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Jay Leno Pines for a New 240Z

October 3, 2012 by Matt

When it come to presenting a car show, he’s no Clarkson, Hammond or May, but Jay Leno still does a serviceable job paying tribute to the original Z-car, before visiting the Nissan factory and yukking it up with a creative exec and one of the designers. The clip features some nice footage of a Japan-only 240ZG, with the longer “G-nose,” fender extensions and mirrors. Personally, I think it looks chintzy in the worst Japanese way, but there are some who prefer the extra tacked-on bits. I’d much rather drive the white 240Z in the “top secret” design room.

Leno also speculates about what a future 240Z might look like. It’s an interesting question, given that the ’03-’09 350Z was supposed to be a “reboot” of sorts and return the car to its original formula. Its successor the 370Z has grown out of the low-cost / respectable performance niche somewhat, and is increasingly irrelevant, what with the pony car wars heating up and hogging the airtime, so to speak. So perhaps a viable direction for the Z is “down” into competition against the Toyota 86, which for its part has become the darling of the automotive press. The Z would become smaller, lighter, yet more raw and pure. Given the current Z’s identity crisis—not enough power to hang with the Mustang GT or Camaro SS, and too expensive and ponderous to make it as a cheap corner-carver—a more driver-oriented Z-car would be a welcome change of pace, and could revitalize Nissan’s icon.

Filed under: Datsun, Media, News, Nissan

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