addition to or instead of the 200SX model.

Design chief Shakuro Nakamura said: "I much prefer smaller sports car. It is the time to look at that. With 370Z, we still don't know next generation will have a larger or smaller engine."

Nakamura indicated that building lighter, smaller, more efficient sports cars will be key to Nissan's strategy in the future.

Nissan's future sports car line-up could get quite robust. It currently offers the 370Z and flagship GT-R. If you throw in the 200SX and possible Infiniti supercar, it would cover the full gamut, competing with Toyota's entry level GT 86, possible mid-level Supra revival and Lexus LFA.



dwalter | 5:17PM (Fri, Apr 13, 2012)

I'm liking this trend

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