Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

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Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby AZhitman » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:45 pm

Not long ago, Nissan announced their intention to look to to social media for market insight and inspiration.

Well, forums are the ORIGINAL social media... so here we are. :)

I hope you enjoy this article, but more than that, I hope our friends at Nissan North America find it interesting and actionable.

All I ask is that you please read, comment, and most of all, SHARE (use hashtag #ProjectS16):

Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car - A Review of Market Demographics and Competitive Standing

Thanks, all! :dblthumb:


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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby asoomal » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:19 pm

Just seems to late now...Toyabaru spent at least 2 years perfecting the BRZ/FR-S, will Nissan put that much R&D into an S chassis?

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby nissangirl74 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:06 am

It has to happen if Nissan wants to compete. That's all there is to it.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Bubba1 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:34 am

nissangirl74 wrote:It has to happen if Nissan wants to compete. That's all there is to it.
Excellent column. Bravo. I wonder if Mr. Palmer has a relative named Fred? :)

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby s13drifter88 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:27 am

Trying to target an age demographic is one of the stupidest things in automotive marketing Ive ever heard of. That like saying the Geo Metro was built to target 21 year old single moms that work at Waffle House. Sounds stupid doesn't it. You cant predict who will buy what. It boils down to money. A buddy of mine is 25 years old and has an IT job gor infopro on redstone arsenal. Just bought a brand new trail blazer. My uncle is 47 and works on lawn mowers, he hasnt bought anything new since probably 1995. Anyways back on topic, with the FRS/BRZ being the hit that they are I dont see how Nissan could not see an S16 (or other light/affordable sport coupe) as not being an affordable addition to their lineup. Hell there's a wait for the Toyobaru, and as Jeff Foxworthy would say, "Here's your sign".

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby krash » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:57 am

I'm slowly not becoming a fan of nissan. In the 90's when I'd hear the older kids talking about Nissan, it was something cool. When someone said they owned a Nissan it was like, "oh cool, those are the same people that make the twin turbo 300zx, the 240sx, and the Skyline GT-R right? Those are cool cars" Now when you say you own a Nissan, you're grouped in with MPG, non-driver aids, a cool radio, and that wonderful CVT transmission.

They're just not as cool as they used to be. Like Rev_D21 said, this is not the same nissan that built datsun, this is nissan owned by renault.

Sad to say, when I day-dream about buying a new car after I get a job and settle down, its really not looking like a Nissan. Why in god's name would I buy a Juke when I can have a BRZ or a WRX

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby jester4666 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:08 am

s13drifter88 wrote:Jeff Foxworthy would say, "Here's your sign".
that's Bill Engval's line....Jeff's is "You Might Be A Redneck If" :chuckle:

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby orangeNblue » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:30 am

I agree with this article completely. I'm 26 years old, had a good job for about a year, and when thinking of the car I want to buy.....it's a fun, sporty, comfortable, 2 door coupe that gets great gas mileage and can be used on my daily comute and for 2-3 people to take on the occasional long road trip. One that I can tweak and have fun with. The BRZ, FR-S, and the Genesis are all high on my list. I currently own a 350z and love it. The thing is, it would be nice to have rear seats, more trunk space, and a little better gas mileage. My current thought is really just to get a G35 because I like my Z's platform so much.

I do have to agree that having a four door isn't out of the question either. But in that car I'm still not looking at the Juke as my car of choice. I don't really get how the Juke is supposed to be in my demographic. Sadly, though the car has a lot of really good things going for it, its rather unattractive and small. maybe not interior room wise, but just overall the car looks smushed together. If I'm going down the path of sporty 4-dr I'm looking at the G35x or s or the WRX. Heck I've even test driven an Acura RDX and liked it. But none of those do I really want. They don't fit the criteria of what I truly desire.

The thing is its hard for me to decide on the car I want to get. I've been through several and the Nissan platforms have always been my favorite. Especially when it comes to the S-chassis. I loved both of my 240s and have even started looking into getting another as a daily commuter to get back and forth to work. Can't beat the reliability and the ease of maintaining each car. I would love to get my hands on an S16 if it were a possibility.

As I said before, I'm in the market and have already started checking out the competition. I've seriously started shopping the genesis turbo coupe, based on what I've seen and because I really like their appearance, but I still am going to look at the BRZ and the FR-S as well.

