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Next-generation Nissan Z sportscar on its way: report

Another one: The 400Z should be offered in Coupe and Roadster body styles, with the former expected to go on sale in 2020, while the latter is likely to lob a year later.

Nissan 370Z successor given green light, 400Z should pack 353kW/611Nm Infiniti V6

20 Mar 2018

DESPITE suggestions to the contrary, a successor to the Nissan 370Z sportscar is on the horizon and should pack up to 353kW of power and 611Nm of torque to rival the reborn Toyota Supra, according to British publication AutoCar.

Citing unnamed senior officials from the Japanese car-maker, AutoCar has reported that the next-generation Z model, possibly dubbed 400Z, will share its rear-wheel-drive platform, engine line-up and electrical system with the third-generation Infiniti Q60.

Known internally as the Z35, the 400Z should be offered in Coupe and Roadster body styles, with the former expected to go on sale in 2020, while the latter is likely to lob a year later alongside the returning Nismo flagship.

The 400Z Coupe should break out in concept form later this year, with AutoCar reporting that a reveal is planned for the Tokyo motor show in October – but, in fact, there is no such event in 2018, meaning the Los Angeles motor show in November is more likely.

However, the production version of the 400Z Coupe is reportedly slated to make its international debut at the Los Angeles motor show next year.

The 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine from the current Q50 and Q60 is expected to sit underneath the 400Z’s bonnet, with its most potent tune of 298kW and 475Nm likely to be used by regular variants.

This would be a significant step up from the 370Z’s 3.7-litre naturally aspirated V6 that produces 245kW and 363Nm in regular form and 253kW and 371Nm in Nismo guise.

Nevertheless, the 400Z Nismo is planned to up the ante further by taking the new engine and increasing outputs to 353kW and 611Nm, while its exclusive all-wheel-drive system should help see it nip at the heels of its R35 GT-R big brother.

Given that the 400Z and Q60 will share their platform, the former is set to have a larger footprint than the 370Z, measuring about 4520mm long, 1890mm wide and 1240mm tall, which would make it 245mm longer, 45mm wider and 75mm shorter.

As previously reported, Nissan Motor Company senior vice-president of global design Alfonso Albaisa was coy about the prospects of a 370Z replacement when speaking to journalists at the 2017 Tokyo motor show.

“We don’t have any plans today to share with you,” he said. “But how can we be completely blind to the importance of that (Z) name in our company?

“The first one, the 240, was an icon, not just because it looked so good, but also the idea of a car that was affordable but was a real relevant sportscar in its time. You don’t come across concepts that are so rich like that.

“Supercars are somewhat easy to make. They are not technically easy, but there is a lot of money and there is a lot of attention. And you make one or a few, but the 240’s beauty was not that. It was almost the democratisation of the true sports experience.”

Nissan Motor Company chief planning officer Philipe Klein echoed this sentiment at the time, indicating that declining profitability in the sportscar segment was hurting its chances.

“We have no announcement to make for this one. It’s an interesting question because there is a lot of passion behind this vehicle. It is still very alive,” he said.

“At the same time, it is a segment which is gradually declining, which is making the case more difficult.

“So we have no intention to quit excitement, but (it is) going to happen in different ways.”

If the 400Z does come to fruition, it will go toe to toe with the fifth-generation Supra that was confirmed by Toyota earlier this month and is scheduled to hit Australian showrooms next year.

Outed in GR Supra Racing Concept form, the new Supra is being co-developed with the BMW Z4 and will employ a version of the German marque’s 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine, with a tune of around 250kW and 450Nm likely on the cards.

The 370Z was revealed in October 2008 and traces its underpinnings back to the preceding 350Z that broke out in October 2001.

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