The former chief engineer for the Nissan Z Coupe and ‘Godzilla’ GT-R says a decision is yet to be made about switching to electric power for the next generations of the iconic sports cars.
A decision to switch to electric power for the next-generation Nissan Z Coupe and ‘Godzilla’ GT-R performance flagship has not yet been made, says the chief engineer for the current-generation sports cars.
Hiroshi Tamura told Australian media during a preview of the new Nissan Z Coupe last weekend it was not his decision – and 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-end sports cars after being forced into retirement due to the company’s age limit policy.
When asked if Nissan deliberately dropped the numbers from the name of the new Z car (rather than 370Z or 240Z, as with earlier generations), to make way 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 this is a tricky question. I didn’t see any (electric) solution.”
The former chief engineer said whatever engine type powers the next-generation Nissan Z, it needs to delight the senses and make enthusiasts “lust” after the sports car.
“For me, it’s how you can create the dance partner (and meet) customer 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 stereotype of … old guys sometimes don’t like fake sound. That’s the challenge.”
Tamura-san added: “It’s easy to talk about an (electric or hybrid) solution. But the most important thing is emotion, and how to create performance cars with appropriate price points. We have to keep an appropriate price.”
Tamura-san said the decision to switch to electric propulsion – or stay with petrol power – will be “one of the very difficult points in the future.”