Tuesday, August 5, 2014


All renderings: Nissan USA
So apparently the US branch of Nissan's NISMO division have been running some kind of fantasy "mashup" thought experiment (way to be only about three years behind the cultural curve, guys) for a few months: pick one NISMO model and one current Nissan production car and describe how you'd blend them to create a sort of fantasy hybrid (no, not that kind) - sort of a bench racer's pick-and-choose game with more professional illustrations.

I suppose I can grouse about the options available; Nissan's entire lineup is biased heavily towards "competent mainstream" right now and is more than a bit short on inspiration. That said, sometimes the sum is greater than the parts.

The first "#mashup" release was a blend of Maxima and GT-R, which ends up looking a bit bulky but not without some meaningful appeal:

All renderings: Nissan USA
Basically a muscled-up Maxima. Okay, about what you'd expect but still compelling.

The second release - part 370Z, part Sentra - is...oh, dear God.

If this actually existed it would be the most exciting product launch of the year, by several quanta, and immediately one of the most desirable products offered by a major manufacturer.

If only.

Curious thoughts: is this some kind of product-planning experiment? An unusual consumer clinic? Just a silly Facebook game? I'm inclined to not take this too seriously, unfortunately, but at the same time that Z/Sentra (Zen-tra?) is the sort of thing you can't help but want on sight.

Yes, performance cars with extra seats have rarely hit that best-of-both-worlds ideal and instead have usually been a kind of automotive black sheep: not hardcore enough but not accommodating enough, either. At best you get the better ponycars or the GT-R; at worst, pretentiously-equipped two-door sedans with miserable ride characteristics.

But I never want the manufacturers to give up on the idea. Especially if it looks this promising.

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