Important badges are gradually losing their meaning as automakers are not refraining from repurposing iconic names for entirely different and less exciting cars. The Mitsubishi Eclipse springs to mind, and it appears another Japanese brand is looking to bank on heritage to sell mundane cars that don't necessarily appeal to enthusiasts. Best Car magazine reports the next-generation Nissan Skyline will morph into an SUV, an electric one at that.
On sale since 1957 and currently in its thirteenth generation launched in 2014, the Skyline will transition to an all-new model in 2025. Well, it might not be all that new as it'll apparently be based on the Ariya. There had been three plans between 2016 and 2022 for a next-gen sedan, but it was ultimately decided to change the body style to an SUV and ditch combustion engines altogether. The current car will be sold for another two years before being retired to make room for a high-riding EV.
2023 Nissan Ariya
We wouldn't be doing our job properly if we didn't mention there has been a Skyline-badged crossover in the past. Launched in mid-2009, the Nissan Skyline Crossover (pretty original, eh?) was simply a JDM-spec rebadged Infiniti EX, which went on to become the QX50. The first-ever EV to carry the fabled Skyline moniker is said to have coupe-derived styling, so think QX55.
Best Car reports the model will be sold in North America and could be slightly more potent that the range-topping Ariya. While the latter tops out at 389 hp, a Skyline electric crossover could have over 400 hp from a pair of electric motors. That could lower the sprint to 60 mph to a sub-five-second time considering the flagship Ariya takes 5.1 seconds.
Take the report with the proverbial pinch of salt since nothing is official at this point. Although the magazine does claim to cite an internal source, we'll have to wait and see whether there's any truth in this. Speaking of rumors, another Japanese brand is apparently looking to apply the SUV treatment to a long-lasting name as Toyota is believed to be working on a Century SUV.