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Valentine's Day Special – Spread The Car Love

Valentine’s Day Special – Spread The Car Love

Five videos that’ll reignite your passion

There’s really one good reason you’re reading these words right now – you love cars. Non-car people don’t get it. They laugh and roll their eyes, calling it a waste of time to fix up that old beater, a waste of money to get out to the track for another weekend. That’s ok – let ‘em. Of course it doesn’t make sense to them. They don’t know the joy of finally getting an engine to spark back to life. They don’t know the thrill of setting a new personal best lap time. Too bad for them.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we’ve assembled five videos that are sure to remind you why you love cars. We’ve got a little bit of everything here, from Euro speed to Japanese tech, ground-up rebuilds to expansive muscle car car collections.

So sit back, hit play, and when you’re done, treat yourself to a drive.

Continue reading to check out the videos.

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2020 Nissan Z

2020 Nissan Z

Not a lot is known about Nissan’s next Z-car. Early in December of 2014, Nissan’s vice president and global head of marketing, Roel de Vries, hinted that the 370 Z’s successor could have a variety of engines, depending on a given market. Then, a week later, word spread that the next Z-Car would be launched as a convertible (they were calling it “The Z”) and would probably have a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, hybrid engine.

Once that news hit the world, things went stagnant for a while – until June of 2015, when Shiro Nakamoa, Nissan’s senior vice president, and chief creative officer, came out and admitted that the Z-car idea needed to be “rethought.” He also strongly hinted that the upcoming car would be smaller and lighter, potentially looking back to the roots of the original Datsun 240Z. Once that news broke, the information trail went cold, and we’ve been left waiting.

Well, at TopSpeed, we’re tired of waiting, so we went ahead and rendered up what the next Z-car could look like. Of course, it is a bit smaller and low slung, but it also shares some design cues with the current Nissan Sentra and Nissan Murano. The hole rendering is speculation based on what we’ve heard in the past and Nissan’s current design styles, but we think we have nailed it pretty well. We’re hoping to see the official debut of the next Z by 2018, but until then let’s take a look at our rendering and what we hope to see when it makes an official debut in the coming years.

Click past the jump to read our full, and constantly growing, review on the upcoming Z-car.

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Nissan Wants The Next Z Car To Be A Revolution

Nissan Wants The Next Z Car To Be A Revolution

It’s difficult to avoid the fact that the Nissan 370Z is getting pretty long in the tooth. The design is a warmed over version of the 350Z, which dates back to 2002, and the performance it offers is hardly cutting edge at this point. So it shouldn’t come as too big a surprise that Shiro Nakamora, Nissan’s senior vice president and chief creative officer, recently came out and said that the whole Z car idea needs to be rethought, and that a 390Z probably isn’t going to happen.

One of his biggest complaints is that the 370Z is simply too expensive, essentially the same reason why the 1991-1996 Nissan 300ZX died off even before a replacement was ready. He seems to have a point as well, a 370Z costs roughly the same as a Mustang GT, but comes with 100 less horsepower and no significant weight advantage. On the subject of the future of the model, Nakamora said "The GT-R is more evolution. I feel Z needs more revolution than evolution." One possibility that was strongly hinted at was that of making the car smaller and lighter.

Continue reading to learn more about Nissan’s next-generation Z-Car.

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Next Nissan Z Will Get Four-Cylinder Turbocharged Hybrid Engine

Next Nissan Z Will Get Four-Cylinder Turbocharged Hybrid Engine

A few days back, we released news that Nissan was considering a variety of different engine options for the new Z car. We were hoping for a hybrid producing over 1,000 horsepower, and apparently, Nissan was listening. Well, half listening, maybe.

Citing the Japanese automotive publication Best Car, Australian website Motoring.co.au is reporting the new Z car (labeled simply as “Z”) will be launched initially as a convertible. Most shockingly, however, is that it’ll come with a hybrid, turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. In total, this powertrain will deliver 247 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The petrol engine will be sourced from Mercedes-Benz, while the electric motor will mount between the engine and transmission to soak up energy during deceleration, boosting power and improving mileage in a fashion similar to Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist system.

“Its main market is the U.S., a market that demands competitively priced convertibles with loads of street cred,” reports the source. “And that is what the next Z will be. Except this time, it’ll offer plenty of power while delivering nearly 20 km per liter [roughly 50 miles per gallon]!”

Thankfully, the source also confirmed a Mercedes-sourced 3.0-liter V-6 for us Americans to enjoy, continuing the six-cylinder tradition we’ve come to expect from the Z. With an additional turbocharged hybrid-four on the option list, Nissan should have a rather robust, sporty convertible on its hands. We can’t wait to see if these rumors will come true.

