The Next-Gen Nissan Z Was Caught Testing on the Nurburgring - Kind of
Back at the Toyota Motor Show Nissan’s Product Planning Boos, Ivan Espinosa, didn’t exactly confirm in an official capacity that a new Nissan Z car was coming, but he did say that we can “expect something soon.” Sure enough, it didn’t take long for a test mule to show up on the Nurburgring. Obviously, this thing looks like the 370Z, but that’s because this is a very early mule and is likely testing a new drivetrain for the next-gen Z-Car that will probably go by the name 400Z.
A New Nissan Z and GT-R Are Coming, But You Might Not Like Them
22 Years - that’s how long the current Nissan GT-R and 370Z have collectively been on the market. Sure, the 370Z was updated for 2013, but it’s still very much the same car. Nissan, however, has finally admitted that it’s committed to both cars and, while nothing has been confirmed yet, some key players at the Tokyo Motor Show have practically admitted that successors to both are in the works. When we’ll see them and whether or not you’ll like them, on the other hand, is a completely different story.
What Do We Know About The Nissan 400Z?
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.
The Next-Gen Nissan Z and Nissan GT-R Will Be Electrified
There was speculation that Nissan might electrify its sports cars with their upcoming generations, and now a company official has dropped some bombs on the whole issue. By 2022, 40-percent of Nissan’s vehicles will be electrified, and that includes the Nissan Z and Nissan GT-R as well.
A New Z Car is Officially in the Works
We here at TopSpeed like to think we’re pretty patient. Usually. Sometimes? Look, the point is we’re just about fed up waiting for the new Z car, what with the relatively ancient 370Z model and all its ho-hum special editions Nissan has been dishing out lately. Luckily, it sounds like Nissan heard our cry for something fresh, as it was recently revealed by one of the automaker’s lead designers that a new Z is indeed in development. Like, right now.
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Rumor: Next Z Car Could be Shown In Concept Form Later This Year, Production Model to Debut In 2019
With the 50th anniversary of the glorious Datsun 240Z kicking off next year, it seems like a fantastic time to release a successor to the practically ancient Nissan 370Z, no? According to a recent report from Autocar, it’s looking like we’ll get exactly that, with the U.K. publication citing “senior officials from Nissan” as a source of details on the long-awaited next-gen sports car. Unfortunately, what we might have here is yet another round of regurgitated rumors.
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Japanese Rumor Mill: The Next Nissan Z will be Built in Collaboration with Mercedes
Here’s a thought: from the prism of recent joint sports car developments, what if the Toyota-BMW partnership was just the beginning? What if there are other automakers that are in the process of joining forces? Turns out, there might just be another one of these partnerships on the horizon. There’s a rumor coming out of Japan that Nissan and Mercedes-Benz are teaming up to develop the next-generation Nissan Z sports car. It sounds like wishful thinking to some extent, but it’s not an entirely ridiculous thought either.
Report: Nissan IS Working on a New Z-Car; Let’s Just Hope it isn’t a Crossover
Don’t dig a hole for the Nissan Z sports car yet. Despite all the noise surrounding its demise, the Z sports car family is still breathing. Nissan’s chief planning officer, Philippe Klein, made that clear in a conversation with Automotive News earlier this month at the Detroit Auto Show. According to Klein, the Z is still part of the automaker’s plans. More importantly, Nissan’s already working on a successor to the 370Z. Klein didn’t elaborate any further than that, but we’ll take this win for now. The Nissan Z sports car line is alive and breathing.
Nissan Says a New Z-Car is on the Way, but a Few Years Out
Crossovers and SUVs have become integral parts of Nissan’s success in recent years, so much so that the Japanese automaker’s participation at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show revolved around the Kicks, a sub-compact crossover that costs under $20,000. But, just because these vehicle types have become the rage in the industry these days, that doesn’t mean that Nissan will veer away from building sedans, coupes, and all non-crossover, non-SUV types. On the contrary, these types of cars will continue to make up a significant part of Nissan’s portfolio, including a new Z-car that will finally take the reigns away from the dated 370Z sports coupe.
Hanging in the Balance: Nissan Shows Confusion, Uncertainty over the Next Z-Car
We all want to know about the next Z-car, but Phillip Klein – Nissan’s Chief Planning Officer – couldn’t even give us a slight glimmer of hope last week during the Tokyo Auto Show. Long story short: It sounds like a new Z-Car may not happen and, even if it does, it will be a long time before we see it.
