nissan: supercars return unlikely with gen3

Nissan is unlikely to return to Supercars racing after the Kelly Racing run Altimas disappeared at the end of the 2019 season

Nissan Australia’s boss has all-but dismissed the possibility the Japanese brand will return to the track with its new Z sports car to take on the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.

The new Nissan Z would seemingly be the most market-relevant rival to take on the Mustang and Camaro under the new Gen3 rules, set to be introduced in 2023. The Z is a twin-turbo V6, rear-wheel drive coupe that will battle the Mustang in the sales race.

However, Nissan Australia managing director, Adam Paterson, has played down any chance of the Japanese coupe joining its American rivals.

Asked directly if he has had any discussions with Supercars since taking on his role in June 2021, Paterson simply said: “No.”

He was quick to add: “It’s not that there’s no interest, [but] that conversation hasn’t happened.”

nissan: supercars return unlikely with gen3

The new Nissan Z would seemingly make an ideal candidate for Supercars’ new Gen3 rules but the company’s local boss has ruled it out for the foreseeable future

While that seemingly leaves the door open for Nissan to enter in the future, further question made it clear that a significant investment into a Supercars program is not likely in Nissan’s future.

“I don’t necessarily think participation in a motorsport series like that is going to sell a tonne more Zs, which is the real goal. Those kinds of initiatives are about lifting [the] brand,” Paterson explained.

“Any brand lift activity or initiative is about supporting the entire range, which is something a participation in something like that would do. Has it been considered in-depth, with studies? No.”

While the Z has been developed to celebrate the brand’s sports car heritage, the brand is on the verge of introducing a new wave of electrified SUVs into the local market – including the new X-Trail and all-new Ariya – and Paterson indicated that is likely to take the majority of the brand’s marketing efforts.

“There are a lot of things we need to do as a brand though,” he said. “We need to establish our strength in electrification, which is where the volume of our products will move going forward. There’s a balance in any company, we built this car to prove we’ve got the heritage and the roots to build a sporty vehicle. But the other position is do we spend a huge part of our marketing dollars to support a traditional powertrain approach versus the modernised, electrified approach.”

Would you like to see the Nissan Z join Supercars’ new Gen3 era? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and on social media.

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