After a period of deafening silence when it came to the likelihood that Nissan would succeed the 370Z, it would seem the model will indeed have a future beyond the 9 year old current model. It is with a sentiment of relief and excitement that we can declare with some certainty: the Z car will live on.
An Autocar report indicates that, owing to the personal lobbying by current design boss Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan has green lit a new project to replace the 370Z, opting to have it share quite a bit with the Infiniti Q60. The resulting car is expected to be shown as early as this year’s Tokyo Motor Show before ramping up to a full sales launch in 2020. A full production version could also be shown at the 2019 Los Angeles Motor Show.
It had been rumoured that, due to slow sales that stem from a general cooling of the sports car market in favour of hot hatches and sporty SUVs, there was no room for a potential successor to the 370Z to eek out a healthy existence, possibly leaving a reluctant Nissan to drop the model line entirely, ending a run that’s lasted since the S30 Nissan 240Z of 1970.
In the face of these trying times, enthusiast darlings like the Honda S2000 have had to concede defeat, with the hope of a follow-up to the lithe roadster reduced to a mild glimmer. In its ashes, the Mazda MX-5 and, more recently, the Toyota 86 have blossomed, but the thirstier and more expensive 370Z requires a stronger argument.
Even deep pocketed automakers such as Toyota and BMW have chosen to make use of their technical alliance to jointly develop an all-new version of their Supra and Z4 roadster, respectively. Thankfully, response to the project has been met very positively, especially in the case of the former.
According to the report, the new car has been given an internal designation Z35, following a tradition of each Z car continuing the count since the unveil of the 300ZX - chassis designation Z31 - in 1983. As you might expect, today’s 370Z carries the Z34 designation.
As it is expected to share quite a bit with the Infiniti Q60, such as its platform, electrics, and mechanicals, we can extrapolate some key details about this new Z. For one, there’s every that the naturally aspirated V6 will be replaced by the twin-turbocharged V6 (VR30DDTT) from that lives in the both the Q50 and Q60 Red Sport, producing a similar output of 298kW and 475Nm.
The Z35 will remain rear-driven, of course, but a high performance Nismo version is believed to adopt all-wheel drive and a higher engine tune of approximately 350kW and over 600Nm of torque. It’s easy to make the connection that Nissan is lining this one up to be a junior GT-R. Upon its launch, it will surely be compared to such cars as the Porsche 718 Cayman, not to mention the inevitable Toyota Supra. Can’t wait.