Will Nissan’s Frankfurt concept preview a Z-replacing crossover?

Nissan crossover concept teaser (Frankfurt Motor Show 2015)
Following rumors that it is considering replacing the current 370Z sports car with a crossover, Nissan revealed a teaser for a sporty crossover concept it plans to debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show next week.

Z or not, it seems the unnamed crossover concept will continue the more dynamic styling theme used by Nissan recently, with the same prominent grille and sci-fi lighting elements seen on several of the company’s concept and production cars. Interestingly, the concept is also red with a black hood, just like the Datsun 240Z that famously won the 1971 East African Safari Rally.

Transforming Nissan’s legendary Z from a sports car into a crossover could make marketing sense, even if it doesn’t seem to make much basic logical sense. A crossover would be able to appeal to a much broader range of customers, and greater potential parts sharing with other Nissan models could help lower the vehicle’s cost.

A previous report said the crossover would be close in size to the Juke, but it would presumably be even sportier than the current Juke NISMO RS model. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine is reportedly a likely engine choice; Nissan will have to give it some serious power to live up to the Z name.

As the current-generation Z has aged, there’s been much talk about building a smaller, less expensive Nissan sports car. It was previously thought that role would be filled by a production version of the wildly popular IDx concepts, but that project seems to have hit a dead end. A small crossover could be a good budget-priced performance vehicle, but slapping a Z badge on it still seems a little strange.

It’s not just about offending purists, either. The Z brand may just not be elastic enough to encompass both a rear-wheel drive two-seat sports car and a small crossover. After all, they’re two very different types of vehicles. So while Nissan’s Frankfurt crossover concept may turn out to be something interesting for enthusiasts, it may still be better if Nissan leaves the Z badge on the shelf.

Product Review

While other crossovers dabble in dirt, Toyota's truck-like RAV4 doubles down

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 gets a clean-sheet redesign, ditching the previous generation’s car-like styling for truck-like toughness. Toyota’s compact crossover also gets more tech and new powertrains.

Born to run (forever): The most reliable cars you can buy right now

We all dread the thought of our car turning into a money pit, but choosing a dependable vehicle from the start can help us rack up countless care-free miles. Here, we've rounded up some of the most reliable cars available.

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.

Where are you going this weekend? These 5 off-road vehicles say 'anywhere'

The body-on-frame SUV is going extinct, but there are still several options for buyers looking to skip the asphalt. To help you sort the good from the bad, we've rounded up the best off-roaders currently available.

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.

The world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheels are so intricate they look fake

HRE Performance Wheels and GE Additive have teamed up to create the world's first 3D-printed titanium wheels. They are not only impressively durable, but extremely lightweight as well.

Fisker failed. But now the EV pioneer is ready for an epic redo

Henrik Fisker has already had a career most executives can only dream about. He designed the BMZ Z8, a couple of Aston Martins, and his own Fisker Karma. But he’s got a plan to disrupt the auto industry, forged by lessons learned over the…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Smarter cities need smarter addresses. And you just need 3 words

To make really smart transportation choices, more precise location data will have to be integrated with citywide transportation data. Here’s how one company is mapping the world by using just three words.

Lamborghini transforms the Urus SUV into a dual-purpose race car

Breaking stereotypes and tradition, Lamborghini has turned the Urus SUV into a race car that's equally at home on a paved track and on a dirt trail. The ST-X concept gets bigger air intakes, a full roll cage, and center-locking alloy…

Jaguar’s V2X technology will keep you from getting stuck at red lights

Jaguar wants to make sure you never have to rush through a yellow light again. The carmaker is building tools that will tell you what speed you'll need to drive to avoid getting stuck at a red light.

Drool over Lamborghini’s latest dream machine: The one-off SC18

The Lamborghini SC18 was built by the automaker's Squadra Corse racing department at the request of a customer. Based on the Lamborghini Aventador, it features upgraded aerodynamic aids and reduced weight.

Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn ousted, arrested after whistleblower cries foul

Nissan will oust chairman Carlos Ghosn after an internal investigation revealed he underreported his salary to Japan's financial authorities for years. Greg Kelly, one of Nissan's representative directors, will leave for the same reason.

Tesla owners will soon be able to summon a repair van in a few taps

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out plans to expand the Tesla mobile app so Tesla owners can request on-demand service for common problems from Tesla Ranger mobile service vehicles in just a few taps.