A new report suggests that the seventh-generation Nissan Z is scheduled for an appearance by the end of this year, and that it will boast retro styling. We’ve reported last month on Nissan’s trademark filing of a retro Z logo, though at the time we couldn’t say anything about its styling. We still can’t, but the rumor mill is churning, and here’s what it’s saying.
First, a note about the veracity of the statements you’re about to read. They come from Drive.com.au, but Australian automotive sites are notorious for taking a vague sentence fragment and building an entire legit-sounding article around it. It quotes a US dealer meeting not unlike the one that recently leaked Toyota’s plans for the 86, Land Cruiser and more. However, the Toyota leak had at least one photo to back up the timeline. We cannot confirm these Nissan statements so we are still calling it a rumor, unlike what we have reported about Mazda. Anyway, onto the goods.
According to Drive.com.au, “Reports out of the US suggest dealers there have seen the new car and have confirmed a design that pays tribute to the original S30 240Z coupe and its generational siblings.” What that means, the article continues to say, is that the iconic sugar-scoop headlights like on the S30 Z will make a comeback, while the rear will feature rectangular taillights inspired by the Z32’s.
The car will allegedly be called the Nissan 400Z, but we doubt Nissan will equip it with a 4.0-liter engine. If that is indeed the name we think, like Drive.com.au does, that the number will refer to the horsepower rather than engine displacement. In that case, the most likely candidate for the engine would be the VR30DDTT, the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that generates 400-horsepower for the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 Red Sport 400.
Drive.com.au also says that a Nismo version with 500 horsepower will come at a later date. They also surmise that like the Infiniti, the 400Z could see AWD and continue to be built on the Nissan FR platform that has underpinned RWD Nissans since the Japan-market M35 Stagea and US-market Infiniti G35. However, we think that an AWD Z35 would tread too much on the GT-R’s turf and too much add cost. If the Z keeps to its RWD roots, that would help keep the price down.
Finally, the article quotes the UK’s Autocar for an initial appearance in late 2020 or early 2021. Of course, that could all get delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Drive.com.au also offers an artist’s rendering of what the Z35 could look like, but keep in mind it is in no way official.
We hope all of these things are true, but again, we are classifying these as rumor for now. If we hear anything that can take them out of the rumor category, we will let you know.