Next Nissan Z design to have heritage cues

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.

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9 Responses to Next Nissan Z design to have heritage cues

  1. Mark Newton-John says:

    Yeah, well don’t get too excited. Hype doesn’t always translate into sales. Everyone got wet about the GTO, but few bought, and was gone in a few years. The proof of whether the fanbois will put real money down, or continue to save up for window shades and towhooks.
    And unless a manual six is faster than an auto ten, what’s the use? So your leg goes numb on that 91 commute?
    And will Nissan screw the GT-R by making the Z faster? Not a chance. Why do you think Porsche hobbles the 718 Cayman?

    • Tim says:

      Re: Manual/Auto – Use case is any time you’re NOT using your second car, your weekend car, your FUN car to commute to work in rush hour traffic. Like that Friday you took off to go to that resort up in the mountains. Or when you want to pop in to see a friend on a Saturday to do some wrenching on their project. Or maybe you live in the 90% of the USA that doesn’t HAVE rush hour traffic and get to enjoy driving all of the time. Or maybe you work a night shift and the only traffic you deal with is related to stop light timers. Perhaps you’re even remotely healthy, and an hour commute doesn’t strain leg muscles.

      Autos have their place. Some people get giddy just mashing one pedal and speeding away from a stoplight. Some people count on them for consistent runs in their dedicated drag cars. Some people just can’t be concerned with anything more than the minimum necessary in their beigemobile – for them, it’s a tool, not a toy. Some people make BIG power and rely on them just to make it from point A to B. Heck, some people are missing limbs or have other medical conditions that preclude stick shift usage. And yes, some people use a stick shift as a measuring stick for that other stick. But for most enthusiasts, driving a manual makes everyday life just a little bit more fun.

  2. Ronan the Barbarian says:

    Heritage cues like a sub-3,000 pound curb weight and cheap would be nice.

    Who am I kidding? All the smart people will say that’s impossible.

  3. Ronan the Barbarian says:

    Also…it should come equipped with Ghosn-shaped, fitted luggage.

  4. Tom Westmacott says:

    Really glad to hear that an all-new Z is coming, the Z34 is a decade old and is a fairly minor evolution of the 2002 Z33.

    It feels like we’ve been here before, interestingly. In the late 90s after the Z32 was withdrawn, Nissan Design America came up with a Z concept that they took around to show dealers, which was very 240-esque, with round headlights in sugar scoops. Then too, the two prior Zs which were identified as inspiration were the 240Z and also the just-discontinued Z32, which Carlos Ghosn liked. This was then evolved into the 99 Detroit Show Z Concept. In the end Nissan decided to go with a more modern approach for the 350Z, although you can see it wears the Z32’s C-pillar. Perhaps the heritage-inspired Z35 will end up with the nose of the 240Z and the tail of the 300ZX?

    The 350Z programme started against the background of Nissan almost going broke and being rescued by Renault, but Nissan people felt strongly that the company needed its halo sports car to provide direction and respect for their brand – so lets hope that the same thinking will ensure the new car is carried through to production.

    400hp + manual is a really attractive powertrain, and will really pair up strongly against the A90 Supra, which will be around midlife when the new Z hits the market, reigniting the long-dormant rivalry. Would be lovely if the new car can be a bit lighter, although I won’t be holding my breath, I assume similar to the current Z.

    Finally, what should they call it? I reckon 300 Z would be good, it keeps the engine-capacity basis, ties back to the 240Z, but it’s not actually a badge that’s been used before, so will mark out the new car. Other options are 300 ZX (the third), or 400 Z for the horsepower rating.

  5. MikeRL411 says:

    Why not upgrade to 350 cc and use the 350Z name ? There choice V8 or smoother straight 6 with turbo ?

  6. Lee LeTourneau says:

    All that power means it will probably be heavy.

  7. Emmy says:

    Nissan, with all of their quality issues, financial problems, and the Ghosn scandal, still can engineer this sports car and the GTR, but Toyota, one of the biggest companies on the planet with more money than god, has to outsource their sports cars to BMW and Subaru. So pathetic.

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