Nissan Teases its Next Generation of Z Car, Could Arrive in 2021

Automotive News 62 May 28, 2020 by

Nissan has released a new video detailing its refreshed product line-up for the near future, and there’s a surprising treat in there for sports car fans: its next Z Car.

The current generation of Z — Fairlady Z in Japan, or 370Z elsewhere — is a pretty old car. When Nissan introduced the “Z34”, it replaced the seven-year old Z33 generation 350Z. That came back in 2008, and the 3.7-liter 370Z has been on the market ever since. As a result, while still relatively inexpensive and a lot of fun to drive, it feels rather dated when you sit in the cabin.

Rumors of a successor car have, unsurprisingly, been doing the rounds for a number of years. The company has been a little in the doldrums recently, including a pretty high-profile and ongoing scandal involving former CEO Carlos Ghosn, and there have been some fears that it might sacrifice the next Z — and GT-R — to balance the books. However the video clip confirms that — at long last — the car is on its way.

The trailer, which Nissan calls “Nissan Next: From A to Z”, shows 12 cars from its planned model line-up. That includes big money-makers like the Qashqai (known as Rogue Sport in North America) and Rogue, the new Kicks mini-crossover, and then the slam-dunk at the end: Z. It is, after all, an A to Z…

In the clip we can see that the new Z has a very similar profile to the Z34 370Z. There’s a very subtle different to the window line around the rear three-quarter. A new Z badge on the rear pillar offers another change, but otherwise from side-on it’s pretty familiar.

Other angles show a few other differences though. The huge, blown out wheel arches of the 370Z have given way to a longer section that continues further forward — more like the 280Z than the 260Z. While the headlight units themselves are unlikely to be round, the lighting within has shades of the S30/S130 era too. The wing mirrors are now mounted on the door panel rather than where it meets the A-pillar.

What we don’t know from the teaser is what will power the new Z or — aside from Fairlady Z in Japan — what Nissan will call it. Back in 2018, Nissan built a 370Z for SEMA which it called “Project Clubsport 23“. That used the three-liter, twin-turbo V6 from Infiniti’s Q50/Q60, which was good for some 400hp, and this seems the most likely powerplant for the next Z.

As for the name, Nissan has always named the Z-cars by engine capacity. It already used 300Z (admittedly with an extra X) for the 1984-2000 model Z31/Z32, so perhaps 400Z is the next logical step.

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