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2013 Detroit Auto Show: Nissan planning a sub-Z sports car, sadly not an FR-S fighter

In what has to be one of the weirder ways to tease an upcoming model, Nissan told crowds at the Detroit Auto Show that not only would be bringing out a new sports car to slot in below the Z, but that this new car would be “like Marmite”, according to a report in Car & Driver. Marmite, for those fortunate enough to have never sampled the delicacy, is a yeast-based spread for toast, which is popular in the UK. Well, somewhat popular. Marmite’s slogan is “you either love it or you hate it,”  and this is how Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer assured us we would feel about the new sports car. He went on to say that it would not be positioned against the Scion FR-S, but would rather feature some kind electrified drivetrain and be “guilt free,” explaining it would still be something youth oriented, more akin to the Juke.

This sort of move seems odd — and not just because of Marmite’s hellish tastes. It’s not often the terms “guilt free” and “youth oriented” are used to describe the same product, and there is a very good reason for this. Younger demographics generally don’t care about things being guilt-free, that’s why it’s so great to be young. What’s more, the description Palmer gave of the upcoming car could just have easily been describing the CR-Z, a car for which we would have to add the descriptive term  “failure”. No doubt Nissan is aware of the CR-Z’s less than stellar reception and have a better idea in store. Concepts like the 2011 ESFLOW (pictured) sports EV did at least look good. Hopefully they can avoid making another CR-Z, although the Marmite comment leaves a bad taste in our mouths.