For decades Nissan has built its backbone around enthusiasts with at least three sports cars in its lineup. The GT-R has been the big dog up top, while the Z is a sort of Porsche-911-fighter-for-the-relative-masses, and the brand has typically had an inexpensive sporty car, like the 240SX, Pulsar, or Sentra SE-R, to sell to younger enthusiasts. Looking at Nissan’s lineup today, it’s clear that third one is nowhere to be found. Nissan’s Senior VP of Global Product Planning, Ivan Espinosa, has plans to change that. Hopefully soon.
Espinosa, in a conversation with TopGear.com, said a lot of things that will resonate with young enthusiasts and old enthusiasts alike.
When asked whether the company could offer a new hot hatch—like the old hot Pulsars—he told TG: “I’m not sure about a hot hatch, but maybe a smaller electric sportscar you could think of. Something smaller, a bit more affordable. Definitely.”
“Depending on which point in time you take, we’ve always had the GT-R, we’ve always had Z, and we’ve always had an entry [level car] – either a hot hatch like Pulsar, or something else down there [at that price and performance point].
“And this today is something that we kind of miss. This [price and performance] point.”
It’s good to know that Nissan has some people focused on the enthusiast, and the entry-level enthusiast, in higher up positions. Cars like the Pulsar GTi and Sentra SE-R are what made Nissan great in the first place. Affordable performance needs to make a comeback, and if the electric revolution is the way to make it happen, I couldn’t be more ready for Nissan to drop a cheap EV sports coupe. Hell, it seems like everyone else is doing it!
Nissan’s CEO, Makato Uchida, has also said Nissan needs to drive more inexpensive electric car production. In a sit-down with Inside EVs, Uchida recently revealed:
“We do have a plan.” The CEO said that Nissan has found, “...The cost of EVs are going down more than we expected, and ‘acceptable’ priced EVs are coming to market faster than expected.” Uchida also indicated that the speed to market for less-expensive EVs is “accelerated already.”
If Nissan can be the first to market with an electric competitor to the Mazda MX-5 or Toyobaru BR-86 twins, I’d be ecstatically in line to purchase one. Especially if it can undercut the current Nissan Z’s entry price tag of $43,305 by ten grand or so. It would be even better if VP of Nissan Design Europe, Matthew Weaver’s 2021 Silvia concept drawings could be the inspiration for said inexpensive electric sports car.
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