There have been several topics that have popped up on this forum alone mentioning or specific to the possibility of another s-chassis car. The fans seem to be on board, now we just need to convince the main behind the curtain!

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby WDRacing » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:28 am

It doesn't matter if they decide to build an S16 or not, they probably won't release it in America. Nissan isn't on my list of "want to own" vehicles and hasn't been in quite some time. It would be nice if Nissan made an affordable sports car, but they are behind the power curve in a big way. To the point that I feel they are seriously losing any type of brand loyalty they used to have. Too many other manufacturers are providing better options. It's almost like Nissan has been asleep at the wheel.

What have they built as of late that can make people think, wow, that's a sweet ride? The 370Z is indeed a beautiful car, but for $32,000 it had better be.

Sad really. How many cries have there been for an S-Chassis? Not that it matters I suppose, for they are falling upon deaf ears.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Bubba1 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:35 am

WDRacing wrote:It doesn't matter if they decide to build an S16 or not, they probably won't release it in America. Nissan isn't on my list of "want to own" vehicles and hasn't been in quite some time. It would be nice if Nissan made an affordable sports car, but they are behind the power curve in a big way. To the point that I feel they are seriously losing any type of brand loyalty they used to have. Too many other manufacturers are providing better options. It's almost like Nissan has been asleep at the wheel.

What have they built as of late that can make people think, wow, that's a sweet ride? The 370Z is indeed a beautiful car, but for $32,000 it had better be.

Sad really. How many cries have there been for an S-Chassis? Not that it matters I suppose, for they are falling upon deaf ears.

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. Nissan is more interested in selling new cars, than 15 yr old ones.

I'm not defending Nissan because based on Mr. Palmer's views, it appears they are a bit misguided as to the type of people that actually buy their cars.

Nissan has a great opportunity to do the S-chassis better this time, as the competition for inexpensive sporty coupes is considerably smaller now compared to 1989 when the 240SX came out. And with CAFE standards getting tougher they need more small car offerings to raise the average. Hopefully they'll use the wise information Greg provided them.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby s13drifter88 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:39 pm

Youre right, it is Bill. Screw it... you knew what I meant lol

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby WDRacing » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:40 pm

The key is affordable. Look at how many brand new Mustangs are being sold. People are buying sports cars, they just need them to be affordable.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Chaotic_Warlord » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:49 pm

The problem with the S Chassis in America is that Nissan opted to put the KA in it instead of the SR despite there being a butt load of turbo charged 4 bangers on the market, had they brought it here with the SR I'm pretty sure more people would have bought it new. Then again Toyota made the same mistake by not putting the 3S-GTE in the MR2 and not bringing the ST205 Celica All-Trac. Even if the SR had just been an option on all ne S13/S14's both the NA and Turbo versions I'm sure more would have sold. But the problem with the S Chassis stateside is that it's like Nissan's red headed step child, meaning that the Z was their flagship sports coupe and if the S Chassis had come with the SR it would have stolen sales from the Z, after all why buy a Z when you can get the same thrills and excitement (if not more) from a cheaper turbo S Chassis. But hey what do I know. If you put a brand new turbo S Chassis in front of me for $25K or the NA 370Z for $37K I'd be stupid to take the Z even if it has more HP, The S Chassis would be lighter and have a higher power:weight ratio and once full boost kicks in the butt dyno will have more fun.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby asoomal » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:58 pm

The MR2 did come with the 3SGTE....

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Eikon » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:51 pm

Chaotic_Warlord wrote:The problem with the S Chassis in America is that Nissan opted to put the KA in it instead of the SR despite there being a butt load of turbo charged 4 bangers on the market, had they brought it here with the SR I'm pretty sure more people would have bought it new. Then again Toyota made the same mistake by not putting the 3S-GTE in the MR2 and not bringing the ST205 Celica All-Trac. Even if the SR had just been an option on all ne S13/S14's both the NA and Turbo versions I'm sure more would have sold. But the problem with the S Chassis stateside is that it's like Nissan's red headed step child, meaning that the Z was their flagship sports coupe and if the S Chassis had come with the SR it would have stolen sales from the Z, after all why buy a Z when you can get the same thrills and excitement (if not more) from a cheaper turbo S Chassis. But hey what do I know. If you put a brand new turbo S Chassis in front of me for $25K or the NA 370Z for $37K I'd be stupid to take the Z even if it has more HP, The S Chassis would be lighter and have a higher power:weight ratio and once full boost kicks in the butt dyno will have more fun.
The SR wasn't an efficient engine.. it wouldn't meet emissions guidelines or fuel economy desires for the US market.