Click past the jump to read more about the next Nissan Z.

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Nissan 370Z Successor Will Have Multiple Engine Options

Nissan 370Z Successor Will Have Multiple Engine Options

Ever since it was first brought into this world way back in 1969, Nissan’s sporty two-door Z car has always had a six-cylinder engine. Between the first generation S30 Datsun 240Z and the current, sixth-generation Z34 Nissan 370Z, there have been boosted versions and naturally aspirated versions, configurations in a V and inline, displacement both big and small, but always, the cylinder count has remained at six.

Now, with the current gen getting a bit long in the tooth and a seventh generation looming, Nissan may be thinking about offering a variety of engine options for its classic coupe, including a four-cylinder. That was the news coming from Roel de Vries, Nissan’s corporate vice president and global head of marketing and brand strategy, speaking to the Australian website CarAdvice at the Nismo Festival in Mount Fuji, Japan.

Despite the long history behind the six-cylinder Z, de Vries was unconvinced that any particular motor was necessary to the overall evolution of the vehicle: “I think an engine is never a need or a must, because what you need is to deliver on what the car stands for and if the 370Z stands for real performance and real driving I think it doesn’t need a V-6 to do that,” de Vries told CarAdvice.

At the same time, de Vries recognized the apparent demand for a larger engine under the hood: “Can you sell a V-6 [370Z] in Europe? No. Does this mean the next Z will have a V-6 [for Europe]? No, of course we are not going to do that. [But] there’s still an audience that wants a six-cylinder engine, so why should we give it up? That’s all part of ongoing studies.”

Here’s our wish list for engine choices: start with a base, naturally aspirated four-banger; then step up to a mid-range, turbocharged four. At the top of the heap, offer a super-powered NISMO model with a hybrid powertrain that combines an electric motor with the twin-turbo V-6 from the GT-R, the VR38DETT, to make 1,000 horsepower. Okay, that last one might be a bit of a stretch, but a guy can dream, can’t he?

Click past the jump to read more about the next Nissan 370Z.

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Nissan to Display a Preview for the 370Z Successor in Tokyo

Nissan to Display a Preview for the 370Z Successor in Tokyo

2013 Nissan 370Z Facelift

You know why we love auto shows? Mainly because of all the new models we get to see, but also because we get to learn a lot about the future of the automotive industry. At the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, a Toyota boss confirmed a hybrid GT 86 sports car is under "advanced development," and at the same show, Nissan Development boss Andy Palmer confirmed that the next-generation Z-car will be previewed next month at the Tokyo Motor Show.

The new model will initially be unveiled as a concept car and will be smaller and lighter than the current 370Z. What is really strange is that Palmer said that "the Juke Nismo offers some hints at what Nissan is looking at." So, what do you think this means? Should we expect a new Z-car with styling cues from the Juke? How odd will that look?

There are also some changes to come under the hood, and we expect to see a small-displacement turbocharged engine or even an electric powertrain. A Nismo version will also be offered.

Referring to the new car, Palmer said that the new model won’t be anything like the GT86. Instead it will be "more enjoyable to drive, a real sports car."

Click past the jump to read more about the current Nissan 370Z.

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Jay Leno Reviews the 240Z and Grills Nissan on a Successor

Jay Leno Reviews the 240Z and Grills Nissan on a Successor

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!

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Chris Harris Pits the Toyota GT 86 Against a Nissan 370Z and Porsche Cayman S

Chris Harris Pits the Toyota GT 86 Against a Nissan 370Z and Porsche Cayman S

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.

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Budget Sports Car Comparison: The Best Bang for your Buck

Budget Sports Car Comparison: The Best Bang for your Buck

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?

Click past the jump to find out.

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2015 Nissan Z will be lighter and leaner

2015 Nissan Z will be lighter and leaner

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."

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2013 Nissan Z

2013 Nissan Z

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.

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Six Nissan Z packs displayed at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Six Nissan Z packs displayed at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

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 list of vehicles on display will include: a Brock Racing Enterprises Datsun 240Z, a Bob Sharp Racing Datsun 240Z Chassis #00006, a Bob Sharp Racing Datsun 240Z IMSA GTU, a Nissan Motorsports 300ZX, a Nissan 370Z BRE Tribute Coupe, and a 2010 Nissan 370Z 40th Anniversary Edition, a model limited to only 1000 units.

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.

Press release after the jump.

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