Nissan mulls making smaller sports cars to take on Subaru BRZ, Toyota GT86

Article by Anita Panait, on April 11, 2012

Nissan is considering downsizing its sports models, making them smaller, lighter and powered by smaller engines. Nissan’s head of design Shiro Nakamura said that he prefers smaller sports car that could be powered by smaller engines. This could mean that some of the Nissan’s iconic models like the Nissan Z and Silvia, also known as 200SX, would have smaller future generations.

The small sizes of cars call for smaller engines, both of which should be balanced well to ensure that cars perform as expected. According to Nakamura, Nissan has made making its next generation sports cars lighter as priority.

Lightweight sports cars have been proven to exhibit better agility and speed than their heavier counterparts. Smaller sports cars could now be possible since engine technologies have been enabling car manufacturers to develop and use smaller yet more efficient engines. BMW has fitted the latest M5 model with a more powerful 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, replacing its 5.0-litre V10 engine.

The company will next downsize the engines used for M3. Premium car makers in Europe have also started using four cylinders engine in lieu of six-cylinders. However, creating a smaller Z car could prove to be a major pain for Nissan’s marketing department, since the car’s name is derived from the engine’s capacity. However, there are two options available to Nissan.

Nissan could either remain faithful to the naming convention, or follow the lead of European carmakers like Mercedes-Benz and BMW of choosing numbers in line with the vehicle’s performance.

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