NEWS: Nissan chief designer “excited” to be working on new Z

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.

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8 Responses to NEWS: Nissan chief designer “excited” to be working on new Z

  1. Alan says:

    Based on his suit and hair I’m guessing it will have pop-up headlights, a digital dash, hatch louvers, and ‘TWIN-CAM 24V’ graphics. THESE ARE ALL GOOD THINGS. PROVE ME RIGHT MR. ALBAISA!

  2. BlitzPig says:

    I just hope they make it closer to the original, and not the portly pretend sports car it became.

  3. Daniel says:

    I hope it does not become a new idx, it was the last time that Nissan presented a “realistic” concept and that it was interesting from all aspects.

  4. Jim Daniels says:

    The original Z had a few things that made it the legend that it is. Great looks (long hood, short deck), light weight, decent horse power to weight ratio, and a great sound from a straight 6. Missing any of these elements and you will miss the mark as the Z has done since the original. The Zs great looks have been called a take off and combination of a few great cars of the era. Maybe so, but Nissan got it right. Light weight makes driving fun. Go and drive a heavyweight like a GTR or Camaro, 370Z, then get in a modified first generation Z. (My car is available as an example). All great cars but you will see what is missing. Horsepower to weight ratio is what makes a car fun. Lastly the sound is sooooo important. The sound of a V-6 is just wrong. A turbo 4 is not right nor is a V-10. Straight 6s, flat 6s, V-8s and V-12 have pleasing sounds. This is something that must be gotten right, It is a package deal. One without the other will not hit that magic mark that the original Z has done. In spite of USA governmental regulations on the auto industry there are still a few brands that work at getting it right. Yes they are more expensive usually. The hood line needs to be low and long as in the Porsche GT3, Mazda MX5 have accomplished even though Porsche has the power plant at the wrong end of the car. Mazda Miata, MX5 has been getting it almost right with the exception of horsepower to weight ratio and tone of motor for years. So it can be done. Nail all of the marks I mention and the next Z will be successful.

  5. Cesariojpn says:

    All I can say is, bring back a Black Gold Edition.

  6. BlitzPig says:

    If it’s a good car to begin with, it doesn’t need any “special editions”. I hope they understand this. Right now Nissan needs a good injection of “fun to drive”, because their current line up in the US is about as exciting as watching paint dry. If I was buying a new car tomorrow, Nissan would not be on my radar screen, and Honda, sadly, is not far behind, and Toyota has been out of the game for so long here that they might as well just put up Buick signs on their showrooms.

    Only Mazda has a clue, and it’s hard for me to say this, because I have been a dedicated Honda guy for over 40 years.

    Hello… Japan Incorporated… Are you listening?????? Do you even care????????

    • rjbell says:

      I’d say I’m a Honda guy too but I just can’t get past the looks at the moment. I agree Mazda is the one to watch. I look forward to the new 3 reveal next month.

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