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.

Toyota’s GT 86, the highly anticipated compact 2+2 sports car, will debut in Europe at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

On sale across Europe from summer 2012, the Toyota GT 86 is completely focused on the driver. Driving joy is basic and pure through precision focused responses to even mere movements in steering or throttle for those who believe driving requires passion instead of merely fulfilling a need.

It has a low, extremely aerodynamic body shell tightly stretched across them, so that the GT 86 has a fundamentally new platform. There is no bulky and heavy displacement powertrain, because the GT 86’s performance harkens back to Toyota's sports roots as the lone model in the world that succeeds at combining rear-wheel drive with a compact, front-mounted, free-revving, horizontally opposed 'boxer' petrol engine.

This singular powertrain integrates low weight, centre of gravity, and inertia with the most compact four-seat design for the best power-to-weight ratio possible. The GT 86 is bestowed with a lively and accessible performance that has extremely responsive, ready-used dynamic abilities with little electronic intrusion and massive driving enjoyment.

A dedicated engineering team, focusing on inspirations from the pure classic sports car experience, went to work to improve on its rivals’ offerings to please even the most discriminating aficionado. The GT 86 fully embraces the Toyota spirit of all its sports cars, gratifying drivers with pure enjoyment.

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