Let’s face it; sports cars are freaking awesome, but they all have expiration dates. Most automakers understand this – there’s a reason cars like the Porsche 911 and Chevy Corvette have been through more generations than you can count on one hand. Automakers like Mitsubishi, and Nissan, apparently, seem to have missed that memo, though. If you remember right, Mitsubishi let the Lancer go one for a decade without an update, and then let it die a slow, miserable death. Well, as it turns out, Nissan could very well do the same with the Z-car. When the Tokyo Auto Show kicked off, we were expecting to the Nissan 390Z concept, but instead, all we got was an executive that refused to even confirm the car exists let alone offer up information of when the next production Z will actually arrive.
“There’s a lot of passion behind this vehicle…. At the same time, it’s a segment that’s gradually declining, making the case more difficult. We have no intention to quit excitement, but we’re going to make it happen in different ways,” said Klein. Design Chief, Alfonso Albaisa, got in on it on it too, saying, “I can say we don’t have a fixed thing yet… but how can we be completely blind to the importance of that name to the company? Maybe you can feel that I love these cars… but I can’t say too much, or I’ll be taking a train home [instead of my company car]!”
So, at this point, the 370Z is almost a decade old, and Nissan isn’t even sure what to do about a successor. It has said that the GT-R is a better halo car, so the GT-R is safe for now, but perhaps if the brand showed the Z-car some love, it might experience better sales as well. After all, it’s a super senior as far as car generations go. As I said about Mitsubishi and the Lancer – you can’t not bring about something fresh and then use declining sales as a good reason to let it die a pitiful death. But, then again, rumor has it that Nissan is going to take the same approach Mitsubishi did with the Eclipse name. Keep reading to learn more about what could happen to the Z name…
The Hoonigans Check Out A SR20’d 240Z, Nearly Crash: Video
I love a good engine swap. There’s just something pleasurable about finding the unexpected waiting for you when you lift the hood, like unwrapping a Pop-Tart to discover a fresh slice of cake. In this particular case, playing the part of Pop-Tart wrapper is a classic and very orange Datsun 240Z, while the cake is a Nissan SR20 engine. It’s a popular swap, and for good reason – the Z looks incredible, it isn’t too heavy, and it’s RWD from the factory, while the SR20 is stout and well-suited to living with high levels of boost. Larry Chen’s ride is one fine example of all these characteristics, as evidenced in this episode of Daily Transmission from the fine folks over at Hoonigan headquarters.
Power from the boosted four sits at 300 ponies and 300 pound-feet of torque at the wheels, which isn’t bad for a car that weighs a little over 2,000 pounds. Providing the extra air is a Garrett GT28 turbo (a.k.a. the Disco Potato). The set-up was pulled from an old Formula Drift car, and it looks perfectly at home sitting in the Z’s engine bay. With the hood open, the boys get pretty nerdy, delving into the various little factoids and motivation behind the build. But things get really serious towards the end when the orange Z starts burning rubber, and, well, let’s just say look out for the cement.
New Sports Cars Could Take The Tokyo Motor Show By Storm
Just as news is coming out that nine major automakers are skipping the Frankfurt Motor Show, there appears to be growing rumblings that the Tokyo Motor Show will play to not one, not two, but three sports car debuts. It’s already been rumored that the return of the Toyota Supra will take place in Tokyo, but according to Autobild, the Supra will also be joined by the Mazda RX-9 and the Nissan 390Z.
Obviously, this is pretty big news seeing three separate automakers launch three separate performance cars. They may be different in presentation, but the fact that all three automakers – major ones at that – are going to present sports cars that could turn into rivals of the others is making the Tokyo Motor Show a must-see event. To be clear, though, neither Mazda nor Nissan have confirmed their plans for their local auto show. Likewise, we’ve heard very little about the RX-9 at this point and even less about the Nissan 390Z. If these two cars do show up in Tokyo, it’s going to catch a lot of people off-guard. Even Toyota hasn’t confirmed its plans for Tokyo, even though all signs point to its next sports car making its world debut at the event. It might be best to taper off the excitement for the time being, or at least until we know something more concrete. That said, it is tempting to get a little excited about the possibility of three Japanese sports cars all showing up and debuting in the same event. And they said those days were gone.
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Seriously, Nissan? Give us a New Freaking Z-Car Already!!!
