Does this rumor expose Nissan’s plans for the 2022 Nissan Z, and is the reveal really imminent?by Robert Moore, on LISTEN 07:21
The Nissan 370Z is a great, affordable sports car that offers decent performance, but there comes a time when you have no choice but to put an old dog down. And, after 13 years on the market, that’s exactly what’s happening and why we’re super stoked for the new Nissan Z to hit the market. Rumor has it that it’s supposed to debut in late 2021 as a 2022 model, and the latest leak says that it could happen just in time to order yourself a nice, sexy Christmas present on four wheels.
Nissan Z Release Date 2021
A new report from New Nissan Z forums, quoting a “Nissan staff member,” says that Nissan will open the orderbooks for the new Z on November 15th 2021. As of now, Nissan has nothing official to say about the release date, but it does coincide with the previous late-2021 rumors.
With the orderbooks opening in November 2021, it seems that Nissan will likely reveal the production version of the car at the same time, or perhaps a month or so before if it really wants to generate some extra interest. That date will also mark just a little over one year since the Z Proto was revealed with its retro-tastic look, which was a very good thing considering later reports confirmed that the next Z could have looked like a weird Nissan Juke. So, with a potential and seemingly legitimate date for the order books to open, what can we expect? Well, there’s some things we know, and still a lot of questions to answer.
The Nissan Z Won’t Cruise the Streets of Europe
Back in September of 2020 at the annual ZCon gathering, Nissan revealed the Nissan Z wouldn’t make it to Europe. It was sad news for Euro sports car lovers, but the company actually gave a good supporting argument as to why it wouldn’t hit the Euro market. In short, the Nissan 370 Z doesn’t sell that well in Europe. In its best year, Nissan moved just 2,211 370Zs in comparison to more than 8,000 during the same time in the United States. In 2019, Nissan managed to sell just 562 examples of the 370Z across the continent – a very sad number when you consider that Ferrari sold 1,135 examples of the Portofino more than six times the cost. In the end, the sports car market is shrinking and the company just couldn’t build a viable business case to sell the new Z in Europe.
Nissan Z Will Have An Infiniti Heart of Gold
About six months had passed since the Nissan Z Proto had been revealed, when a Z Proto was caught on display at Nissan Crossing in Tokyo, Japan. An Instagram user known as “layersworks” managed to snap a picture of the car with its hood up, and what did we see? We saw none other than the very same 3.0-liter V-6 that powers the Infiniti Q60. In fairness, the engine cover did look a little different, but a lot of the components under the hood were in similar places. It also coincided with rumors that Nissan was planning to offer the Z with a twin-turbo V-6, so it makes a lot of sense.
As best as we can tell, the new Nissan Z will deliver a cool 400 horsepower and a similar amount of torque. That will put it 68 ponies above the standard 370Z and 50 ponies ahead of the current 370Z Nismo. However, the new Z Nismo could push that power up to as much as 475 horsepower. Can you guess how?
The Nissan Z Nismo Could Feature a Hybrid V-6 For Extra Go Muscle
At the Nissan Z Proto’s reveal, we learned that Nissan was, at the very least, considering a Nismo version of the new Z car in production guise and that it could, in fact, end up with a Hybrid powertrain. As reported by Motoring back then, Nissan’s Chief Product Specialist for the GT-R and Nismo explained the company’s position:
“This answer is why not … for me, if customers strongly request for the NISMO grade, why not?" he said. “[Right now] I cannot say yes or no, it’s not clear. We considered about for some EV solution for study only. What kind of solution do we need to compare performance level, business case, customer voice … then we selected this single solution, [the V-6 twin-turbo]", he added before saying that "[later], if customers strongly request some kind of hybrid system we have to do that.”
With even a small battery pack and small electric motor, massaging the previously mentioned 475 horsepower out of that twin-turbo V-6 should be a breeze. Nissan could even take it a step further and go all the way to 500 if it wanted to. And, it could potentially open the door for all-wheel drive as well, should there be enough room to place an electric motor somewhere ahead of the firewall. I’d more more apt to expect RWD only with a motor positioned between the engine and transmission as an aid. Either way, this will be the first time in history that a Nissan Z features a hybrid drivetrain.
The Nissan Z Looks Old But New and Features Some Old Bones…. Kind Of
When it was exposed to the world that Nissan hadn’t build an entirely new platform for the 2022 Nissan Z, a lot of people were a little upset. It wasn’t until everyone learned that Nissan put a lot of effort into evolving the current platform to make it stronger than ever before and, ultimately make the new Z more agile than ever before. There was also a good reason for it, too. The Nissan Z is special, not only because it’s a fun car to drive that’s full of heritage, but because it is, quite literally, the definition of affordable performance. After all, the current 370Z starts out at just over $30,000 and the range-topping Nismo model – the one with 350 horsepower – comes in at $45,790. You get an amazing six-speed manual transmission, and you can sprint to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds or 4.7 seconds, respectively. That’s not Nissan GT-R fast, of course, but you’re also paying less than half the price for an amazing performance car.
You can expect the new Nissan Z to be just as fun to drive, if not more so, and you can expect its price to hover in the same general region with a small premium it’s first couple of years on the market. In fact, a recent rumor posted on the 400Z Club forums says that the new Z will start out at $34,995, just a hair under $5,000 more expensive that the 2021 Nissan 370Z. For what it’s worth, that breaks down to $87 per horsepower, which isn’t that bad at all. If the same holds true for the future Z Nismo expect it to start right around $50,000 which won’t be bad for a car that can probably sprint to 60 mph in the low-four-second range.
All of this said, there are only two questions that remain to be answered for now. 1) Will the 2022 Nissan Z actually be worth the asking price at launch? Based on what we expect, you can bet your ass it will be, but only time will tell. 2) Since the platform underneath is actually quite old, despite being reworked through the generations, will the 2022 Nissan Z really be as good as people think? It certainly will be. Nissan has too much vested in this second-class halo car to drop the ball. The sports car market is already shrinking and the 400Z needs to be a big win. I’m willing to bet that it will be.