We cannot remember how many times we’ve reported on Nissan working on a new-gen Z sports car, but maybe this time it is for real – fingers crossed.
The good news comes from Autocar, which claims that it’s due next year. The plan was to unveil it before the end of 2020, although the current situation with the virus outbreak has pushed it back.
Believed to have been named the 400Z, it could add a redesigned Z badge with a retro font reminiscent of the Datsun 240Z. Nissan has already filed a trademark application in Canada for the new logo that will rest on the 240Z-inspired nose. The taillights are believed to be a throwback to the 300ZX, so in theory at least, it’s promising to be a looker.
Although nicer than, let’s say, a Toyota GT86, the 370Z’s interior has long showed its age. Nissan is working on a significant makeover that will bring a different dashboard design with a modern infotainment system sitting in the middle, and a digital instrument cluster. But most importantly, the overall quality is understood to be greatly improved, with more premium materials that will bring it in line with the company’s latest cars sold in the United States.
New driver aids will be introduced, and while it has not been confirmed yet, the 400Z might be based on the rear-wheel drive platform of the Infiniti Q50 and Q60. The reason behind not developing a bespoke architecture is that sales of such models are relatively low and it wouldn’t be justified from a financial standpoint.
Many were wondering what engine would replace the 332 HP 3.7-liter V6, and it seems that the answer will come from Infiniti as well: the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. It produces 400 HP in the Q60, allowing it to accelerate to 62 mph (100 km/h) in around 5 seconds, but since the 400Z will be lighter, it will also be quicker. Unlike its AWD cousin, the new Z car will remain rear-wheel drive, likely with a dual-clutch automatic transmission placed between the engine and rear axle. A manual transmission should be offered as well.
Nissan has already experimented with the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 at the 2018 SEMA, when they unveiled the Project Clubsport 23. The track-focused version of the 370Z had 400 HP available on tap and a stick shift, in addition to other mods.
Nismo might have its way with the 400Z as well, giving it around 500 HP, but don’t forget to take everything with the proverbial grain of salt – not that we wouldn’t want it to happen. Until then, take a look at these speculative renders from French transportation designer Guillaume Lerouge.