Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby AZhitman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:19 pm

Here's the thing - krash totally nailed it. EVERY automaker has a progression of cars to choose from that give the dealer some options when making the sale. During my brief stint with Infiniti, if someone came in because they were all hot & bothered for an M45 or a G35 sedan, but it was out of their ballpark, we'd show them an I35 with all the goodies. I moved a TON of I35's.

Likewise, how many people WANTED a G Coupe, but bought an Altima Coupe instead because it was more affordable (and practical)? TONS.

Hell, in 90-96, Nissan INTENTIONALLY pitted the 300ZX and 240sx against each other IN their marketing plan! It worked - and customers haven't changed one bit.

Granted, we've got the progression now (Maxima / Altima / Sentra / Versa / go home), but that's for sedan buyers.

The GT-R / 370Z desperately need a "little brother" that can ride their coattails and mooch that brand recognition.

Let's keep sharing this article all over the web - I know some of you guys are on other forums, and I think it's just as relevant and interesting for them as it is for us. Thanks all - stay tuned, we're gonna keep hammering away! :)


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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:22 pm

Bubba1 wrote: I think what we need to consider is the last time Nissan sold S-chassis cars in this country, not enough people bought them new. I was one of the few baby boomers who did buy one. And the good ownership ezperience led to my purchasing a new Z later on. Gotta remember S-Chassis' in the US didn't become popular until they had depreciated to the point they became affordable to generation X/Y. .
.
That's because the 240sx was NOT "affordable" in the same sense as a BRZ or a V6 Mustang. A 240sx with any options (the only way you could find one) could cost damn near as much as a lower-end Maxima. $17K in 1993 had equivalent purchasing power to $30k today. Imagine paying $30k for a BRZ or V6 Mustang. That wouldn't fly.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby AZhitman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:32 pm

Great point. However, "progress" has made componentry and manufacturing less expensive overall, and that gets reflected in the cars.

My '93 240sx droptop was almost $24K in 1993. Crazy money - and they sold just fine.

There's no reason at all Nissan can't outdo the FR-S. With their strong presence in China and Mexico, and a full complement of parts-bin resources to choose from, it's a no-brainer. We're not talking about reinventing the wheel - we're talking about building a 7/8-scale Z, or a rear-drive B-platform car.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:49 pm

4DSC wrote:They used to make excellent cars and I would highly recommend them to anyone, but now I would recommend just about everything else.
I actually still recommend Nissan to a lot of people, depending on who it is. Most of the time its something used... or comes with a warning ("Altima is nice, but for the love of god stay away from anything 2002-2006").

Believe it or not, a lot of "normal" people actually like the CVT. I know... crazy. Being an enthusiast, a lot of friends/family/people look to you for advice. I tell them what's up right off the bat. Some people like it, some people hate it. Either way, I tell them to take a test drive and see if they like the CVT. I certainly don't hype it up, but a lot of people are of the mindset that "new is better", regardless if its true or not (just ask me about my flip phone and how superior it is to space phones ;) ).

That being said, if they walk out of the dealership and call me back and say "I'll tell you, it really wasn't my thing", or "I liked it, but I really wasn't impressed with ____", then I certainly don't try to push it.

Would I buy anything with a CVT? Never in a million years. The fact that the warranty on them recently dropped is also cutting into my ability to recommend them to the general public.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:52 pm

Also, the Juke (to me anyway) is like a jewel wrapped in a turd's sheet metal/layout. That engine is VERY NICE, and honestly is BEGGING to go into something truely sporty.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:09 pm

I agree (though I'm in the "so ugly I like it" camp where the Juke is concerned).

BUT: I have always maintained that gluing an extra driveshaft under a FWD car is NOT a valid alternative to RWD. And it's for that reason, primarily, that I take issue with the assertion that the Juke is good enough for today's sporty-minded young buyers.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby AZhitman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:11 pm

I'll post up my super-honest assessment of the Juke soon, but for now, our task is to counter some beancounter's assessment of what he thinks the market wants... and spread the word. :)

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:14 pm

Yeah, the juke is by no means a replacement for a proper sports car. No matter how many Nismo stickers you put on it.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby krash » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:28 am

Announcing that they're going to make a NISMO Juke but tossing the idea for an S16 is just a big slap in the face to loyal enthusiasts IMO. Thats like trying to sell a hybrid Titan to a Prius owner.

