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What do the new CAFE standards mean for the Z?

New mileage standards are on their way. 39 mpg for passenger cars by 2016. I understand that the 39 mpg would be an "average" among all models of cars that

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Old 05-20-2009, 07:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What do the new CAFE standards mean for the Z?

New mileage standards are on their way. 39 mpg for passenger cars by 2016. I understand that the 39 mpg would be an "average" among all models of cars that any particular automaker sells, but I'm not sure Nissan has many high-mileage cars to balance out the current MPG of the Z (26 mpg highway, 18 city... about 22 mpg overall)?

I would assume then, that the Z will need to be engineered to be more fuel efficient in the future. How do you think Nissan will end up doing this? Lighter weight? Lower horsepower? Less aggressive gearing? God forbid, a hybrid set-up? An electric Z?
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Probably hybrid... Nothing wrong with an electric sports car, tesla has proved that!

Nissan 370Z Hybrid coming in 2011?
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Musashi View Post
Probably hybrid... Nothing wrong with an electric sports car, tesla has proved that!

Nissan 370Z Hybrid coming in 2011?
A full electric is one thing, but a hybrid has the worst of both worlds. Not only does it have to lug around a heavy battery pack, it also has to carry an engine. You're sports car would bloat out to 4000 pounds and handle like a Buick.

As battery cell technology improves full electric is going to be the way to go, but I don't see them getting there by 2016. Tesla has made great strides in this direction and it's only going to get better as batteries get lighter.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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They will probably just scrap the Z here in the states. What you saw yesterday was the death of the sports car for the average person in the United States. It simply isn't cost effective or practical to build electric or hybrid sports cars. Trucks are still going to be a necessity and carmakers are going to have to adjust their fleet to offset truck mileage that won't be able to meet those standards. That means the elimination of any cars that fill a niche market and bring down a fleet's CAFE standards. You will still be able to buy a Porsche or Ferrari, because those companies won't even attempt to meet CAFE standards, but you will pay a huge premium for those cars that are already out of reach for the average American.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Prices will go up, availability will go down, and you'll see a lot more Versa's on the dealer's lot....(whether people want them or not)
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default What CAFE standards mean for me?

I need to start saving up money and put a brand new E92 and Nismo 370Z in my garage before this happens. I could care less what happens afterward. I will be a happy camper!
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The advantage of the Z is that it is a wolrdwide model. Since CAFE is a fleet average, the relatively low volume of the Z won't impact Nissan's CAFE average that much. I don't doubt that the Z will continue to be sold in the US for years to come, but the price may increase just to keep the volume low.

Ultimately it depends on what Nissan is able to do with their other models. The Altima outsells the more fuel efficient Sentra by far in comparison to the Accord/Civic and Camry/Corolla. Nissan's next generation small cars will have to be much improved over their current offerings.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If anything it means the z, g, fx will be more fuel efficient. These cars aren't too bad with mpg and i don't see nissan getting rid of the z or it would have to get rid of the g and fx too.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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What Washington forgets is the fact that Americans love cars. A Toyota Prius doesn't exactly stir the emotions like a Z. The only way for this plan to work and to have people spend more money on uninspiring and unsafe cars that can't get out of their own way is to have gas prices reach astronomical rates where a middle class person can no longer afford to drive something that doesn't get 50 mpg. That's where cap and trade comes into play. If you ennact that plan then gas and all forms of carbon based energy will skyrocket.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azn370z View Post
If anything it means the z, g, fx will be more fuel efficient. These cars aren't too bad with mpg and i don't see nissan getting rid of the z or it would have to get rid of the g and fx too.
They wouldn't have to get rid of them. They just wouldn't sell them here. The rest of the world, with a few exceptions, isn't as crazy as we are. China is just starting to embrace capitalism while we are throwing it away. China has about 4 times the population as we do, and they are buying up oil reserves. It's a great up and coming market for any car manufacturer that isn't owned by the US Government.

Nissan will still exist in the US. They will be a lot like Toyota, with a bunch of hybrid point A to B cars, fuel efficient family sedans, and cars that look like toasters (hello Cube). Toyota emraced this philosphy a couple years ago when they got rid of the Supra, MR2, and Celica.
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musashi View Post
Probably hybrid... Nothing wrong with an electric sports car, tesla has proved that!

Nissan 370Z Hybrid coming in 2011?
Remember when I broke similar news on 4/22/09?

A Hybrid 370z?
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Given product cycles, the current Z won't be the current Z by 2016. Even without a higher CAFE, the Z would have changed by then. It would have been at least two generations removed from today's 370Z.

The answer to the question will depend largely on where the profits lie. If pickups are more profitable than sports cars, I could see Nissan's sports car lineup very much reduced and a car more like the Altima coupe being "the" Nissan sports car. Certainly derivative of an economy car platform. Probably not quite up to the CAFE, but blazing fast (turbocharged, small displacement, is my guess). Will they call it a "Z"? That's for the marketeers to decide.

But if sports cars are more profitable than trucks? The lineup may still have two sports cars in it -- but, I suspect, they will still be in the high-mpg turbo configuration. (Incidentally, given the volume and numbers of SUVs/Trucks Nissan offers compared to the number of sports car models . . . I strongly suspect trucks are more profitable than sports cars.)

What happened in the 70's? There's your answer. History is repeating itself. Some sports cars died. Some became anemic jokes. None survived unscathed.
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The math is simple. The more popular the Z becomes, the slower it will have to go. GET YOURS NOW!

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Old 05-20-2009, 02:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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