The Nissan Z is one of the most iconic sports car families of all time, with iconic cars like the 280Z, 300ZX, and 350Z under its name. But today’s 370Z is starting to wither on the vine. It’s still quick and exciting to drive, but old and spartan inside. Luckily, rumor has it that Nissan is working on a replacement for the 370Z. Here’s what we’ve heard so far.
Nissan dropped a short teaser video of the new Z in late May 2020, giving us our best look yet at the car’s new design. The retro body lines jibe with a report from Autoblog citing dealer sources, suggesting it’ll use design cues from past Z cars. The front end, which we can’t really see in the video, supposedly has a square mouth with round headlights, much like the 240Z.
It Should Have a 3.0-liter, Twin-turbo V-6 That Makes Around 400 HP
While no details of the new car have been confirmed by Nissan, there’s a lot of evidence that suggests a 400-hp twin-turbo V-6 is coming to the Nissan Z. Dealers cited by Autoblog report that this is the engine for the new Z, which Nissan already hinted to with its Project Clubsport 23 concept back in 2018.
That concept had the 400-hp V-6 out of an Infiniti Q50 and Q60 Red Sport 400, lending even more credibility to this rumor. After all, Nissan already has this engine developed and ready for production.
We Expect It to Share Its Platform With the Infiniti Q60
Especially now, it’s hard to justify an all-new rear-wheel-drive platform. That’s why we believe the report from Car and Driver that the upcoming Z will share its underpinnings with the Infiniti Q60. The last two Z cars have shared significant components with Infiniti’s entry-level coupe, so it’d be surprising if this one didn’t use the Q60’s architecture. Plus, we already know the engine and platform fit together well.
The Official Name Is Still Up in the Air
One thing we don’t know is what it’ll be called. Normally we assume that a new generation of a car will retain its current name, but Nissan’s Z cars usually change names every generation. Historically they’ve been based on displacement; the 300ZX had a 3.0-liter engine, while the 350Z had a 3.5-liter engine and so on.
Problem is, if the 3.0-liter turbo engine does end up powering the next Z, we find it hard to believe that Nissan would bring back the 300Z name. Generally, numbers in the automotive world perpetually go up, a quirk of marketing where you never want to sell something that seems “lower” than last year’s model. That’s why we’re expecting it to be called the 400Z, as Autocar reported.
It Should Debut Sometime in Late 2020 or Early 2021
According to CarScoops, the debut was slated for late 2020. But with so many schedules thrown off by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that date could be pushed back. Car and Driver, for its part, has always expected the 400Z to bow in 2021. Pricing and release information have yet to come out, but we’ll continue to update this post as we get more details about the next Z.
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