They have everything they need to do this, and the demand is there. They're just blatantly ignoring it.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Rex » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:01 am

S14 = 1995-1998, last years would be 1997 & 1998, right?

There was no "Z series" car after 1996 until the 350Z was introduced as a 2003.

So, I'm confused by the statement ...
The Rickman wrote:the 240sx has always out sold the z series of cars quite handily even in the last years of the s14 when they had the least amount of sales they out sold the 300zx by 4X ...

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby krash » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:16 am

Maybe he meant total sales?

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Jesda » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:02 am

If GM has the Camaro and Corvette, why not an S16 and Z for Nissan?

The Camaro sells like hotcakes and makes a boatload of money for GM. Contrary to the assertions of skeptics tucked away in product planning meetings with printed volumes of 'market data,' cheap and sporty cars SELL. And arguably, the only reason today's Camaro ever made it to production is because car guys like Bob Lutz were put in charge of product development, championing the development of sporty cars for the masses.


Who makes these decisions at Nissan? Are there any "car guys" left in any significant managerial capacity?


As evidenced by the Mustang, Camaro, FRS (avg transaction price $24k), and BRZ (avg transaction price $29k), build it and they will come.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby AZhitman » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:43 am

Jesda wrote:Are there any "car guys" left in any significant managerial capacity?
I think you may have nailed it.

Having some pocket-protector-wearing accountant deciding what cars to build = me choreographing a Broadway show.

Both are bad ideas. There may be some accidental successes, but is that really a way to run a multi-billion-dollar company?

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby 300ZXttZMAN » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:10 am

What I don't understand is that Nissan brought the flagship car back (the GTR). Don't get me wrong I'm happy they did and of course were all happy. But think about its success, from what I understand it had pretty good sales and made money (which is why they are doing it again). Now everyone please notice that the GTR has been such a success with very minimal advertising. Its mainly traveled by word of mouth and people that are/were in the market for a super car jumped on it. I mean think about it, the Skyline's reputation alone sells itself. The car has such an epic history and with it being nothing short of amazing its no surprise it sells.

My point being its not like Nissan is going to have to reinvent the f'n wheel here. The bones are already laid out for the S chassis its a great car that was produced by a great brand and in turn it sold like wild fire, so why not just remake it and be prepared to make money. People love the S chassis and thats not going to change.

Honestly (aside from competitors) I think the big wigs at Nissan are the only people that don't want to see a brand new Silvia on the road and I just can't understand the logic in that.

-------------

I completely disagree with downsizing the Z, so much to the point that it pains me to talk about it. :(

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Bubba1 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:33 am

AZhitman wrote: Having some pocket-protector-wearing accountant deciding what cars to build = me choreographing a Broadway show.

Both are bad ideas. ?
I disagree! You choreagraphing a broadway show would be a great idea. It could be the start of something new... like this:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFeviae_pfc[/youtube]

Sorry, couldn't resist....

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby krash » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:23 am

AZhitman wrote: Having some pocket-protector-wearing accountant deciding what cars to build = me choreographing a Broadway show.
Please do it. NICO on ICE!!!

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby OriginalWheelman » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:01 am

Numbers building cars is one of the things Bob Lutz credits with the downfall of GM. Nissan seems to be headed that direction.

A lot of you guys being vocal call yourselves "loyal Nissan owners" but how many of you have bought a NEW Nissan? A car manufacturer can't focus on used car sales. They need to focus on what sells new.