With the Nissan 370Z debuting way back in 2008, it’s about damn time for Nissan to bless us with a new successor. Sure, it’s been updated on a somewhat regular basis and is fairly modern at this point, but its replacement is long overdue. Unfortunately, Nissan doesn’t see it that way, and instead of bringing us a new Z-car for 2018, we end up getting the 370Z Heritage edition. That model gets revised exterior lights, and some special paint to trim inside and out. Outside of the new Exedy, high-performance clutch, it’s just another damned special edition. I was really hoping Nissan blew its special-edition budget with all of those pointless special editions in Chicago earlier this year, but I guess not.
The worst part is that the Z-Car’s next big move is so clouded in mystery and uncertainty that it’s enough to give just about any enthusiast a raging hate boner and then some. So, where does the road to the next Z-Car take us? At this point, your guess is as good as any because Nissan doesn’t even know. In fact, in light of that new “Heritage Edition” I mentioned earlier, Nissan may make the next Z a damned crossover… Yikes! Back in 2014, we heard that news that the next Z-car would have multiple engine options, including a four-cylinder hybrid engine (for those of you who don’t know, the Z has always had a six-cylinder.) In mid-2015, it was said that the next Z-car would be a revolution, with hints that it would take on the Toyota 86, which means it’s going to lose in the power department and probably get a little smaller.
But, that’s not the latest news either. Just six months or so ago, fuel was added to the fire when Car Advice reported the next Z-Car would be a crossover, and it was backed up thanks to the Gripz concept that we saw in 2015. And, the trail goes cold yet again, with 2018 bringing us the “Heritage Edition” that will be previewed at the New York Auto Show.
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Nissan Could Succeed 370Z Sports Car With A Performance Crossover
The Nissan 370Z has been around for nine years. Yep, it’s that old. It’s undertaken some revisions and updates over the years, but there’s no going around the fact that the 370Z is in dire need of a replacement. Turns out, that replacement could be on its way, only it won’t be a sports car; it’s reportedly going to be a crossover. Let that simmer for a second.
Car Advice is reporting that there’s an all-too real possibility of seeing the tired and dated 370Z get replaced by a high-riding crossover. Granted, rumors of this possibility have been floating around the surface for quite some time now. Nissan even stoked the flames in its own way by introducing the Gripz Concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. At that time, there was already talk that the Gripz would evolve into a crossover that will be placed under the Z family. So all of this isn’t new. What can be considered a development is what Nissan Europe chairman Paul Wilcox told Car Advice.
Wilcox specifically did not confirm the persistent rumors about the Z crossover, but he didn’t deny them either. Instead, he mentioned that the company is looking into every segment of the industry today to see which ones are worth pursuing. One of those segments is the crossover and SUV line, which has proven to be one of the stoutest lines in the business today.
Having a Z crossover replace the existing 370Z would certainly be a bold move, but it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch if Nissan wants to cover the crossover and performance with a single model. That would at least justify what Wilcox described as the company’s goal of focusing on “crossovers” and “having the right products to complement that.” On paper, the idea makes sense for Nissan and its Z brand. It’s a fresh car with a fresh purpose that has the potential to be successful if Nissan develops it the right way.
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2009 - 2017 Nissan 370Z
When it comes to sports cars from the Land of the Rising Sun, the Nissan Z is one of the best. As far back as the ‘60s, the Z has captured the hearts and minds of enthusiasts worldwide thanks to its timeless good looks, traditional drivetrain layout, sonorous six-cylinder exhaust note, and giant-slaying performance potential, all of which is offered at an affordable price point. The latest iteration is the Z34, a.k.a. the 370Z, which bears the same attributes as its predecessors, but with modernized packaging. Summed up, the 370Z gets slick styling, updated cabin tech, RWD handling, and a solid amount of thrust, making it a 21st-century performance-machine worthy of the letter Z.
Unlike most manufacturers, Nissan did it right when designing its next-gen sports car. Compared to the previous generation (the 350Z), the 370Z gets smaller dimensions and lower weight, plus increased chassis rigidity and higher engine output – exactly the right combo when aiming to please throngs of enthusiasts. Over time, Nissan added new features and trim levels to broaden the Z’s appeal, but kept the original’s hardcore attitude for customers who demanded it. These days, the Z needs to evolve, which is a tricky proposition for a model bearing nearly five decades of history. For now, though, read on for a look at the newest version of Nissan’s classic two-door.
Updated 07/10/2017: Nissan announced minor equipment and pricing updates for the 2018 model year 370Z.
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