Everything We Know About The Nissan 400Z?
It Could Be As Powerful As The 2008 Nissan GT-R R35by Safet Satara, on LISTEN 00:55
We will get a new Nissan Z-car. The new Nissan Z car is due for a reveal in the coming years, and some suggest we may even see it at the next Tokyo Motor Show or at NAIAS in 2019. Mind you, this information is yet to be confirmed, but we already know that Nissan is working on a replacement for the 370Z. I am telling you again - the new Nissan Z car will come. For me, this is a huge deal as I really liked the 370Z in its purest, least expensive form. Ignore my emotions from now on as I try to elaborate on what the new Nissan Z car should be. Believe me, so many rumors circulate on the Internet that it is almost impossible to separate right from wrong and truth from deception. In that regard, I am going to give you a rundown of the most logical solutions Nissan may employ for the creation of the new Z car.
Current Nissan 370Z Is Old and Due For Replacement
After almost a decade on the market, the Nissan 370Z is a definite oldie in the realm of sports cars.
It did leave an imprint, not unlike the one the 350Z and its predecessors left, but at this point of time, it seems to be just too old to continue.
A replacement is due, then. We have been waiting for what seems like a lifetime for someone from Nissan to comment on the new Z. Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan Design Chief finally spilled the beans in his talk to Wheels when he said:
"The Z-car, oh my god. Huge pressure. You can imagine I’m completely excited that I am in the position to work on that."
“To work on that.” In my mind, this part of the sentence says enough. The new Z car is coming. A year before, in his talk with the UK Autocar, Albaisa also commented on the Z by confirming he is personally advocating the return of the new car. It seems he had it his way. Our way too. Thanks, Albaisa.
Nissan’s Partnership with Mercedes On the New Z Car
The development of the new Nissan Z car seems to be quite an interesting one as someone from Nissan apparently reached out to Mercedes to form an agreement for a joint development of the new Z car. A development not unlike what Toyota and BMW did with the new Supra and the Z4. This would actually be an expected turn of events for a number of reasons:
- Sports car market is dwindling
- Mercedes and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi already have a clearly set up partnership
- Infiniti and Mercedes already share a lot of technology
- Joint development of the new SLC and the new Z car could lead to significant development cost cuts for both companies
Yet, despite all of this, some suggest that the talks failed.
Meanwhile, others are saying that Mercedes-Benz actually reached out to Nissan with an idea for a joint development of the SLC and the new Z, but Nissan refused due to low market demand for sports roadsters.
Whatever the reason or whatever the outcome, I would find it really unusual if the companies refused to cooperate on the development of the new Nissan 400Z. Due to some other information I came across, some form of cooperation might still be happening.
The Name? Nissan 400Z?
The name 400Z is just a rumor, but it seems perfect for the continuation of the series of cars that started almost 50 years ago.
Up until this point, Nissan linked the engine capacity with the number in the name. The 350Z had a 3.5-liter, V-6. The 370Z had a 3.7-liter V-6. Now, the alleged 400Z won’t have an engine of that size. It is more likely to receive a turbocharged six-cylinder with 400 horsepower. In that regard, Nissan may do the only sensible thing and name the car not after the engine capacity, but in accordance with the power of its engine. 400 horsepower for the 400Z. This can create some problems as everyone expects the new Z car to have a number of different versions. Even with the four-cylinder engine and the super powerful Nismo. All of them will have different power outputs. What if the new car name ends up being the Z? I’d like that.
Linked to The Infiniti Q60
While linking the new SLC and the new Nissan 400Z is unlikely, matching it with the Infiniti Q60, on the other hand, seems to be a Vulcan kind of logic. Remember the Nissan 350Z? That one was built on the same platform as the Infiniti G35 (and many other cars, but that is not the point).
The problem with the new Infiniti Q60 platform may be that the car would be just too large.
After all, the Infiniti Q60 measures almost 185 inches in length with a wheelbase of 112.2 inches. The current 370Z is a car with 167 inches in length and a tiny wheelbase of 100 inches. I cannot see the new Z growing by more than a few inches. It would be a shame. Some rumors do suggest that this is going to happen nevertheless. But instead of the new Z becoming too large and too chubby, Nissan will shorten the wheelbase, retain the track, use the rear wheel drive layout of the Infiniti Q60 and adapt it for use on the shorter wheelbase. This leads me to imagine the new Nissan Z car using the engines from the Infiniti Q60 which would, frankly, be awesome.
Considering that the whole world moves in the direction of electrification, one would assume that the newest Nissan pseudo-hallo Z car could do the same. I will try to imagine something here - a 400Z with a Mercedes-Benz sourced 3.0-liter, turbocharged engine with a mild-hybrid setup.
It already works in the new GLE SUV, numerous Mercedes-Benz cars, and even Mercedes-AMG 53 badged sports cars.
Of course, it is available with various states of tune. As it offers the latest in terms of technology and efficiency with plenty of power, having it in the possible Nissan 400Z hybrid would be nifty. Only if Nissan and Mercedes actually form this level of partnership with the creation of the new Z car.
3.0 V-6 turbocharged from the Q60
While the 3.0-liter, mild-hybrid, I-6 from Mercedes-Benz would be the biggest quirk of the new 400Z, far more likely is the integration of the 3.0-liter, turbocharged V-6 from the Infiniti Q60.
It is a raspy engine capable of things like 405 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque in the Q60 Red Sport.
Heck, it seems to be just the right evolution over the naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V-6 from the current car. Don’t even consider that the new Z will get an N/A engine. I know you are thinking about it somewhere deep down, but that isn’t going to happen, so just stop.
2.0-liter, I-4, turbocharged engine from Mercedes-AMG
Some rumors from before even suggested that the new Zetto will get an AMG developed four cylinder. You know, the most powerful 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine in the world. While I doubt this will ever happen, I may be on board with the 2.0-liter-powered entry level Zed.
The F-Type has one, Porsche 718 cars are only powered by four-cylinder engines, the new BMW Z4 will have a version powered by a small engine. The Supra probably as well. Nissan has to include it.
We still do not know which four-cylinder engine that will be, though. If not that mad AMG A45 one, then the one developed for the upcoming A35 could do. Bear in mind, all of this is only a conjecture. We are still far from knowing which entry-level engine will power the new Nissan Z car.
Rumors about the new Z car haven’t even properly started when Autocar from the UK shocked the Fairlady Z enthusiasts with the news that Nissan officials actually confirmed the creation of the new Nismo version of the car. Heck, I have some of the specs.
The new Nissan Z Nismo will come with a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter, V-6 with 475 horsepower and 451 pound-feet of torque.
It will all go to all four wheels. Can you even imagine how much power is this? The first version of the Nissan GT-R R35 developed 485 horsepower. And they were madly quick and strikingly fast. Can the new Z be as fast as the first GT-R R35? Boy, that would be some sick world to live in.
The new Nissan Z car is coming. That is all we know for sure. However, I can deduce some things:
It will probably be based on the upcoming Q60
Power will come from a turbocharged, 3.0-liter, V-6
It will be noticeably bigger compared with the current generation car
It will spawn a roadster version down the road
The hybrid model may be produced more for promotional purposes than for anything else
An entry-level version powered with a four-cylinder motor is likely
The car will have a somewhat adjusted naming nomenclature compared to what we have been accustomed to
The new Z may appear in the concept form next year although some even suggest the Nissan will reveal the production version in 2019
All in all, the next Nissan Z car should be adapted to the world of today where sports cars are fun and hot, but no one finds them appealing enough to spend big bucks on.
Read our full speculative review on the next Nissan Z.
Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan 370Z.
Read more Nissan news.