Car journalists often romanticize the shooting brake design. Why? Because it’s cool to pretend that wagons are pure and crossovers are evil. We’d love to see more sports models adopting the Ferrari FF proportions, but not all of them work that way. Just take this rendering of the Nissan 400Z Shooting Brake.
Does it look better than a stock Z? Probably not. But at least it’s interesting, right?!
As you probably guessed based on the fake-looking shadows and the logos, these are renderings. Nissan hasn’t even begun deliveries yet, so there’s obviously no way for shops to chop the new Z.
We’re looking at a 3D model by artist SugarDesign, who’s actually been playing with this for some time. He calls it a Shooting Brake, which is the obvious thing to do. It makes the car sound cooler like it’s been designed in Italy, living on a diet of steak tartare and Chardonnay.
Shooting brake used to mean a car built for actual shooting, with room for guns in the back. People now think it’s supposed to be a coupe. But, just like the coupe, the term has been perverted and refers to wagons as well. The most obvious examples currently in production are of German make, the Mercedes CLA and Porsche Panamera.
But, again, this sounds a little pretentious. Japanese automakers built their brands on simplicity and relatability. So it’s actually better to look at this as a “hatchback.” Nissan has quite a few 1980s hatchbacks that could be considered reference points for this rendering, like the forgotten Pular, Sunny or Liberta Villa.
From what we know, Nissan doesn’t plan to offer the 2023 Z sports car with a convertible body anymore. So maybe there’s actually some room for a hatchback in the range. This would resemble another famous sports car-based hatch, the “Clown Shoe” 2002 BMW Z3 M Coupe.
The cosmetic changes look easy to make. The car just has a new, longer roof, a different trunk and taller side windows. All these would probably make it a better 2+2, though nobody wants to be in the back of a small sports car. Maybe that’s why all the commercially successful “shooting brakes” have four doors.