The real problem with the S Chassis in the end was that the S14 was simply too expensive.. $19k to $24k range for MSRP. $24k in 1998 is equivalent to almost $34k in today's money.. It was just too expensive

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby s13drifter88 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:32 pm

We'll use the SR for the above comparison. I think it'd be about like Hyundai with Genesis. You get a 2L turbo or the 3.8L V6 and I think there's an R version or something like that for the 2L. Think (again we'll use the SR here just for comparison only) a red top 205hp "S16" vs BRZ/FRS 200hp or even the S15 250hp SR which came with a 6 speed like everybody wants today would be a good fit. Nissan could go back several years and bring back the Silvia with todays modernization and create a hit seller. GM has been doing it for years... still rockin' push rods and making power with fair fuel economy. Pull sales from the Z? Maybe... but the Toyobaru is going to outsell the Z so consider the lesser of the 2 evils and sell cars

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby WDRacing » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:12 pm

I would have been happy with the CA18DET...just sayin.

Back on-topic. Nissan needs a Field of Dreams moment, "if you build it, they will buy".

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby orangeNblue » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:32 pm

WDRacing wrote:The key is affordable. Look at how many brand new Mustangs are being sold. People are buying sports cars, they just need them to be affordable.
a v6 mustang is $22-25k car. the V8 is $26-28k car. both of those represent buying the car in its simplest form. while I do agree that for the power and gas mileage you could get off of these, the competitors like Hyundai and Subaru/Scion simply blow the competition away with the amount of car and features you get for the same price.

Nissan could do this, but I really don't see them limiting the sales of their Z by brining out a "S16". If anything, I believe they'd release a New turbo'd Z that somehow gets great gas mileage (for a V6). I mean if Ford can make a v6 that gets 33 MPG, then Nissan should be able to do something on par. BUT...at the same time, this will most likely cost a pretty penny as well. :frown:

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby The Rickman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:53 pm

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 nissan also missed the drift boom in the US by not bringing the s15 to the states. and now with them getting rid of the ser /spec-v models of the sentra there will be no sporty car avalible. the awd juke has many flaws that dont make it a good sporty car being that it handles like s*** because its too tall, has no 6spd manual in AWD form and it being a 4 door hatch back that looks like a retard hurts what people in the target generation think about it
also i for one am 24yo and own 2 nissans (89 240sx and 04 sentra spec-v) and a 2008 silverado and there are many people i know about the same age of me that can easily afford a new car around 25-30k

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Hijacker » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:55 pm

Eikon wrote:
Chaotic_Warlord wrote:The problem with the S Chassis in America is that Nissan opted to put the KA in it instead of the SR despite there being a butt load of turbo charged 4 bangers on the market, had they brought it here with the SR I'm pretty sure more people would have bought it new. Then again Toyota made the same mistake by not putting the 3S-GTE in the MR2 and not bringing the ST205 Celica All-Trac. Even if the SR had just been an option on all ne S13/S14's both the NA and Turbo versions I'm sure more would have sold. But the problem with the S Chassis stateside is that it's like Nissan's red headed step child, meaning that the Z was their flagship sports coupe and if the S Chassis had come with the SR it would have stolen sales from the Z, after all why buy a Z when you can get the same thrills and excitement (if not more) from a cheaper turbo S Chassis. But hey what do I know. If you put a brand new turbo S Chassis in front of me for $25K or the NA 370Z for $37K I'd be stupid to take the Z even if it has more HP, The S Chassis would be lighter and have a higher power:weight ratio and once full boost kicks in the butt dyno will have more fun.
The SR wasn't an efficient engine.. it wouldn't meet emissions guidelines or fuel economy desires for the US market.

The real problem with the S Chassis in the end was that the S14 was simply too expensive.. $19k to $24k range for MSRP. $24k in 1998 is equivalent to almost $34k in today's money.. It was just too expensive
SRs will pass some state emissions. California's emissions testing is another beast entirely. All Nissan would have to do is what Honda did with a lot of their line, a slight change in fuel mapping that would sacrifice a few whp for meeting emissions standards.

As for the price issue, 240s have ALWAYS been expensive. My car had a sticker of $24k in late '91, a standard coupe SE stickered for low $20k. Nissan's trend at the time was to bloat the price of their cars. The Z was the same way. $45k for a brand new Z in the mid 90s was a lot when you could spend the same or less on a Corvette and get twice the performance.

