Nissan teases new Z sports car as one of 12 new models by 2021
Nissan has revealed a significant plan to restructure its entire business model over the next four years that will see the brand introduce 12 new cars in the next 18 months – including a brand new Z sports car.
The brand has even teased the new model, which will enter the line-up as a replacement for the ageing 370Z. Classic Nissan Z-car proportions are promised, with a rakish fastback profile with a long rear window and pronounced rear shoulders. The nose tapers down sharply into a large front grille, but the teaser image is all that is known about the mystery new sports car, which will become a rival for the likes of the Jaguar F-Type and Ford Mustang.
The confirmation of the new Z-car forms a core part of the brand’s plans over the next four years, and will act as a halo model for a global product shift that will focus mainly on the North American, Japanese and Chinese markets.
A name for the new car has not been revealed, though web rumours suggest that it could take on the 400Z badge. A newly designed ‘Z’ badge has been trademarked by the company, though, which the model will wear.
Nissan remains committed to a successor to the existing Nissan 370Z, according to the company’s design boss, and now prototypes of the new sportscar have been spotted at the Nurburgring.
The current iteration of the iconic Z-car was introduced more than a decade ago – and there has been speculation that it could simply be allowed to die off in the face of ever-tightening regulations on CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency.
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Early prototypes don't give anything away in terms of how the 370Z successor will look, with only extra venting holes in the front bumper pointing to additional cooling and a fix rear spoiler for more downforce. The next Nissan Z-car will likely go up against the Toyota Supra, Alpine A110 and Porsche Cayman in the sportscar segment.
Speaking at the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan’s Senior Vice-President for Design, Alfonso Albaisa, said that the company would “never leave this alone”. When asked if he could envisage a successor to the 370Z, Albaisa replied, “It’s easy to imagine. The Z is the car that democratised sports cars back in the sixties. The current car has been a long time in the dealerships, and so you could imagine Giovanni (Arroba, Nissan’s design boss for electric vehicles) and the designers working on it.
“We could never leave this alone. It’s in our soul. You can feel this in other Nissan designs, like the new Ariya; it’s not just about fuel efficiency, it wants to be driven, for the love of driving.”
Albaisa also confirmed that the Ariya itself is likely to reach production soon. “When we design a concept and give it a name – a name that doesn’t start with ‘I’ or ‘M’ – then it’s getting close. It’s like when you visit the doctor and they’re able to tell you whether you’re going to have a boy or a girl; it’s time to give it a name.
“I can’t give you a date because it’s a global car and things could change – but obviously we’re ready. I’m already tired of carrying this thing around.”
Would you like to see a new Z-car from Nissan? Have your say in the comments…
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