Whether you love or hate Jay Leno as a “pop culture” late night show host, you still can’t help but love him in his position on Jay Leno’s Garage. In the latest episode, Jay makes it all the way around the world to Japan and test drives a Fairlady 240Z. Not only is the 240Z just one of those timeless and iconic sports cars, but it is revolutionary for the Japanese sports car world.
Jay then takes some time out to talk with his friend that heads up Nissan’s design team and he has a nice surprise for his friend, as he jokingly grills him on the rumored 240Z remake. We actually get a good glimpse at the preliminary design silhouette of what we can only assume would be a revived 240Z and a look at some of the concept drawings made of it and the current 370Z.
What’s cool though is that his friend does not play the denial act that most design heads would do. He all but confirms the fact that Nissan is planning something big for its 8th anniversary which comes about in 2013, and makes it clear that the 240Z revival may be said big thing.
Just seeing the Nissan design room was cool enough, but getting semi-confirmation of the 240Z – even if it was more of a non-denial than a confirmation – was pretty cool. Enjoy!
If it’s not obvious, Chris Harris is a rather respected member of our little automotive club here. When he tests out something, he really pushes it to the max and lets us know exactly what he thinks in plain old English. We don’t always agree with him, but we do always respect what he has to say.
In his latest video, he has put a car that he fell in love with the moment he sat in the driver’s seat, the Toyota GT 86 (Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ to us America-based folks), against the Nissan 370Z, and a Porsche Cayman S. Sure, the Cayman S is a lot more car, but the one he’s driving has 77,000 miles on the ticker, so it’s been pretty well thrashed around.
We did a similar test just a few days ago, but we sadly didn’t get to whip all of the cars around a twisty back road, and we actually placed the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ fairly low on our list – behind the 370Z. Our test was slightly different that Chris’, as it involved more cars and we have a slightly different opinion of what is fun to drive about a sports car, but is there a possibility that Chris may come to our side of the table and pick the 370Z over the Toyota GT 86?
You’re going to have to check out the video above to see exactly what his final decision was. Whether you agree with him or not you get to have one heck of a time watching him wail on these cars.
We tend to keep our focus on cars that run in excess of $100K and fly to 60 mph in sub-3-second times. What about those that can’t pull off a $2,000-per-month car payment and don’t need to get to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds? Well, this one’s for you.
We are going to take a look at the top budget sports cars in the automotive realm today and tear them apart to find out what’s good about them and what’s not so hot about them. After that, we’ll input all of that data into the "patented" TopSpeed top-pick machine and spew out which of these cars offers the best bang for its customer’s buck. Keep in mind that we are looking at driving factors only, option and equipment have no bearing on making a budget sports car more fun in this competition.
We’re only looking at new cars here, so that eliminates my personal favorite, the Mazdaspeed Miata. The Miata will, of course be in the competition, but its facing cars that are equally, if not more, powerful and that rival it in handling performance. So, who takes home the title?
When the Nissan Z-car returned in the 2003 model year, Z enthusiasts everywhere rejoiced at the potential of this stylish machine. Even though it was not as powerful or as fast as they had expected, it was still loaded with potential. Well, over the years, enthusiasts became tired of the Z and this resulted in a mild sales fizzle when the 370Z came about. As of the 2012 model year, that fizzle has turned into lackluster sales.
Rumors are pointing to the fact that the Z-car is heading back to its roots. For those that remember, the Z-car was not a powerful machine in its infancy. It was more known for being a lightweight car that had an optimal power-to-weight ratio and precision handling. The current 370Z is anything but like the original, and according to Nissan design boss, Shiro Nakamura, the new Z-car will better reflect the past Z-cars and live up to its legend. We should even be seeing a concept car for this redesigned Z-car soon.
So, how will this car actually stack up? With the little bit of information we have and some speculation, we can give you at least a good idea on what to expect.
Click past the jump to read our full, and constantly growing, review on the upcoming Z-car.
All images are of the current generation Nissan 370Z.
Initial rumors about the next generation Nissan Z stated that it would be ready for the 2013 model year, but it seems those rumors were completely wrong. In an interview with Inside Line, Nissan’s design boss Shiro Nakamura said that the development of the next Z sports car is in its early stages and that we would see a concept version of the car soon. The production version is actually set to arrive as early as the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.
The previous generation - the 350Z - was extremely successful, but unfortunately, the current 370Z didn’t acquire the same high notes. According to Nakamura, the next Z sports car needs to have a stronger impact. To achieve this, the next Z-sports car will be lighter and leaner, and will most likely rid itself of the current 3.7 liter V6 engine in favor of a new four-cylinder engine. This will make the car more fuel efficient, and, according to Nakamura, will make it "more accessible to open the door to more people."
As for its exterior design, the next Z will combine the current sporty look with "excitement, substance, and agility."