With that said, one thing I think they overlook is, kids become adults. Brand loyalty basically allows you to get away with a lot when you're selling a product. The used Nissans many of us fell in love with 10 years ago, when we were kids buying fun cars, made us want to buy new Nissans now that we're getting to the age where we are adults. As we look to buy our first new cars, many of us are looking elsewhere because the type of car Nissan made us fall in love with is not built by them anymore. We have to go to Subaru, Toyota, or (how the hell is this even an option) Hyundai. Those cars are going to go on the market when we are done with them 10 years form now. Subaru, Toyota and Hyundai are going to be the cars they look at when they buy a new car 10 years later. With a long term mentality, (something MANY corporations lack, not just car companies) it makes more sense to keep making exciting cars. IMO corporations are looking too hard at quarterly profits and not enough at the long term survivability. Nothing Nissan makes is exciting today. They are building boring family sedans. But I'll tell you what, when I was a kid beating on a 12 year old Caprice, it didn't make me want another Chevy. When i beat up on an Olds Cutlass, it didn't make me want an Olds, but when I beat that first 240, and it took it and came back for more, it made me want another Nissan. I was, in fact a die hard Ford guy when I drove my first 240. It wasn't even mine, it was a friend's Dad's car. I drove it for a weekend, and it made such an impression on me I stopped making fun of Japanese cars, and when the opportunity presented itself, I bought a 240. I haven't owned an American car since. (excluding a hand em down pickup) However, now that NXER and I are considering our first new car purchase, we aren't looking at Nissan. They just don't make the type of car we fell in love with anymore. I love the Z, but it is prohibitively expensive. Nothing else Nissan makes even popped into my head when I considered buying a new car.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:20 pm

Just do what I do and start stock-piling old 240s.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Rev_D21 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:26 pm

I highly doubt Nissan can pull off something like an S16 as long as it is handcuffed by a company like Renault. It would be nice if they could and continue to do so, not just make a one-hit-wonder. I used to like the entire line up until the 3rd gen Altima came out...that's when I started questioning where they were headed. This late in the game there are hardly any hints of or hat-tips to the old Nissan when it comes to the current line up. I miss the old red/white and blue days of Nissan, not these gaudy modern chrome hamburger trash cans with wheels they are forcing down our throats. I stopped crossing my fingers long ago. It was a nice dream but it's clear to me that it's never going to happen. The Cross Cabriolet was the final nail in the coffin for me. Every morning I walk outside my house I am greeted by 3 10+ year old Nissans and one Kia Forte Koup, I didn't even consider the new Nissan when the wife and I went car shopping.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Rex » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:38 am

OriginalWheelman wrote:... how many of you have bought a NEW Nissan? A car manufacturer can't focus on used car sales. They need to focus on what sells new.

With that said, one thing I think they overlook is, kids become adults. Brand loyalty ...
Great points.

I'm not their target, I've only bought 2 new cars ever in my life (89 CRX, 91 Civic Si). They've got to build to attract the buyer, not appease the (used) car enthusiast.

And you're right, kids become adults, then adult become adults with more mean$. Or said another way

Chevy, Buick, Cadillac
Scion, Toyota, Lexus
Civic, Accord, Acura

That's why they need to focus on an entry point "assortment". And I don't think the Sentra & Juke make a complete assortment.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby frapjap » Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:58 am

OriginalWheelman wrote:Numbers building cars is one of the things Bob Lutz credits with the downfall of GM. Nissan seems to be headed that direction.

A lot of you guys being vocal call yourselves "loyal Nissan owners" but how many of you have bought a NEW Nissan? A car manufacturer can't focus on used car sales. They need to focus on what sells new.

With that said, one thing I think they overlook is, kids become adults. Brand loyalty basically allows you to get away with a lot when you're selling a product. The used Nissans many of us fell in love with 10 years ago, when we were kids buying fun cars, made us want to buy new Nissans now that we're getting to the age where we are adults. As we look to buy our first new cars, many of us are looking elsewhere because the type of car Nissan made us fall in love with is not built by them anymore. We have to go to Subaru, Toyota, or (how the hell is this even an option) Hyundai. Those cars are going to go on the market when we are done with them 10 years form now. Subaru, Toyota and Hyundai are going to be the cars they look at when they buy a new car 10 years later. With a long term mentality, (something MANY corporations lack, not just car companies) it makes more sense to keep making exciting cars. IMO corporations are looking too hard at quarterly profits and not enough at the long term survivability. Nothing Nissan makes is exciting today. They are building boring family sedans. But I'll tell you what, when I was a kid beating on a 12 year old Caprice, it didn't make me want another Chevy. When i beat up on an Olds Cutlass, it didn't make me want an Olds, but when I beat that first 240, and it took it and came back for more, it made me want another Nissan. I was, in fact a die hard Ford guy when I drove my first 240. It wasn't even mine, it was a friend's Dad's car. I drove it for a weekend, and it made such an impression on me I stopped making fun of Japanese cars, and when the opportunity presented itself, I bought a 240. I haven't owned an American car since. (excluding a hand em down pickup) However, now that NXER and I are considering our first new car purchase, we aren't looking at Nissan. They just don't make the type of car we fell in love with anymore. I love the Z, but it is prohibitively expensive. Nothing else Nissan makes even popped into my head when I considered buying a new car.
REALLY good points. The first 240 I bought is still running. The second 240 I bought went to my brother, and now to James, and it is STILL RUNNING; well at that! It may burn oil and some coolant, but it still takes abuse on the auto-x track. My point is parallel to yours- the car impressed me enough to look at Japanese vehicles. They have longevity, looked good, and last even when used and abused.
Hell, two of my cars are Japanese. Not for nothing, but as boring of a car as my '91 Corolla is, I'd never hesitate to buy another one if I needed an econobox. That 170k mile engine burns oil, but takes abuse and long drives with stride and never has any issues. I swear that the transmission was built with tighter manufacturing tolerances than the freggin' space shuttle.

