The Nissan 400Z is gaining some momentum, but outside of a new Z trademark, there’s nothing official

Rumors about a Nissan 400Zor, at the very least, some kind of successor to the current and aging Nissan 370Z have been swirling for years. We’ve heard everything from rumors that the new Z car will be electric to wild-eyed ideas like Nissan will be building the 400Z in colaboration with Mercedes and that the 400Z will actually be a performance-oriented crossover of all things. More recently – as in October of 2019 – we learned that Nissan is officially working on a next-gen Z car and a next-gen GT-R, but things have been relatively quiet since then. Well, until now, anyway, as a new trademark filing ushers in fresh hope that a new Z car is closer than ever to becoming a reality. So, what does this mean? Let’s talk about it.

When Will the Nissan 400Z debut?

A New Trademark Hints that the 2021 Nissan 400Z Is Coming Sooner Than Expected Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 660952

As of right now, there’s no official word on when the Nissan 400Z (or whatever it will be called) will actually make its debut. At the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan Product Planning Boss, Ivan Espinosa, only gave us very vague hints as to what’s going on behind Nissan’s closed doors:

[Both cars] are at the heart of Nissan, and we are actively looking at and working on them. I can’t share what, but that doesn’t mean we’re not working on them. Nissan is about exciting cars.”

So, we do know that Nissan is, in fact, working on a new Z car, but as for what it is (coupe, SUV, etc.) it will at least be exciting. However, we’re aware that’s a matter of opinion, so we’re still hoping that exciting means sports car. With this in mind, a new Z trademark filing hints that the next-gen Z could be coming sooner than later.

What can we tell about the new Nissan Z trademark filing?

A New Trademark Hints that the 2021 Nissan 400Z Is Coming Sooner Than Expected
- image 893230

The new Nissan Z trademark leaves a lot of room for speculation, even at first sight. Perhaps this is what the new Z badge will look like or perhaps Nissan is planing a whole remake of the new Z brand in general, and this is just a new logo. What we can tell you is that the font of the Z with a slash through it harkens back to the logos that were found on old-school Nissan Zs like the Datsun 240Z, 260Z, and even the 280Z.

A closer look at the trademark filing, which happened in Canada, doesn’t yield any helpful information. It does hit that it could be used on “electrically assisted land vehicles, trucks, vans, wagons, sport utility vehicles, and sports cars, among many other things. So, while it does hint that the next Z car could be electric or at least hybird, but it also points to it being a van, so there’s that. If you read the entire description, it can even be used for automotive parts, so take the total description that we’re pasting below with a grain of salt:

A New Trademark Hints that the 2021 Nissan 400Z Is Coming Sooner Than Expected High Resolution Exterior
- image 420388

Goods: (1) Electrically-assisted land vehicles, Wagons, Trucks, Vans, Sport utility vehicles, Motor buses, Recreational vehicles, Sports cars, Racing cars, Engines for land vehicles, Motors, electric, for land vehicles, Electric drive unit for land vehicles, Bodies for land vehicles, Automobile chassis, Transmissions for land vehicles, Steering wheels for Automobiles, Automobiles and their parts and fittings, Automobiles, Electric vehicles and their parts and fittings, Fuel cell vehicles and their parts and fittings, AC motors or DC motors for land vehicles [not including "their parts"], Mechanical elements for land vehicles, Shafts, axles or spindles [for land vehicles], Bearings [for land vehicles], Shaft couplings or connectors [for land vehicles], Axle bearings [for land vehicles], Power transmissions and gearing [for land vehicles], Shock absorbers [for land vehicles], Springs [for land vehicles], Brakes [for land vehicles], Driving motors for land vehicles, Hybrid system for automobile, trucks, vans, sport utility vehicles, motor buses, recreational vehicles (RV), sports cars, racing cars, Electric automobiles, Hubs for vehicle wheels, Wheel of vehicle, Propulsion mechanisms for land vehicles

So, with that said, we’re left with a lot of uncertainty, but the trademark does hint that something new could be coming sooner than later, and that’s good news.

What Will Power the Nissan 400Z?

2017 Infiniti Q60S - Driven High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 705281

We’ve covered this topic in our guide “What We Know About the Nissan 400Z,” but I’ll give you a short breakdown of what we think we know. The assumption that it will go by the 400Z name indicates that the engine that powers it could see a bump in displacement.

The 370Z as we know it today, is powered by a 3.7-liter V-6 that’s good for 332 horsepower or 350 ponies in Nismo Trim. See the correlation? 370Z and 3.7-liter engine.

If this holds true for the 400Z, that would mean it would be powered by a rather large 4.0-liter V-6 or a small 4.0-liter V-8, neither of which really make sense given the trend in emissions regulation, push toward electrification, and engine downsizing in general.

So, the 400Z name could be in reference to the engine’s output as opposed to displacement. 400 horsepower would be a pretty big leap over the current 370Z, even in Nismo trim. It has been said that the 400Z would bear the heart that is the 3.0-liter V-6 (a major drop in displacement) found in the Infiniti Q50 sedan and Q60 coupe which, in Red Sport 400 guise, deliver a cool 400 horsepower. So, this tidbit of information also plays into the whole 400Z nomenclature.

Finally, the third big rumor floating around the water cooler is that the next-gen Z would rock the 3.8-liter V-6 (so, another 100CC of displacement) from the 2020 Nissan Frontier pickup truck. This engine would obviously be turned to deliver more power, though, or at the very least be hybridized. As it stands in the 2020 Frontier and, ultimately, the next-gen Frontier that’s supposed to go on sale for 2021, that 3.8-liter delivers just 310 horsepower. It marks a decent improvement for the old 2.5-liter in the Frontier (up 49 horses) but wouldn’t be worth the aluminum its made from in a Z car. So, if this rumor holds any legitimacy at all, Nissan will either have to rework and retune the engine or pair it with some kind of hybrid system to deliver at least a mild improvement over the current 3.7-liter V-6 in the 370Z.

Follow the Nissan 400Z News Stream

The Next-Gen Nissan Z Was Caught Testing on the Nurburgring - Kind of

A New Nissan Z and GT-R Are Coming, But You Might Not Like Them

What Do We Know About The Nissan 400Z?

The Next-Gen Nissan Z and Nissan GT-R Will Be Electrified

A New Z Car is Officially in the Works

Rumor: Next Z Car Could be Shown In Concept Form Later This Year, Production Model to Debut In 2019

Japanese Rumor Mill: The Next Nissan Z will be Built in Collaboration with Mercedes

Report: Nissan IS Working on a New Z-Car; Let’s Just Hope it isn’t a Crossover

Nissan Says a New Z-Car is on the Way, but a Few Years Out

Source: Govt of Canada Trademark Office

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
About the author

Related Articles

What Do We Know About The Nissan 400Z?

2009 - 2017 Nissan 370Z

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: