Sub-Zed 'Silvia' confirmed for Tokyo

Brace yourselves, Silvia, 200SX, and Gazelle fans around the globe!

Nissan is set to electrify the affordable sports car world with an agile and lightweight coupe concept to be displayed at the Tokyo motor show this November.

To sit beneath the five-year old 370Z that will continue on for some time to come, the as-yet unnamed two-seater will offer both petrol-electric hybrid and full-electric propulsion, and is aimed at funking up Nissan’s reputation with younger buyers.

For some idea of what the Japanese firm is planning, look to the Esflow EV sports car concept that was one of the stars of the 2011 Geneva motor show. A rear-drive pure EV, it employed twin electric motors and a lithium ion battery for a 5.0-second 0-100km/h dash time and a 240km range on one charge (but not at the same time).

Whatever the end result may be at Tokyo 2013, it will follow hot on the heels of a revised GT-R for 2014 with hybrid technology, to be unveiled sometime later on this year (possibly at Frankfurt).

Nissan will also race an electric vehicle at Le Mans next year, further underlining its commitment to the sports car moving into the future.

Speaking to the Australian media at the New York International Auto Show this week, company Executive Vice President and car czar, Andy Palmer, confirmed that a sub-Zed sports car is around the corner.

“When we say that we are going to go to Le Mans, which we will in 2014 with an electric sports car, it implies an interest in electrification of a sports car,” he said.

“And we’ve implied that there will be electrification of the GT-R sometime in the near future.

“But we’ve got some other plans for what we think sports cars for Gen Xs and Gen Ys would look like, and I think that the Zed will sit apart as a classic sports car.

“But we think that there is room below that for something very special. And for that we will see you at Tokyo.”

Asked about the type of propulsion system Nissan is readying for the Sub-Zed sportster, Mr Palmer revealed that the company is not limited to just once source of power.

“I think there is room for both (petrol-electric hybrid and pure electric),” he said.

“The beauty of pure electric is that there is oodles of torque and power instantaneously, so for a car that is really fun to drive, electric presents with us an opportunity.”

Stay tuned. We’ve just booked our spot at the Tokyo show on November 23. Bring it on, Nissan!

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