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Nissan 350Z



  • >>>>>The NSX does loose image from the cheaper Acura's and Honda's. The NSX is a Honda, that right there means it won't have quite the image of a marque like Ferrari. NSX's haven't been a big money maker for Honda, they just build them as a display of their technology to get people in the showrooms. Largely because they don't have the same image as Ferrari. That's not really relevant though, because we're talking about three different versions of the same car. While the NSX is a totally different platform than the rest of the Honda/Acura linup. <<<<

    IMO the NSX failed to inspire customers for exotic cars for one reason and one reason only, it has a damn V-6 for a power plant. That is the same reason Toyota Supra and Nissan Z took a nose dive (besides price) in the North American market. If you want to attract people that like performance automobiles, you best stick a V-8 in the chassis and make it RWD or hang it up. I suspect the new Nissan Z will take a back seat in performance to the last year of the "F" bodies and also end up eating smoke from the Mustang Cobras,and maybe even the GT's. So unless Nissan finds a way to market that new Z car for less than $25K, it will end up being about as popular as the last Z car we saw in the market. V-6's don't cut the mustard in my book.
  • It has nothing to do with the number of cylinders. Most BMW's sold in the US are straight 6's, porsche's are flat 6's. It's all about heritage. No Japanese company has any real history built up in the supercar world. So it won't have the same image as a European competitor.
  • Nissan Z cars failed because of the V6? It was sold for 25 years exclusively with a 6 cylinder, and suddenly that was the cause for its demise? Same for the Supra? Using your theory, how was the 4-cylinder Lotus Esprit a popular exotic for so long?

    The F-body might be able to outrun the new Z, but it is being discontinued. With the supposed rampant desire of all performance car people to have a V8, why did the F-bodies sell so slowly? I drove a V8 Firebird a few times when I had a normally aspirated 300ZX. For what I value, the 300ZX had far better performance than the Firebird.

    If you want to use the V8 argument, you might want to stick with Cobras. At least Ford has been slowly adapting stuff that foreign cars have used for 30 years or so.

    I like both cars but the option of the 4 seats in the RX-8 makes it way more practicle. Plus the wife would go for the Mazda over the nissan due to the 4 vs. 2 seats. That whole where are we going to put the kid thing;)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282 which I would add that anyone thinking that Nissan would even remotely be trying to steal market share from the Mustang or Camaro/Firebird is just a little off.

    Not to be disrespectful to American musclecar advocates, but the I suspect the Z will appeal to a market segment looking for a tad more refinement and reliability (and a lot fewer rattles). Most Ford and GM owners don't get that concept and I, for one, don't get the musclecar mentality that cylinders and cubic inches are the measure of a car's prowess. And I even owned a 12-cylinder Jag E-Type back in the early 80's.

    dohc32v - Choices are great, enjoy your Mustang.
  • and I don't get the fact that some people think that GM means low quality.
  • bjrichbjrich Posts: 125
    To some guys the bigger the "Hub Caps" that a women has, the better the women. Thats the way GM F body guys are. Even SUV buyers are also much this way.
    To understand the beauty of a fine car is to understand much much more than the Big Hub caps theory.
    A loud exhaust....big cubes....etc etc often equate to better!
    As one learns in life. bigger is certainly not always better.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    .. it goes both ways. There are men and women alike who attracted to "lean and mean" and other's are turned on by "big and bold". This seems to apply to cars as well as significant others.
  • Alaskan: I like that image argument. In Japan, nothing stops Nissan from selling hugely expensive cars... e.g. Skyline GT-R for ~$50,000 and President for $75,000 - $85,000 (VERY flashy image car). And the base Skyline is a $26,000 family-hauler... that certainly hasn't reduced your image of the Skyline, has it? Toyota sells everything from the sub-&10,000 Vitz to the $60,000 Soarer. It hasn't really affected Toyota's image.

    But that's in Japan. Here, it's a defferent story. Only here would a consumer reject a car because the name "doesn't sound as prestigious". There's a word for that: prejudice.

    But is that the reason the Japanese sportscars of the early 90's failed? Well, the Corvette has done well under the Chevrolet banner since its inception, and even now, Chevrolet sells the absolute cheapest of GM models. It hasn't hurt the Corvette's image, so no, I don't think that's behind the failure of Japanese sports models.

    If you asked me why the Fairlady, Supra, RX-7 failed the first time around, I'd say it was because they were priced too low. The measely $30,000 it took to buy an RX-7 wasn't enough to give it image and aura like a Corvette or a CL500.

    And just so as to avoid further "debate" about domestics vs. imports, comparing a Corvette to an RX-7 is like comparing a hamburger to a hot dog. Not liking the RX-7 over the Corvette is not liking the hamburger because it is too fat.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    SUVs were what killed the japanese sports coupe. If you could only afford one car it had to be one that could do everything right? Looks a lot cooler and gets a lot more respect than a minivan so the women consumers loved them. Sports cars just couldn't make the home depot run and with those stores popping up all over america people just had to have a car that they could also haul garden mulch in.

