Nissan to reveal new Z sports car prototype on 16 September

Nissan will reveal the prototype version of its new Z sports car, imagined above, previewing the long-awaited successor to the 370Z, later this month.

The Japanese firm announced on Twitter that it will reveal a ‘Nissan Z Proto’ on 16 September, previewing the new model that is due in 2021. Automotive Daily’s exclusive partner Autocar understands the production version of the machine is set to use the ‘400Z’ title.

Nissan has revealed few details of the car, which will be the latest addition to its Z sports car lineage, which began in 1969 with the launch of the Datsun 240Z. The Twitter post confirming the imminent arrival of the ‘Z Proto’ read: “50 years of passion. Innovation at its core. Modern technology, with a vintage touch.’

The post also featured a short video that highlighted the 50-year lineage of the Z brand, and finished with a teaser silhouette of the new car.

That video is the latest official hint at the shape of the future model, following a brief glimpse in a previous Nissan video highlights its future model line-up. That video shows that it could have styling evolved from the 370Z coupe.

The preview came following Nissan’s announcement that it’s to embark on a wide-reaching cost-cutting strategy under the ‘Nissan Next’ banner. As well as closing its commercial vehicles plant in Barcelona, Spain, the company will reduce production capacity by 20% over the next three years and streamline its ageing product portfolio.

The 370Z is the oldest car in Nissan’s current line-up, having launched in its current form in 2008. The company’s product planning boss, Ivan Espinosa said at last year’s Tokyo motor show that the sports car – along with the GT-R flagship – was “at the heart of Nissan” and that the company was “actively looking at and working on” a successor.

It is also understood that the new Z car will be called the 400Z and take its power from a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 with more power than the current car. It’s unlikely to sit on a bespoke platform, given its relatively low sales volumes, and could instead make use of the rear-driven underpinnings from Nissan sibling brand Infiniti’s Q50 and Q60 models.

Nissan recently submitted a trademark application for a restyled version of the Z badge, fuelling speculation that a new sports car was on the way. The badge’s retro look hinted that the new model will take styling inspiration from Nissan’s historic sports cars, potentially with a sharp front end like that of the 240Z and distinctive brake lights inspired by the 300ZX.

The interior of the new model is earmarked for a significant redesign, too, with that of the 370Z frequently criticised for being outdated compared to its rivals. Expect a focus on premium materials throughout and for the current car’s basic touchscreen to be replaced with a modern infotainment system with access to various connectivity services.

The 400Z’s unveiling is expected within the next 12 months.

Felix Page

 

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