NEWS: Next-gen Nissan Fairlady Z rumored to be co-developed with Mercedes-Benz

Should we be worried? The Axis Powers seem to be getting a bit uncomfortably close with their technology sharing. The latest rumor is that Nissan is preparing a seventh-generation Fairlady Z, one that is being co-developed with Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz. 

Details are extremely scarce, but according to Japanese website Response, Nissan was inspired by the recently revealed Toyota Supra, which was co-developed with BMW and will likely have a BMW inline-six.

The article goes on to say that the chassis would be shared with a Mercedes of some sort. Nissan would offer the Z in two trim levels, a lower-spec model with a 2.0-liter turbo four built by Mercedes, and a high-performance model using the 400-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 found in the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400.

There’s an artist’s rendering included as well, not based on an actual prototype but on descriptions of styling cues. It seems that the car will return to a long nose design with proportions similar to the original S30 Z. In the illustration the nose sports the V-motion grille that defines modern Nissans, while the rear profile is distinguished by the maedate C-pillar found on Infinitis.

Please take all of this with a blizzard warning load of salt. The automotive rumor mill in Japan is like 1990s Motor Trend on crack. For example, Nissan and Infiniti are extremely conscious of brand separation in a way that, say, Honda and Acura or Chevy and Cadillac are not. So it would seem incredibly odd for the Z to have what is a uniquely Infiniti design cue.

Also, though Renault-Nissan have been working with Daimler on cars like the Infiniti QX30 and Mercedes X-Class, earlier this year that partnership hit the rocks. The newly launched Infiniti QX50 was supposed to ride on the shared MFA2 modular platform co-developed with Mercedes. Nissan and Mercedes parent company Daimler even jointly built a factory in Mexico to crank them out. However, Infiniti spokespeople say now that the QX50 is a unique platform not shared with anything. In this day and age, it makes almost zero sense for Nissan to develop a platform for a single model, so the relationship must have soured at some point with Mercedes abandoning the project. Have Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche made up?

There are enough red flags here that we would be remiss if we didn’t point them out. There’s one last bit that we hope is true, though. The article says that the new Z would debut in 2019, the 50th anniversary of the original.

Source: Response

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17 Responses to NEWS: Next-gen Nissan Fairlady Z rumored to be co-developed with Mercedes-Benz

  1. BlitzPig said:

    Well, I hope not. If Mercedes has a hand in the thing it will be an overweight, overly complex, overpriced, and over rated, road pig.

    I’m an old guy (64), but I’ll never be old enough for a Mercedes, so please Nissan, make the new Z a real Z. Make it the enthusiat’s game changer that the original 240 was, not just an over styled, over optioned tech display platform.

    • KiKiIchiBan said:

      I’m relatively young in my early 30’s and I love my Mercedes Benz C300 Coupe. So much luxury, comfort and style. Problem is, even the AMG Line C300 isn’t a sporty car, with 245bhp and 273lb·ft it’s more suited to sticking it in 9th gear, turning up the Burmester and cruising.
      My Nissan will be for thrashing about and having fun when it’s ready.

    • David Garcia said:

      I couldn’t of said it better myself, my 240z is my favorite car to drive out of all my cars it’s just the perfect drivers car I drive my G35 mostly when going far.

    • rich said:

      with you all the way. I’m 64 too

  2. John Moran said:

    I have seen these types of articles several times over the past few years.
    I thought there was a chance at the TMS or Detroit when it was Nissan’s 80th Anniversary.
    Many possible dates seem to have come and gone.
    It is starting to feel like the Silvia stories and the boy who cried ookami.
    I do hope they have something planned for the Z’s 50th anniversary beyond a sticker package for the 370Z.
    As for Mercedes, I believe the L engine many of us enjoy was based on a Mercedes design licensed and then modified. To justify costs, it seems that technology or a platform would need to be shared.
    As much as I dislike the overworked modern designs and high beltlines, I would rather see the Z continue in some form than not.
    When I rewatch the ceremony celebrating the Z from the Petersen back in 1996, it is a great reminder of how much the Z has meant to so many people over the years.
    A recent post from a Nissan insider said not to give up hope, and I haven’t.

  3. Alan said:

    You know what I always disliked about Supras and Z’s? They’re just too well-developed and reliable and easy to work on. I’m really glad that Toyota and Nissan will be addressing these oversights with their new models.

  4. Bob said:

    Sorry. I guess I’m just too traditional and long-in-the -tooth to see any beauty at all in today’s ubiquitous “angry grill” architecture.

  5. Power Tryp said:

    I sincerely hope that Nissan takes a good hard look at the history Daimler has when it comes to dealing with other manufacturers because Daimler isn’t a company that collaborates.

  6. Jeremy A. said:

    So we will see a return to the 300Z and a new 200Z? Or will they trash the American Z brand and go with Fairlady Z? If so that means Nissan has no idea or doesn’t care about the car’s brand equity.

  7. Geoff said:

    Hopefully it will be about as collaborative as the L series engines were with Mercedes’-via-Prince Motor Company engines.

  8. Erik said:

    This is the main reason I probably won’t get the new Supra. I have no interest in anything BMW related, since working for Motorrad. Only they would make a $5 seal that takes $8-900 of labour to replace(diff input seal, or rear main seal, or trans input seal, or…..)

    I was really excited until they said BMW engine. It’s kinda the exact opposite of the glorious JZ series where they can run 100k’s without problems. everything BMW has an engineered obsolecense lifespan(read: short). whereas Japanese manufacturers have long life expectancy.

  9. Jigg LePeouf said:

    They’ve got it completely backwards in both cases!!!

    Japanese engines/drivetrains + German chassis = good…unnecessary, but good.

    German engines/drivetrains + Japanese chassis = overly expensive, difficult to service and unreliable. Who the hell brokered this deal? Satan?

  10. rich said:


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