Chaotic hit the nail on the head for what I've been saying about Nissan trying to prevent cross-platform competition with the Z.
s13drifter88 wrote:Trying to target an age demographic is one of the stupidest things in automotive marketing Ive ever heard of.
All manufacturers work at targeting specific demographics with product lines. It's the way of business and the automotive industry is no different. Do you think GM is going to target young Gen Y to buy corvettes? No. They want to target the people with money to buy it, hence why you normally see people hitting their mid-life crisis driving brand new 'vettes.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:32 pm

Nissan needs to do something. Hell I work for them and I have no intentions of buying anything from their current lineup. Competitors on the other hand...

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Bubba1 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:38 pm

FWIW, I paid $15K for my then new 1989 240sx SE, "hot red" with pretty much every option except the sunroof. (MSRP was almost $18K, which can be misleading). But what I paid was about average at the time for a Japanese sporty coupe.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby WDRacing » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:47 pm

orangeNblue wrote:
WDRacing wrote:The key is affordable. Look at how many brand new Mustangs are being sold. People are buying sports cars, they just need them to be affordable.
a v6 mustang is $22-25k car. the V8 is $26-28k car. both of those represent buying the car in its simplest form. while I do agree that for the power and gas mileage you could get off of these, the competitors like Hyundai and Subaru/Scion simply blow the competition away with the amount of car and features you get for the same price.
That was my point, look at how many people are buying the new Mustangs. Nissan could easily build a comparable car for that money, and there's an obvious market for it.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Kompresshun » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:58 pm

PapaSmurf2k3 wrote:Nissan needs to do something. Hell I work for them and I have no intentions of buying anything from their current lineup. Competitors on the other hand...
^This.

Nissan has really missed the boat on A LOT lately. They're obsession with the CVT makes that quite obvious, but ignoring the interest in this shows how little they really care. I have no intention of buying anything Nissan past 2003, excluding the Infiniti G and M - everything else is a waste. They used to make excellent cars and I would highly recommend them to anyone, but now I would recommend just about everything else.

I have a 99 Maxima, which is my third, and up until 2003 they were honestly some of the best sedans available. They would run forever if cared for properly and were fun to drive, great looking cars. Now the Maxima is just a huge blob of wasted car with no purpose. My 99 is close to turning over 200k and I intend to keep it on the road as long as it doesn't start rusting, because I don't want a new Maxima, i'd rather just keep throwing money at my old one because it's a better car. Simple and easy.

Also - Why I can't get any mid-size or above Nissan sedan with a manual transmission, but yet I can get a Honda Accord and Toyota Camry with one - Two of the most bland sedans out there. What's wrong with that picture? Yes, Honda OFFERS a CVT in the Accord now, but you still can get a manual AND a regular automatic. This is one of the many reasons I won't be buying a Nissan again for my next sedan - you don't get to choose what you want, Nissan decides what you want. My next sedan will certainly not have a Nissan badge, unless I somehow find a low mileage 2003 Maxima, which is next to impossible. There are plenty of vehicles made by Hyundai, Kia, Ford, and Mazda that I am VERY interested in though.

Even if this idea of a RWD sports car does come back to light and gets built - this doesn't promise that I, or anyone else will become loyal to Nissan products again right away, but it sure would be a good start. Right now my eyes are on everyone else, which seems to be mirrored by everyone else around here too. Pay attention to your Nissan loyalists, because CVT's are only going to get you so far.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby ni_san » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:11 pm

I'm not sure how many of you have ever been graced with driving or even riding in an s15. But let me tell you they are one of the sexiest cars that ever came out 1999 or older. The interior is so nice and they even have real cupholders lol.

I'm not sure what the heck happened here in America. The S15 here would sell like sex because that's what it looks like. And it drives as well as it looks. How many cars looked that good in 1998? Not many. Add the fact that the Spec R (which I've never driven) models all came turbo and 6 speed, you had an all around winner.

