Nissan is working a new Z, or at least a concept. The revelation comes from none other than the company’s most senior designer, who said he was under “huge pressure” but at the same time “completely excited” at the prospect of working on the legendary Z.
Alfonso Albaisa, who took the reigns to the top styling spot when long-time veteran Shiro Nakamura stepped down last year, was recently asked about the “to-do list of Nissan design work” by Australian site Whichcar. His response was revealing.
“The Z-car, oh my god. Huge pressure,” Albaisa said. “You can imagine I’m completely excited that I am in the position to work on that.”
The quote can be interpreted in a few different ways. Sure, as head of design Albaisa is technically in the position to work on a Z, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has been approved and will reach production.
What is more likely, if we were to guess, is that it will be a styling concept to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Nissan’s game-changing sports car. That’s because its golden anniversary comes up in October 2019, and it happens to be the same month as the next Tokyo Motor Show, where Japan’s carmakers typically make their biggest debuts.
That is no coincidence, as Japan’s home market motor show is where the original Fairlady Z debuted in 1969, with full-page ads in Japanese newspapers published on the day of the unveiling.
Since taking the helm, Albaisa has been keen on promoting heritage concepts, with show cars like the Infiniti Prototype 9 and Prototype 10, and the Nissan GT-R 50. He seems to fully understand what the Z represents: “Democratisation of the sports car, the 240Z, unforgettable,” he told Whichcar. “Even in the modern day… the 300ZX of 1989, this Japanese simplicity was impressive.”
With the 370Z reaching the 10-year mark, it’s high time for Nissan to bring about a new Z. Hopefully, this concept will become reality and the nameplate won’t simply languish.
Images courtesy of Nissan.