Electric Nissan Z and GT-R not decided yet, says former chief engineer

Electric Nissan Z and GT-R not decided yet, says former chief engineer

The former chief engineer for the Nissan Z coupe and the ‘Godzilla’ GT-R says a decision has yet to be made about moving to electric power for the next generations of the iconic sports car.

A decision to switch to electric drive for the next generation of the Nissan Z Coupé and the GT-R performance flagship “Godzilla” has not yet been made, says the chief engineer for the current generation of sports cars.

Hiroshi Tamura told Australian media during a preview of the new Nissan Z coupe last weekend that it was not his decision – and that the future of the cars he helped create would be handed over to a new team.

Tamura-san is now a “brand ambassador” for Nissan’s top-of-the-line sports cars, having been forced into retirement due to the company’s age limit policy.

When asked if Nissan deliberately dropped the numbers from the new Z car’s name (rather than 370Z or 240Z, as on previous generations) to make room for a smoother transition to electric power, Tamura-san said:

“It’s a good idea, (but) I don’t know for the next generation of (electric vehicles) because that’s a tricky question. I didn’t see any (electrical) solution.”

The former chief engineer said whatever type of engine powers the next-gen Nissan Z, it needs to please the senses and make enthusiasts “crazy” for the sports car.

“For me, it’s the way you can create the dance partner (and meet the customers’ expectations),” said Tamura-san.

“The nervous point is the sound. How do you make sound with an electric car? You make noise with a speaker.

“But the cliché of … old guys sometimes doesn’t like the wrong sound. That is the challenge.”

Tamura-san added, “It’s easy to talk about an (electric or hybrid) solution. But the most important thing is emotions and how to develop high-performance cars with reasonable prices. We have to keep a reasonable price.”

Tamura-san said the decision to go electric — or stick with gas — will be “one of the very difficult points going forward.”

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for over 20 years, most of his time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motor editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018 and has been a World Car of the Year judge for more than 10 years.

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