Beautiful tragedy: Nissan Z

Nissan unveils its new Z in the U.S., launching an authentic, classic sports car in the form of the crisp transaxle coupe. It's becoming a tragic hero for us - precisely because it's so good. And will probably never be launched here in Europe.
Text Marko Knab
Photo Nissan USA

The fact that a car like the Nissan Z is not coming to Europe is the stuff of classic tragedy. How to make sense of it? Let's start like this: our brand-new protagonist is the latest descendant of a long line of wonderful sports cars - its heritage goes back to 1969, when the first 240Z caused a sensation. With a long hood, crisp rear end and just that classic sports car aesthetic. Distinctive rearview mirrors on the front fenders included. The rapid success story continues with the 280Z, the 300ZX, the familiar 350Z and the 370Z. And a damn good one at that, at least until now. For in Europe, the continuation in the form of the sports car, which is now simply called the »Z«, has not materialized.

Its appearance would have been old school in any case: 400 hp from a twin-turbo V6 meets a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. Well, there is also the option of a nine-speed automatic transmission - but that doesn't really fit into the storyboard, we have to be honest. The young hero also draws on his anything but ancient ancestors for the bodywork: the almond-shaped headlights look familiar from the Z's history, as do the square, linear taillights. Just like the square radiator grille and the already mentioned basic shape of a transaxle sports car. Why the Z still fails (in Europe)? Responsible are a shrinking sports car market and emission guidelines that make sales in the West unprofitable. Says Nissan. »Blamelessly guilty,« we say in the tradition of drama theory.

Its appearance would have been old school in any case: 400 hp from a twin-turbo V6 meets a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive.

All right, the car hits dealerships in the U.S. in spring 2022 - and celebrates the continuation of its own history, at least overseas. From this point of view, there are no reasons for lamentation and horror, but the whole thing is still hard to bear. And to use the classic tragedy again: In the end, we are not one bit cured of our desires, catharsis has failed, the desire has only grown. The only way out is probably the not exactly uncomplicated import from the States to Europe. Or hoping for an inexplicable solution (and a change of mind) from above. So that the impressive machine might still find its way to Europe. By the way, this would be called »Deus ex machina«.

More Information:

Nissan USA


ramp shop


Latest articles

ramp #55 - Say Watt?

Moin! We find joy. In the North Germans. They are generally regarded as cold and unapproachable. Exuberance is a foreign word to them. The greeting behavior contributes to the consolidation of the first impression, for the North Germans an implied nod is sufficient. Particularly good-humored specimens let themselves be carried away to a »Moin».

Express Yourself: Grason Ratowsky

Grason Ratowsky has worked as creative director for several agencies in New York and spent many years in product design. Today the thirty-six-year-old artist lives on Mallorca for most of the year. And paints. We wanted to know what role the subconscious plays in his work and whether an artist has to be unhappy in order to be successful. Although Ratowsky himself makes a very satisfied impression.

Time for luxury: Bulgari opens the Autostyle live Workshops

Following last week's kick-off, Autostyle 2021's first workshop is set for today: Fabrizio Buonamassa will guide visitors through the development of Bulgari's in-house luxury watches and the fusion of Italian design culture with Swiss watchmaking skills

Really Fast

This is a story full of ups and downs, starting with our author almost not being allowed into Italy to drive the Ferrari SF90 Stradale Assetto Fiorano. Which would have made for a lot of frustration and certainly a lot of noise on what is now an international day of screams of frustration. All went well, of course.