Note this- the 240’s I and my brother had made them both NEW Nissan car buyers. One bought a Versa just because it was cheap and he wanted a reliable economic car while he finished his rotations, the other bought a decked out Altima SR with the V6 and (sadly) a CVT.
Either way you look at it, that 240 that James has now made an impression on them to buy a NEW Nissan.

Nothing, aside from a 300zx or an older 240sx, will get a younger person interested in a Nissan. And there is a huuuuuge gap from 1998 to the present year that will give them a good experience without having to fix it frequently. The 240's in my family weren't any older than 10-12 years old when purchased. Thats plenty of time for the car to have issues and not be reliable for the owner. However, these cars held up! My point is that because these cars are so aged, they won't provide the same ownership experience. And nothing in the current line up looks, acts, or fills the role for Nissan like the 240 did when it was new. The legacy is fading.

Rex wrote:
OriginalWheelman wrote:... how many of you have bought a NEW Nissan? A car manufacturer can't focus on used car sales. They need to focus on what sells new.

With that said, one thing I think they overlook is, kids become adults. Brand loyalty ...
Great points.

I'm not their target, I've only bought 2 new cars ever in my life (89 CRX, 91 Civic Si). They've got to build to attract the buyer, not appease the (used) car enthusiast.

And you're right, kids become adults, then adult become adults with more mean$. Or said another way

Chevy, Buick, Cadillac
Scion, Toyota, Lexus
Civic, Accord, Acura

That's why they need to focus on an entry point "assortment". And I don't think the Sentra & Juke make a complete assortment.
Fantastic assessment.

My Miata makes me think about how much fun a new MX-5 would be.
My Trans Am has been such a fantastic vehicle from the day I purchased it that I'm interested in the CTS or a used CTS-V.
The Corolla just defines reliability and boringness, but if there were ever a need for a non-enthusiast wife (eep!) in my picture or (bigger eep!) a child- thats definitely the car brand they're getting.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:36 am

Original Wheelman's post is spot on. The new-car-buyers vs used-car-buyer thing is part of what I was getting at with my "240sx wasn't really affordable when new" post. The 240's success as a USED car means nothing to Nissan. Not to say that it shouldn't (it's cultural significance is something they could embrace and benefit from) But it doesn't. If they were to do an S16, it would need to be successful NEW, not in 10 years, for it to be worthwhile to Nissan.

As for "when was the last time you bought a NEW Nissan?":
I have never purchased a new Nissan. My dad, however, has bought two brand-new Maximas. He has loved them both, and considered himself a Nissan-man for a long time. Today, though, if you ask him what he'd buy if he had to replace his Maxima, he will tell you "I don't know. Probably something used. Not a new Nissan." My dad's an enthusiast, but one with a family and realistic buying expectations (he's owned Chevelles and Cougars and E-types in the past but is now happy with a sporty front-driver as a DD). So he's not as unrealistic as me (I still demand a V8, rwd, and a host of other stuff). Nissan has STILL lost his interest. He has no interest in the current Maxima because it has no rear passenger space and has a CVT. He doesn't want an Altima because it's too small and has a CVT. He'd probably consider a Titan to replace his Ram, but aside from that Nissan is no longer on his radar. Nissan has lost a loyal, proud, repeat-buyer. FAIL.

