Nissan working on 370Z replacement; To debut in 2014
At one of the major auto shows in 2014, Japanese automaker Nissan could unveil the successor of the 370Z sports car. An affordable sports car that is also sold in India, the 370Z has a dedicated fan following. Nissan however, could make the successor of the 370Z more effordable than ever before, or at least more fuel efficient. A key change will be the usage of a four cylinder turbocharged engine, which will replace the naturally aspirated 3.7 Liter V6 unit that currently powers the 370Z. We’ve seen Nissan’s prowess with turbo petrol engines in the GTRs and so, a four cylinder engine on the 370Z can be expected to be quite powerful.
Another big change is that the next generation sportscar could be much lighter than the 370Z, which will also result in better fuel economy and lower tail pipe emissions. The price too, could see a downward revision, to attract more buyers for the 370Z. With the Mitsubishi Evolution-X expected to go the diesel hybrid way, the successor of the 370Z could be a fantastic option that fills in the void that the exit of the turbo petrol Evolution-X will create in the entry level, high performance sportscar space. Most companies across the world are focusing on lower priced entry level sportscars to attract younger buyers.
Nissan too, seems to be taking a similar approach with the next generation 370Z. Mercedes Benz’s high performance tuning arm is coming up entry level sporty models in the form of the A-Class and the CLC AMG variants, which will be one of the least priced cars in the AMG line up. BMW has the 1M series of sporty entry level cars while Audi could go RS with the A3 and Q3 models, with Q3 RS already being showcased at the Beijing Motor Show, earlier this year. As time rolls on, turbo petrol power is soon recplacing the naturally aspirated engines and this is true not just for entry level family cars but even high performance sportscars.
This is but natural as turbocharging allows engine designers to squeeze out more power from smaller engines, which while being lighter are also more torquier across the rev band. This boost fuel economy and the presence of the turbo cuts down on tail pipe emissions. The breed of naturally aspirated petrol engines seems to definitely be on the decline and in the coming years, expect the naturally aspirated engine, especially the ones with more than four cylinders, to become a rarity, even as turbo petrol power becomes the norm.