In Japan I got a nice NA 5-speed 2001 S15 for $2000 lol. The car market there is 1000% different than here in the states.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby krash » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:21 pm

Actually now that you mention it, I'd be perfectly fine with them updating the s15 a bit, making it US spec, and then just re-releasing it. The body already looks very good. The tail lights could use some work, but dat front end :yesnod

Also, an s16 wont "steal" Z sales. It will just bring in more total sales. Someone could want a Z, but if its out of their price range, then thats the end of that, no Z purchase, no nissan purchase. BUT, if you had a cheaper alternative to the Z, something nimble, RWD, and fun, then guess what? "Hey I want a Z but its too expensive, but that S16 DOES look good AND I can afford it." Someone that wants a Z and can afford one, will probably buy a Z.

Either way, we're just talking to a brick wall here. Its not like Nissan is reading this, nor do they care.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby asoomal » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:25 pm

Hijacker wrote:

SRs will pass some state emissions. California's emissions testing is another beast entirely. All Nissan would have to do is what Honda did with a lot of their line, a slight change in fuel mapping that would sacrifice a few whp for meeting emissions standards.

As for the price issue, 240s have ALWAYS been expensive. My car had a sticker of $24k in late '91, a standard coupe SE stickered for low $20k. Nissan's trend at the time was to bloat the price of their cars. The Z was the same way. $45k for a brand new Z in the mid 90s was a lot when you could spend the same or less on a Corvette and get twice the performance.

Chaotic hit the nail on the head for what I've been saying about Nissan trying to prevent cross-platform competition with the Z.

No way a remapped SR would pass today's emission, I'm pretty sure the new 5.0 pollutes WAY less than a stock SR. There's a lot more to meeting emissions than remapping the fuel and ignition. Combustion chamber design plays a huge role.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Hijacker » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:48 pm

A remapped SR wouldn't pass today's standards, but in the 90s it would have, which was what I was getting at. There's a reason Nissan dropped the SR in favor of the QR, and it wasn't for performance sake.

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby The Rickman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:22 pm

something was said about a mr20ddt that would produce close to 250hp this is a possible new gen sr20 either way nissan is forcing their loyalists away by creating s*** that is just realy a copy of what is already out there the new versa looks like a yaris

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Re: Why Nissan NEEDS an Affordable RWD Sports Car

Postby Turbon8er » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:00 pm

I could not AGREE with the article more!!! Since childhood I loved the 240z and it's lineage and knew one day i would own one in the line-up. The decision to forget about THE CAR that built the company's reputation (at least in the US) over the past several decades, is like "forgetting where you came from".

The Enthusiast market hasn't changed. People of all ages love the classic Front engine/Rear drive Sports cars. From excitable Teenage-angst to Mid-life affordability, the Genesis and more-so the FT86/BRZ, are buzzing all over the place. I've seen so many different demographics represented in those new cars. I pass at least a dozen on my way to work everyday, and everyone is different! The young chick singing, blasting the stereo in her bright Lipstick Red BRZ, or the Older business man (50's) in his super clean Frost White 2.0T Genesis, business suit-coat hanging in the rear side-window, and of course the guys that are already modding them at every corner. The market for these cars is evident. In the same breath, I see no Jukes. I ACTUALLY did see one tonight, and thought to myself "Wow, i dont see one of those very often." Then I get online and see this heartbreaking news for the S16. It is obvious the reason they are not selling. They have no finesse! The Juke "joke" looks like a bullfrog!! The S-chassis has always had fluid lines that project beauty and a timeless shape, while the Juke looks more like something that should bounce instead of roll!

Juke- Fun? Exciting? Maybe, but it's something that Gen Z wants to drive right now, around the backyard while singing "Dora the Explora" themed songs. It's not a vehicle that someone could be taken seriously in, even if it's Nismo counterpart IS AWD 1.8T... so what, it belongs in a toybox. The one (Juke) I saw tonight was being driven by an early 30's male, and when i glanced over, his girlfriend quite honestly looked as if she were embarrassed, as I smiled politely. Her face said it plainly. This is NOT my style.

I sincerely hope Mr. Palmer has this article, and others like it, brought to his attention. Nissan NEEDS a wake-up call. FY2013 is going to be a slap in the face if nothing else, to show a market they missed while Toyota/Subaru and Hyundai gladly welcomed owners of ALL AGES to enjoy the platform favorite at a price their income could digest.

NISSAN, Mr. PALMER, Do NOT Forget What built the Nissan Name, and Reputation. I want to buy a new car in the next year or so, i was hoping for a new S-chassis. Looks like you may send me across the street to the folks that listened. I'll always keep my modified 1993 240SX to show the world, that at one time a Car Company actually listened.


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