    Not me, I crammed a six foot ladder in to my mustang coupe the other day.
  • The image thing like you slightly pointed on is mainly an American thing. That's why we have Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura.

    Saying the RX7's, and etc failed because they were to cheap is ignorant. They didn't have the Corvette, BMW, Porsche, etc image simply because they were Japanese. Japanese cars for a long time have been viewed as economy cars, not as performance cars. When the RX7's, Supra's, etc were getting extremely spendy in the early 90's, they appealed to the younger generation. The problem is that most of the younger generation wasn't in a position to afford the RX7's, Supra's, etc. Many older buyers that could actually afford them wanted something American or European with the history and image built up. That's why they failed, they were to expensive for the buyers they were targeting.

    Today, the generation that grew up wanting the RX7's and Supra's but not being able to afford them are getting to a point where they can. Now you see the come back of the Japanese sports cars. In a way, the RX7, Supra, 300zx, etc paved the way for the cars being sold today. They established a sporting image of Japanese cars in a younger generation that has grown to a point where they are now out buying sports cars of their own.

    Here's an example that may help. It's like if KIA or Hyundai were to come out with a supercar today. It could rival the Mclaren F1 in performance, and only cost $150,000. A performance bargain by all standards, but it wouldn't sell simply because the Korean car companies have no image in the sports car world. Sure some of the younger guys may be able to look past the fact that it's a Kia, but the older generation that can actually afford it would not.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    I agree. The european market still views japanese cars as thinly built and rust prone although I don't think that is true any more. People seem to keep cars a lot longer in european countries so it could be there are just a lot of 80's models out there still tainting peoples images. Also europeans think european cars are the best and since they make them right there why by elsewhere?

    In america I think it was a combination of the big-I-Can-Do-Everything car frenzy and what you talked about that ended the japanese sport coupe and a lot of other makers too.

    Your comback idea is right on. I grew up wanting RX-7s and Supras and soon with new editions coming out I might be able to afford one in a few years. Of course the germans have caught on to this and there is talk of Alfa Romeo and maybe some other auto makers making a go of it across the pond again. I think the market is about to get really interesting and ultra competitive again.
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    All I own is German cars including a Mercedes E-55 and CL-500.

    I think the new 350Z looks hot and based on my previous experience with a 1990, which along with the original Lexus Coupe (1992) and the last Toyota Supra, were the three best vehicles to come out of Japan.

    I have already placed my order for one with my local dealer. Make mine RED.
  • Saying the RX7's, and etc failed because they were to cheap is ignorant. I don't believe this is the case. You argument for automotive history works with the Corvette and Camaro, but what about the Viper? It has a very short history and carries the burden of bad brand image (from cars like the Aries, Dynasty and Colt to name a few). Same with the NSX. Why did they succeed? Their outrageous price made them a status symbol all on their own.

    The RX-7, 300ZX and Supra actually had more history than the Viper or NSX (both of which survive today), yet they failed. It's all about image, and these three cars didn't have it. I think that has more to do with their being inexpensive than their coming from brands that sell cheap cars (Dodge sells cheap cars and Viper...).

    But you're right about SUV's. I think as the SUV craze dies away, more sports coupes will come back into the market to compete with the Z (and others). I'm looking forward to it.
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    I want his car, espically is a turbo be offered? Where can I get the latest information?
  • man will it be fun when they do a comparison test between the new Z and the RX-8! COOL STUFF!

    Frankly, I like both of the vehicles. It would be tough to choose. If the Z is going to be around $30K, then what will the RX-8 cost? Also, I think I read somewhere that they are going to release a new RX-7 after the RX-8 comes out. That will REALLY stir things up!

  • You are way off course.

    For 1, the Viper is American, and a large part of my point is that Japanese cars in general don't have the same image as American and European cars.

    For 2, I wouldn't say the NSX has succeeded per say. Honda makes very little money off of the NSX. I've even read that they loose money. The only reason they built it was to display their technology, and improve the Honda/Acura name. It's a marketing campaign, not a lets build this car to make money thing.

    For 3, if the Z cars, RX7's, Supra's, etc, failed because they were to cheap, how come they were such a success when they were cheap. The Z was selling like crazy in the 70's and 80's. Why, well because it was a bargain. In the 90's the Z, and all it's Japanese competitors went way up market. They got really technologically advanced, and really expensive. All of a sudden they didn't sell. Gee, maybe it's because they were to expensive for their target market.

