Everything You Need To Know About The Nissan 400Z

The automotive industry moves in cycles as styles of vehicles move in and out of fashion. Perhaps as a reaction to the car becoming more and more homogenized into appliances, we’re currently seeing sports cars come back into the limelight. In 2019 we saw two big names hit hard, with the all-new Toyota Supra being launched as well as the mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette. Now we’ve learned that Nissan is bringing out a new Z car, and not before time. The current Nissan 370Z is over 10 years old, and while we still love to drive it, it is overdue it’s retirement. The new Z car will be the 7th generation in an iconic line that stretches back to the Nissan Fairlady Z from 1969. The next generation is expected to be called the 400Z, and here’s everything we have been able to glean about it so far.

Styling: Traditional With A Modern Slant

The only real look we’ve had so far at the new Z car is a silhouette teaser from Nissan, but it gives some details. A short deck and overhang at the back carries on where the 370Z leaves off, but it looks like the hood will be longer to accommodate a larger engine. The “double halo” LED headlights are a styling cue harking back to the iconic 270Z, so expect a more retro inspired design paying homage to previous Z cars. In the meantime, the renderers have already got to work trying to figure out what the finished product will look like. According to the rumor mill, the rectangular grill rather than Nissan’s V-Motion grille on the front of the render below is in the right ballpark.

Engine: More Power Baby!

The current expectation is that the new Z car will share its platform and powertrain with Infiniti’s Q60 Coupe. That means we’re expecting to see a twin-turbo V6 engine, which will need that long hood to cover the extra equipment and plumbing. The Q60’s engine generates 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque for 2020, while the current 370Z’s naturally aspirated V6 makes 332 horsepower with 270 lb-ft of torque.

However, the rumor mill suggests the 400Z will live up to its name with 400hp on tap. That could mean that Nissan will go straight for the 400 hp version of the twin-turbo V6 that is currently only available in the Red Sport badged Q50 and Q60 models. However, don’t rule out the possibility of Nissan bringing out a powerful version of its VC-Turbo (Variable Compression-Turbocharged engine).

Chassis: Stiffer, Tighter, Stronger

The new Z car will be built around a “heavily updated” version of the FM platform currently underpinning the 370Z, Infiniti Q50, and Infiniti Q60. We still love to drive the 370Z, so the idea of a whole new geometry and suspension components on an improved chassis is tantalizing. Available upgrades through packages are also expected, including adjustable suspension, upgraded steering, and a limited-slip differential.

It does appear at this point that the 400Z is going to be a heavily reworked and restyled version of the Q60. That doesn’t mean people should cool their jets on the excitement front, though. With NISMO’s involvement and the twin-turbo V6 in the bag, there’s a huge opportunity for Nissan to strike gold here.

Transmission: Auto And Manual Options

The Q60 only comes with an automatic transmission, so that’s the likely candidate, but we’re sure Nissan will have enough sense to make sure there’s a manual option available. The word Nismo has been associated with the development of the 400Z, particularly when it comes to the automatic transmission. This is good news as the Q70’s seven-speed auto is on the sluggish side off the line and not well matched to the larger engine.

However, while we’re hopeful there will be a manual gearbox, with that much power on tap, the automatic may well be the better option overall.

Interior: A Big Upgrade

The current 370Z’s interior is the area that shows its age the most. Using the Q60’s platform means a whole new interior, but we expect Nissan to keep the Z line’s two-seater status and leave out the back seats. We’re also hearing rumors that Nissan will be giving the 400Z retro styling inside as well as introducing a more refined interior. It’s a given that the new car will have far better infotainment on board, as the base 370Z comes with just an AM and FM and a CD player. You have to upgrade to get Bluetooth streaming, and the head-unit looks the decade-old it is.

Price And Arrival: Undercutting The Supra

Everything has been pointing at a price tag of around $40,000, the same as the Toyota Supra. However, if Nissan can deliver the 400 hp engine in a new two-seater sports car that can handle the corners for under $40,000, which is nowheavily rumoured, then we predict it’ll be a hit. It will also benefit, rightly or wrongly, in the court of public opinion from being Nissan’s own machine rather than riding on another company’s technology like Toyota’s Supra sharing BMW underpinnings.

In a world still being pummeled by COVID-19 and the threat of second and third waves coming, we doubt Nissan even knows when the 400Z will actually go on sale. With teasers like this, we would usually expect to see the hardtop version debut at the end of the year and become available in 2021. Hopefully, that will be the case, and the convertible version will follow in 2022.

  • Sepholwane
    24/07/2020 at 12:01

    I love the way they stayed true to the original. Maaad props.

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