Last week, Nissan finally revealed to the world its plans to produce a 400Z within the next couple years. In their ‘A to Z’ video, we only saw a silhouette of the next Z car. Now, though, this rendering on the NewNissanZ forums by way of AutoGuide shows what it’s most likely going to look like in person.
Frankly? If this is even just mostly true, it’s a great leap forward for the Z car. We’ve been stuck with the 370Z for the past eleven years. Yes, it’s a fun, V6-powered, rear-wheel drive sports car, but it’s seriously been showing its age for the past several years. Against the likes of the brand new Toyota Supra and all the other options out there like the crop coupes from German and Japanese automakers, the next Nissan Z really needs to bring its game-face to compete. And at least things look promising, even just from the few seconds of official screen time it had.
The rendering takes that shadowy figure and fleshes out details based around what we could see. For instance, the sloping rear roofline joined up with the Datsun 240Z-esque A-pillar is a sharp combination of past and future styling. That goes on with the “Z” badge on the rear flanks (moved from the fenders on the 370Z.
Styling is totally a subjective, but to see another Datsun throwback in the front grille with the signal markers out near the lower edges is a fantastic way to bring some old school back to what otherwise looks like a thoroughly modern design. It plays on an Autoblog report from earlier this year suggesting the front end will evoke the 240Z, and it will have other past Z styling cues. The taillights should look something like the 300ZX, though naturally finished in modern LEDs.
What will power the Nissan 400Z?
While the image above gives us a better idea what it will look like, what will power the 2021/2022 Nissan 400Z remains a relative mystery. Odds are Nissan won’t just carry over the 370Z’s 3.7-liter V6 engine. It needs more power and new transmissions to boot.
The most popular rumor these past several months is that it will get the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 from the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 400 Red Sport. That engine currently mates up exclusively to a nine-speed automatic. It’s not clear whether a six-speed manual will make it to the new car, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Stephanie Brinley, IHS Markit’s principle automotive analyst, hit it on the head when she said the Z car is “part of Nissan’s reputation.” Taking it one further, she went on to conclude, “It’s part of what makes Nissan, Nissan.” That’s certainly true, and with the Japanese automaker in survival mode, it’s all the more important they don’t botch the 400Z.
Of course, the new Z car isn’t the only Nissan we’re looking forward to: