There’s some scuttlebutt going around about how the next-generation Nissan Z will have heritage-inspired design cues. First of all, hallelujah! Zed-heads and sports car fans in general should be thrilled that there will be a next-generation Z. Secondly, the heritage design cues are said to be hearken back to both the original S30 Z and the Z32.
The report comes from Autoblog, who got the info from some people who had seen the car at a recent dealer’s meeting:
The silhouette and general shape is similar to the current Z, but the design is all new. The front end mimics that of a 240Z with a square mouth and near-round headlights. Its rear taillights are meant to follow that of the 300ZX from the 1990s.
That sounds very interesting, and hopefully it doesn’t end up looking like one of those lame Lambo-doored NOPI show cars from the 90s when people thought swapping taillights was a cool idea. Nissan can do great designs when they put their minds to it, so we will reserve judgement until we can see it.
Autoblog‘s sources go on to say that the Z will initially come with the VR30DDTT twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that powers the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 Red Sport 400. In those cars, the engine puts out 400 horsepower. That seems like a fair bump over the naturally aspirated 370Z’s 332 right now. Furthermore, it will be offered with a manual transmission (take that, Supra!). I guess sometimes SEMA show cars do serve a purpose.
A NISMO variant to follow is rumored to have 500 horsepower. However, the initial Z35 (the chassis is not confirmed; we’re just calling it that) is still a year and a half to two years from a debut. If that’s just a near-production concept, then expect another year before it hits the streets.
We would wager that the dealers saw a concept drawing, and not a real-life prototype. The plug could still be pulled if market forces change. As you may know Nissan is not doing to hot right now due to some, uh, management changes, and profits plummeted last year. However, we will venture to say that with amount of detail provided by the source, it seems likely that Nissan is indeed working on the Z35, which is always a good thing.