Nissan may have plenty of models to boast of, but the one car that stands out to anyone looking for a vehicle with a little pep in its step is the Nissan Z car. Back in 1964, Nissan began toying with the idea of building a sports car to add to their lineup, but it wasn’t until 1969 that a vehicle was actually produced. The Datsun 240Z was available in two versions - and proved to be the successful sports car that Nissan had anticipated. Six generations later and Nissan had produced many variations of the vehicle, including the ever-popular 370Z. Now, after only four years since the latest 370Z was created, rumors are flying suggesting that Nissan is ready to go at it again with a new generation Z. Not only will the world be getting one of their beloved sports cars once again, but it may also be powered by a hybrid drivetrain, a rumor we first heard back in 2010 most likely the same one used in the Infiniti M hybrid. Yes, the world is going hybrid, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Nissan Z.
Nissan will continue celebrating the Z’s 40th anniversary with a display of six historic Z racers at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion on August 12th–15th at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif.
The vehicles appearing at this event are no slouches either. A number of them have had an active racing history including appearances at SCCA National Championships, IMSA Manufacturers’, and Drivers’ Championship and victories at LeMans, Daytona, and Sebring. Not only will classic and newer Z models be on display during this automotive weekend, but a number of vintage Nissan race cars will also be on hand to partake in the racing events: John Morton will drive the #46 1970 Datsun 510 in the "1966 – 1972 Trans Am under 2 Liter Cars" class and a pair of 1985 Nissan GTPs (#83 and #84) owned by Toluca Lake Classic Motorsports will compete in the "1981 - 1989 FIA Mfg Championship & IMSA GTP" class.
Nissan has recently launched the 370Z sports car and already the company has started working on the next generation Z. And with the new alliance between Renault-Nissan and Daimler, the next Z could be powered by new diesel engines and a four-cylinder hybrid powertrain.
Thanks to the new alliance, Renault-Nissan will supply three and four-cylinder petrol engines and electric technology to Daimler, while Daimler will return four, six, and eight-cylinder engines. This could turn out to be a great partnership because Mercedes is known for its fuel efficient diesel engines and Renault is in need for them with their launch into the electric car segment.
This leaves three options for the next generation Z. The first is a 3.5-liter V6 hybrid set-up used in Mercedes S400. This option provides 299hp and 284 ft.-lb. of torque. The next option is the V6 from the E350 CDI with an output of 170 kW/231 hp. Finally, the four-cylinder petrol in combination with a 15 KW compact electric motor from the forthcoming E300 Bluetec. This option delivers a total of 224 hp and a torque of over 580 Nm. However, Nissan also has under consideration the same engine used in the Infiniti M hybrid.
Okay, this week has already started off with some pretty exciting news. First, we found out that Toyota might be planning a more economically priced "baby" Toyota FT-86 and now we’ve had more news come our way. The Japanese magazine, Best Car, reports that the next generation Nissan Z (known as the Fairlady in Japan) will also be offered in a hybrid version. The hybrid version is rumored to run on a new lithium ion battery pack. Coincidentally, this is the same pack that will be powering the Fuga luxury sedan, known as the Infiniti M on the U.S. side of the pond.
This comes as a result of the recent collaboration between Renault-Nissan and Daimler. Another possibility is a diesel engine developed by Daimler, but this is just another rumor.
It’s hard to imagine that Nissan’s Z-series has been around for 40 years. But what’s even more difficult to fathom is the fact that it actually came close to never materializing in the first place. It turns out, Yutaka “Mr. K” Katayama was the first one to broach the idea of the car back in 1969, and after a lengthy debate regarding the viability of the car, Nissan eventually relented and introduced the very first Z car: the Nissan Fairlady Z.
Now, 40 years later, Nissan’s Z-series is one of the most revered car lines in Japanese auto history and to commemorate the monumental occasion, Nissan is releasing a limited-edition Nissan 370Z Coupe, which, from what we’ve heard, will go on sale in the spring of 2010. The limited-edition 370Z was molded from a Touring version of the 370Z Coupe with the standard 3.7-liter V6 engine, which is capable of producing as much as 322 horsepower.Despite carrying the same engine, Nissan added a few kinks for the special-edition car, including the brand’s trademark Synchro-Rev automatic rev-matching function to complement the car’s six-speed manual transmission.
Likewise, the 40th anniversary 370Z was also supplied with bigger brakes than those in the standard version and to top it off, Nissan also provided the car with bigger – and reinforced – 19-inch Rays forged wheels. As far as the styling of the anniversary 370Z is concerned, Nissan gave it a royal red treatment with red leather trim as well as red stitching throughout the car’s interior. If that wasn’t enough to signify the importance of the car, Nissan also gave the car a special “40th Quartz” paint scheme to commemorate the Z-series’ 40th year.
Nissan will produce 1000 Examples of the 40th Anniversary Z priced at $38,860 each.
Updated 02/10/2010: Nissan today unveiled new images of the special edition 370Z 40th Anniversary Edition. Check them out!