NEWS: Next-generation Nissan Fairlady Z reportedly under development

Nissan has been quietly developing the next-generation Fairlady Z since December 2017, according to Japanese auto tabloid Best Car. The magazine claims that despite the many rumors of a “Z35” over the years, Nissan’s priorities had been shifted towards crossovers and electric vehicles. However, it contends, the impending launch of the new Toyota Supra a little over a year ago prompted Nissan to develop the Z in earnest.

The article claims that the new Z will be derived from the same chassis that underpins the Infiniti Q60 coupe, though the wheelbase will be shortened by about 300 mm to 2550 mm, with the total length and width measuring 4520 mm and 1890 mm, respectively. That would give it about the same wheelbase as the current 370Z, but it would be 11 inches longer and 1.5 inches wider.

Several engine options will reportedly be offered, including two versions of the VR30DDTT twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 plucked directly from the Infiniti Q50 Sport and Red Sport. That would mean a an output of about 301 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque for the mid-range option (compared to the 370Z’s 332 hp and 270 lb-ft), while the top-of-the-line motor would generate 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.

A smaller engine option is also reportedly under consideration, including Nissan’s amazing variable-compression turbo four. However, we think an inline-six version of this VC-Turbo would be an ideal motor. The motor’s chief engineer Shinichi Kiga has hinted that such an engine would be easy to build.

Buyers may have the option of a 7-speed automatic and 6-speed manual, but it’s not clear which gearboxes will be offered with which engines. Design has not been finalized either, but Best Car‘s sources say that it may adopt a sharper-edged theme more in-line with current Nissans.

Finally, the article theorizes that the concept version will debut at the Tokyo Motor Show this fall, marking the 50th anniversary of the original S30 Fairlady Z. A production model would follow for the 2021 model year.

If true, this would certainly be excellent news, but remember, Best Car‘s reports should always be taken with a generous helping of salt.

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18 Responses to NEWS: Next-generation Nissan Fairlady Z reportedly under development

  1. BlitzPig says:

    I hope this pans out well for Nissan, and for us. Nissan’s North American line up needs a boost, as currently it’s about as exciting as watching paint dry.

  2. Dave Patten says:

    If this report is anywhere near true they need to use another name. An oversize 2 seat luxo-cruiser doesn’t even come close to being a Fairlady Z.

    Typical Nissan, they can’t even hit the broad side of a barn, again.

    • Mike says:

      True, Dave but the days of a dedicated sport car
      .is no longer, see what they did with the supra..I would have rather they left the name supra off as now it’s just a fancy fxr with a bmw motor. No what the legacy the supra name is suppose to be
      They should have given the supra name to the new lexus lfa. With more suits what a supra should be, and not tarnish the name

  3. lenny napoli says:

    i have been a datsun nissan dealer for 50 years the z car when it came out in 1970 was the best styling and best value sport car. nissan should use the basic body design of the 70;s with the technology of today would be a hit napoli nissan

  4. dankan says:

    I have a feeling the best selling Z’s were the barges, and Nissan knows the best selling option now would be a barge as well. The market for actual sports cars is vanishingly small, so any Z is going to have to steal share from other cars. And a small, light, 2 seat sports car isn’t going to do that.

    I think the only way it would is if Nissan were to do something properly daring and do what Honda chickened out of. Ditch the V6, and do this as a an electric sports car. Yes, it is sacrilege, but the only way a new Z makes a splash is by doing something big, and Nissan already has some credibility in this direction through their Nismo Leaf and that BladeGlider concept.

    That isn’t going to happen, and this Z is going to tank along with the rest of the now very rudderless Nissan, but I think that if they had some backbone, it could work.

  5. Gwynn says:

    I still think they need to get the Alpine A110 north-america legal and coast on that for a bit until they can sort out their post-Ghosn direction. Get something beneficial from their Renault relationship. Maybe it wouldn’t sell very well, but it’d drum up some interest and maybe get people in the dealership. That car is highly lauded, and outside of the medium-successful Alfa 4C nobody offers anything else like it here.

    • Dankan says:

      US 4C sales are double digit annually, so I don’t think anyone is looking at that thing as a success by any definition.

      But unlike the 4C, the Alpine has generally been reviewed as being really good, and it would have much better distribution potential.

      It probably still wouldn’t sell, but you’re right, it would be a cheap halo effort while they get their heads together.

    • Ben Hsu says:

      The GT-R is feeling left out.

      • BlitzPig says:

        Ben, at the GTR’s price point it really doesn’t count in this discussion. The “Play Station” as many derisively call it, is little more than an overpriced tech demo. I’ve talked to too many people that have driven one and they all say the same thing… The electronics robs the car of all it’s fun to drive potential.

    • Mark Newton-John says:

      It’ll never happen. Chrysler was going to bring the Alpine back in the 80s,which failed
      and there is no way Nissan is going to rebadge a Renault. Is they didn’t do it to the Espace, they’re not going to do it with an Alpine.

  6. Erik says:

    As long as they keep up the reliability/ease of maintenance of Nissan and not wuss out like Toyota did with BMW it should work out. Having worked for BMW(Motorrad), I would never recommend a BMW anything to anyone ever. Engineered obsolescence is a stupid way of doin business.

    I’d buy a new Z before I ever even would consider the new Supra. That being said, I’d buy a new S2000 over them all!

  7. BlitzPig says:

    Erik, you are so correct. I have a lot of sympathy for all the Toyota dealer techs that for all these years have been working on uber reliable Toyota cars, that now will have to deal with BMW and their tedious German electrics, and oil leaks, and generally hyper expensive operating costs. This won’t be a 2JZ by any stretch of the imagination.

  8. Mark Newton-John says:

    Ha ha, the old farts who want a straight six and a manual will likely be disappointed. This ain’t 1970, and a new Z will likely be a detuned GT-R motor with an 8- or 10-speed auto. And it will outperform any jockey who thinks they can do it better with a mere six-speed manual. And there will be mooks out there will STILL put fart cans on them.

  9. cesariojpn says:

    Dust off the IDX, smooth out the lines, give it a decent engine, BOOM, new Fairlady Z.

    There, I saved Nissan 5 years of pre-production development.

  10. Cho says:

    Modernize the original. I say use a hybrid engine/motor combo. Works in the NSX and the Formula 1 racers. Nissan has a present in Formula E so build on that and create something special. For PETE’s SAKE build the IDX. RWD/AWD.

  11. Kiran says:

    Pretty unimpressed with the VR30DDTs performance tbh as like ford is pulling 300hp out of a 2.3 inline 4(heck they put one thats pushing 280hp in the new focus ST!) and the now quite old Z32 TT makes the same if not a bit more with much more primitive tech. Petty issue I know but modern performance has spoiled me into expecting stupid power.

  12. Lee S. says:

    Eleven MORE inches of overhang? Jesus, you’ll chop people’s legs off while parking.

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