Nissan executive says Z brand is robust enough to support SUV, but it can't deliver a pure driving experience.
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Nissan may be planning an SUV with a 'Z' badge in the future.

At a recent media event for the Z Proto, Nissan's Senior Vice President for Global Product Planning, Ivan Espinosa, said the Japanese car company was exploring a potential Z SUV.

"There's always temptation, we're always exploring these things," Mr Espinosa responded, when asked about the potential for a high-riding Z model.

"The strength of Z – the brand – is so big, that it could potentially allow some wild things."

The comments come at the same time Brazilian illustrator KDesign AG delivers a render of an imagined Z Proto SUV, shown at the top of this story.

In 2015, a number of reports suggested Nissan was planning to release its next Z model as an SUV. The concept which followed now looks to have been an early iteration of the latest Nissan Juke (shown below).

While the recently-unveiled Z Proto concept disproved rumours of the next Z model being an SUV, it seems the company is keeping its options open.

"It's always interesting, very interesting, to see what the possibilities are, and we're always looking at things like that," Mr Espinosa said on the subject of a Z SUV.

However, the Nissan executive conceded an SUV would not deliver the same kind of driving experience associated with the Z badge.

"Z is about connecting with the car you're driving. So [to get] the real sports car experience, you need the low driving position," he said.

"You can still deliver a very exciting experience [in an SUV], but it will never be physically possible to deliver the same experience as if you were sitting as low as you were sitting in the Z coupe."

"But I think, first things first, is we owe the Z fans a new Z that represents the values of what Z is; which is the accessible dream car that it has always been through all these generations, and we'll focus on doing that, and doing that in the best way possible."