Nissan dropped a video this morning that teases its upcoming lineup in a new, post-Ghosn, post-COVID era. Notably, the it provides the first glimpse of what the seventh-generation Z could look like. The rendering of what we’ll call the Z35 confirms two promising things: 1.) That the Z will indeed live on, and 2.) have the S30-inspired looks that that have been rumored.
There is a clear throwback Z logo on the C-pillar, just like the S30 Z. The shape of the rear side glass and the C-pillar itself is also strongly reminiscent of the 1969 original. The squared off rear end has a vertical panel and S30 or Z32-style taillamps.
The proportions appear to be based on Z34’s, lending credence to the theory that it will continue to use Nissan’s existing front-midship platform that has underpinned the 350Z, 370Z, Infiniti G and FX. Finally, there are the abstract cut circle headlamps like that of the IDx, a modern interpretation of the S30’s lights rather than an outright copy of the original sugar scoops.
The teaser video was part of a massive restructuring plan with the goal of achieving by 2023 financial stability, profitability, and — in what feels like a rebuke to Ghosn’s reign — sustainable growth. That means Nissan plans to cut costs by about ¥300 billion ($2.8 billion USD), yearly production from 7.2 to 5.4 million units, and the number of global models from 69 to about 55. It’s closing down factories in Spain and Indonesia, and withdrawing from certain markets like South Korea.
Nissan didn’t say that it would kill off the Datsun brand, contrary to previous reports, but it didn’t say it wouldn’t either. It did say Datsun would withdraw from Russia, though.
Finally, when watching the video, one might wonder where the GT-R is in all this. While it went unmentioned, it is still considered a part of the core pillar of sports vehicles that includes the Z and Japan-market Skyline (Infiniti Q50 and Q60). It is still pictured in the powerpoint presentation released at the same time as the video.
We think this will be a much-needed refocus of Nissan’s goals, switching to continuing to build cars for the long run and, you know, existing in general, rather than a short-term look toward market share and profit. We’re glad to see the Z will be a part of it.