My dad (and myself!) is also an example of how the "model progression" thing applies on BOTH ends of the spectrum. I guarantee you that if Nissan made a RWD Maxima with 300+ hp (V6 or V8, either way) my dad would be all over it. But Nissan's so busy being confused about the line between Infiniti and Nissan that they won't do it. Both of us have outgrown Nissan. Which is why I moved on to a Q and a Ford, and why he won't be buying another Maxima.

I've been saying for years that Nissan is on the same dark path that lead Toyota from their highpoint years to their current state of stagnant subparity, and the lack of model diversity is a step along that path. Beancounters will slowly reduce the number of models made until there's just the core basics left. And they'll be SAFE basics, not doing anything interesting so as to be sure not to offend anyone and scare them off the lot. Yeah, the Corolla and Camry sell bucketloads, but they do absolutely NOTHING noteworthy, NOTHING that everyone else doesn't do. And that's where Altima and Sentra are headed. If the brand won't even dare to be interesting with its sedans, how can they be expected to do something like a small affordable rear-drive coupe?!

Nissan is today where Toyota was in 2000. They have a legacy of doing great things, and they've let it go to their heads. Rather than looking at what they did to GET WHERE THEY ARE, they're looking at changing their game 100% in favor of the future. They have no hindsight. And they have no foresight. They are, as was said before, so focused on short-term sales numbers they've lost sight of everything else that matters.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby krash » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:49 pm

I agree with most of your post, but a RWD V8 Maxima is pretty unrealistic :rotfl

It would be good if they kept it as the Z's FWD sedan counterpart, but OH WELL.
MinisterofDOOM wrote:If they were to do an S16, it would need to be successful NEW, not in 10 years, for it to be worthwhile to Nissan.
The thing is, they can do this, but they're slowly losing time to do it right. Think about it, what choices do you have right now for under 30k. You want fun, sporty, RWD.

- Genesis coupe
- Miata
- Camaro
- Mustang
- frs/brz thing

Am I missing one? So you have a total of 5 cars to choose from. Then you have import/domestic loyalty which pretty much cuts the list in half. Point being, with what they have done in the past, and the resources they have on hand, its not too hard to make it happen. It will definitely be successful new. Plus, this is not even factoring in the "street-cred" that the s-chassis already has. Release something that fits the bill and doesn't look like a failed abortion, call it a Silvia or a 240sx, and the hype will be pretty intense, I think.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:19 pm

If Volkswagen can sell a fucking beetle, I think Nissan can sell a new S-chassis.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby s13drifter88 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:11 pm

If Nissan can sell a Juke or a Cube they could sell a new S chassis

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:16 pm

We're half doomed then. They can't seem to sell any Cubes.

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s13drifter88
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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby s13drifter88 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:32 pm

Image

Take this, make it smaller, lighter and affordable with less go-go-gadget verbs and nouns, then stuff an SR20VET longitudinally in the d*mn thing using witchcraft and unicorn horns, make it meet emissions with today's smog control voodoo, don't make anything on it out of flashy unobtainium or cheap gummy bear guts, then take it to a dealership at 28k and tell it to sit. See what happens

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby krash » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:39 pm

SRs won't happen in today's world. MR16DDT would be perfect though, the more and more I think about it.

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s13drifter88
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1989 SOHC S13 Buzz Car
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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby s13drifter88 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:43 pm

Oh and if it takes sales away from the Z, maybe offer the Z in a supercharged option for a few grand more if its that important for it to keep an upper hand. Notice how some many other cars have a forced induction OPTION... 'Vettes and Mustangs for example. Even a PT Crapper has a turbo option. Maybe Nissan forgot that they offered this option on cars 10 years ago.

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s13drifter88
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Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:40 am
Car: 93 S13 Coupe CA18DET (Money pit)
1996 D21 Hardbody (Work truck/daily)
!993 Del Sol (Daily)
1987 Pontiac GTA (Drag project, other money pit)
1989 SOHC S13 Buzz Car
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby s13drifter88 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:46 pm

The SR part was more of an example than an actual, sorry. Stuff a 2L Turbo in it and let it fly


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