    For 4, how would they even justify selling them for more money. Sure they have quite a bit of technology in them, but nothing compared to the NSX's aluminum space frame, VTEC V6 with all sorts of F1 technology, Viper with it's V10, gobs of power and torque. These cars are expensive for a reason, they actually cost a lot to build. Don't know about the Viper, but the NSX is largely hand built. They are way out of the league of the RX7's, 300z's, and Supra's.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    IMHO - the rear and side views are very nice. Some Porsche 911 genes in there. But the front... who did the grill area? Maybe some style, instead of a Civic melted look?

    Now when do you folks think the turbo version comes out?
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    280 hp with this version right? With that being the cap on Japanese hp levels unless that car sells like crazy here I can't see that actually happening
  • Well said, my friend.

    1) You're right, but the image of the Z wasn't like the image of the Civic/Corolla/Justy. I think people didn't look at "Japanese cars" holistically, but looked at each individual car's image, just like the domestics. Viper was a Dodge, and Dodge had a rep for poor quality... good image didn't seem to be there to help it.

    2) We're talking about image, here. The NSX has been an extraordinary success with image, if nothing else. Can you honestly say you've driven by an NSX and not said "wow" ?

    3) So you're saying the image of the 90's trio didn't fit with the image of previous gens? Yep, that's accurate. But there's no reason a car's image can't change... just look at the Mercury Cougar.

    4) It's a marketing decision... put it in a price class of it's own to build some image. They shouldn't have to justify it... nobody else has has to. For example: Cadillac sells a rebadged Tahoe for $15,000 more, and I'll bet that price is ... a little inflated to create good image, compared to the actual value of the vehicle. Same with many other Caddies, they don't have to justify it, though.

    So the Z, RX and Supra all had images previously, and all failed because they tried to change their image from budget-racer to high-dollar sports-car. That tells me two things: we North American car buyers are both stubborn and prejudiced. Stubborn because we can't accept these formerly inexpensive cars as "higher image", prejudiced because the judgement is based on image instead of actual technology and value.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    Right on flying fish. The three japanese super coupes (four if you want to count the 3000gt) failed because the grew too expensive for their fan base to afford them. Thats it really. They were great cars but maybe a little too great. A little too ambitious. That stubborness you speak of is not limited to us North American consumers, these cars met a similar fate in the UK and Europe.

    The NSX is respected but not that many are bought. Honda I think was a little too ambitious with that price tag. The next one might have a v8 and be priced far less, now that would be great brand positioning. Price it to compete with the corvette Z06 and then things will get fun.
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 858
    ........has a familiar-themed article about the new Nissan't address the weight tho'
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,577
    the 4 banger BMW thing. The reason BMW replaced the car with an I-6 is because the American market didn't take to the 318 well. The majority of 318 buyers wanted the car with an automotic and bought the car just so they could say they have a Bimmer (I hate that word). If these people would drive 318s with a 5 speed, they'd still import them here.

    Early 90's Japanese cars failed because they got too damn expensive. A Turbo Z in '90 was $30 Grand, So was a 3000GT VR4. By the time '95 hit, these cars stickered somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 Grand and they didn't make that much money for the car companies. These cars were built on platforms of their own and didn't share engives with other cars in their stable. Huge overhead.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • ooh, those hideous 318ti's eh? I always thought they looked like Hyundai Accents with BMW badges!

    The Japanese four horsemen (Z, VR-4, Supra, RX-7) I still don't think were too expensive, they were a good value for what you got. But everybody sees them as too expensive because their predecessors were cheapies. The problem would have been averted had they changed the names of the cars to suit the new image they set.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,577
    I agree, the 318ti's were not my favorite, but the 318is was cool if you got it with the 5 speed.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • I'm curious if anybody has any comments on the new 350z with and without a convertible top.

    I presently have a convertible Saab. The convertible is fun, but I am not particularly attached to it.

    With the new 350z, I am not anxious to wait for the convertible and nor am I excited to pay what I suspect will be at least about $5000 more.

    Anyone have any comments on the advisability of one versus the other?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I have seen the photos of the actual production prototype Z (vs. previous concept car photos) and think it looks great. I will keep an open mind, but I'm not sure how it will look as a convertible. Many cars designed initially as hardtops lose a significant amount of their aethetics in convertable form. Not to mention their handling performance. From what my engineering literate friends tell me, a hardtop coupe designed for optimal handling performance would have a different chassis and body structure than an optimally designed convertable/roadster. When you try to go both ways on the same basic chassis structure, one or the other version will be compromised. I would be tempted to go with the hardtop Z, since previous versions of the Z convertible suggest this is not Nissan's strong suit.
  • I am looking forward to the new Z. At this time, it looks very promising. I hope Nissan does it right. Their former model was the best car I ever owned. Extremely well built. Very tight, powerful, and reliable. I really miss that car and hope the new one is a worthy replacement for one of the nicest cars to ever come out of Japan.
  • Habitat1:

    You raise some very good points. Thanks for the feedback.
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