The EU has killed the Nissan 400Z
The 400Z is stillborn in the Old Continent
Might as well just rip off the band-aid: the Nissan 400Z won’t be available in Europe because it doesn’t meet the EU’s Draconian emission standards. These rules have been in place for some time now and auto makers regularly fail to meet their targets because they’re objectively unrealistic.
Car makers are investing billions for the transition towards electric mobility but the EU is demanding they do so at a higher speed than the existing technology realistically allows. As a result, they usually simply end up shunning the European market in favour of emerging markets, the Middle East and China, and of course Japan and the US, which is where the 400Z, the first new Z car since 2006 (370Z), will be sold.
The problem (for the EU) is that the 400Z is based on the same [heavily revised] platform that the old Infiniti Q50/Q60 used, and powered by an evolution of Nissan’s ‘VR30DDTT’ 3.0-litre V6, delivering (in the Z) 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. The engine, however, isn’t the only reason why it won’t be available in the Old Continent. Europe is becoming an increasingly SUV-centric market, that’s basically the only type of vehicle European buyers (especially within the EU and the UK) seem to be interested in.
Nissan knows this and in fact they said as much in a recent press statement. "In terms of European sales, a shrinking European sports cars market and specific regulations on emissions mean that Nissan was unable to build a viable business case for the introduction of the production version of the next-generation Z-car in Europe," the statement read.
The car market - any market, really - acts like a dog that’s chasing its own tail. European buyers only want SUVs because car makers only sell SUVs because buyers only want SUVs because car makers… etc. It's a well-known fact that SUVs constitute the bulf of sales in Europe - 1 in 2 vehicles sold here are SUVs - and while I don't subscribe to the 'all SUVs are s**t' party (some of them are, some of them aren't), I think it's a shame to see that the car is turning into nothing but a disposable commodity. Pity.