I’ll admit I was a little more than disappointed when Nissan initially denied any rumor to the S-Chassis returning as a smaller, slimmer version of the 370Z to compete with the Toyobaru twins.
Many Nissan fans didn’t like the news that Nissan though of the Juke as a suitable replacement in the subcompact sports car class.
In 1996 Nissan unveiled the Urge, a six speed rear wheel drive roadster that was a few years to late to the game.
With Chevy and other manufacturers clamoring to replicate the success of the lightweight rear wheel drive Toyabaru twins, it only seems logical for Nissan to bring back something that’s long been a staple of their company.
In the fall of 2012, Nissan design director Shiro Nakamura talked Austrailian based automotive magazine Drive and hinted to the possibility of a lightweight rear wheel drive coupe.
Hinting to the possibility that Nissan may consider downsizing its sports cars, including possibly a sub-compact 370Z model got enthusiasts excited. He also revealed that the next version of the Nissan Z may not have a higher displacement motor than the current one.
“I much prefer smaller sports cars,” Nakamura said. “With 370Z, we still don’t know if the next-generation will have a smaller or larger engine.”
Besides the possibility of a smaller engine, Nakamura said reducing the weight of the next Z car is a priority and all other future Nissan sports cars will be lightweight.
As well as dropping hints to the next Nissan Z, Nakamura also spoke about the possible return of the Silvia, otherwise known in the States as the 240SX. Nakamura was notably coy when pressed for details from Drive Magazine, could this really be in the works at Nissan?
“I cannot say,” Nakamura said, “A light, sport coupe is a nice concept, I like it.” he would continue after reinforcing the fact that he was a huge fan of the lightweight rear wheel drive platform.
With the 350Z, 370Z, and the Skyline GT-R, could Nissan support all the different platforms and vehicles as well as possibly add the new 240SX to rival the FR-S and BRZ under the same performance moniker?
According to Nakamura, yes. “If there is a market, we will do it,” Nakamura said.
Rumors are abound regarding the MR engine and many have projected it’s use as a 1.8L powerplant. Question is will that be enough to hang with the likes of the new FR-S, BRZ and STi flagships that have recently been released?
If there’s any clue to the temperature of the “market” and the willingness of Chevy and other domestic manufacturers to join the lightweight rear wheel drive coupe race, we could see the S16 make a triumphant return.