When Carlos Ghosn assumed command of Nissan in 1999, he was clear: He wanted bold designs for the faltering Japanese automaker.
Diane Allen, a young Nissan designer in Los Angeles, was ready. She designed two key vehicles that contributed significantly to Nissan's comeback, the 350Z sports car and the Titan full-sized pickup.
The 350Z, which debuted in 2002, “showed the future design of Nissan,” she says. “We had an opportunity to go retro, which was very popular at the time, or to make a more modern statement. Due to the quest to get Nissan to be more visionary, we thought we'd go with more of a future statement but still capture the spirit of the 240.”
The 350Z was well-received and brought back many driving enthusiasts who had drifted from Nissan in the previous decade.