Mike

2021 Nissan Z: What We Know So Far

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    A redesign is finally coming for Nissan's iconic sports car, and it sounds promising.

    By Joey Capparella  

    2021-nissan-z-rendering-1579624706.jpg
    Illustration by Radovan VaricakCar and Driver
    • The next-generation Nissan Z sports car is finally on the horizon, and here's what we know about it.
    • It will be the long-awaited replacement for the ancient 370Z, which has been on sale since 2009 with few updates.
    • We expect the new Z to debut sometime this year as a 2021 model.

      The wait for a new Nissan Z sports car is almost over. As we approach the arrival of a replacement for the long-in-the-tooth 370Z—finally!—the rumor mill is running at full capacity, giving us some exciting tidbits about the new two-seater's powertrains, platform, and design. Here is what we expect from the new Z.

      Twin-Turbo V-6 Power

      The most powerful engine currently in Nissan and Infiniti's mainstream lineup (apart from the GT-R) is the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that makes up to 400 horsepower in the Infiniti Q50 and Q60. This is the logical choice for the new Z, then, and sources within Nissan dealerships told Autoblog that this powerful mill will indeed be under the hood. A seven-speed automatic is the only transmission choice for this engine in the Infinitis, but we're hoping and praying that a stick shift will be offered as well; remember, Nissan did hint that this was possible by bolting up a six-speed manual to this engine for its modified 370Z concept for the SEMA tuner show this past year.

      Hinting at the New Car's Engine?

      This engine's displacement calls into question what the new Z will be called. 300Z would be rational (or 300ZX, for nostalgia's sake), but we'd guess that Nissan will instead choose a number corresponding to the car's output rather than its displacement, like 400Z, to clarify its superiority over its predecessors.

      Rear-Wheel Drive, as God Intended

      A front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout is the only real way to set up a proper sports car, and the Z will continue on with a newer version of Nissan's FM platform and share many components with the Infiniti Q60 coupe. That's from an earlier report from Autocar, which also said that the new car is code-named Z35.

      Proof the New Z Is Real

      All-wheel drive is within the realm of possibility, given that it's offered as an option on the Q60. But we don't think Nissan will go this route, as none of the Z's intended competitors—the Toyota Supra, Ford Mustang, and Chevy Camaro—offer the option of four driven wheels.

      Retro Styling

      Although the Nissan Z test mule we spied testing at the Nürburgring last year wore the old car's bodywork, we're pretty certain that the new model will have completely new styling. Autoblog's sources suggested that the original Datsun 240Z would serve as a styling inspiration for the new Z. We hope that means it will present simple, clean lines rather than the angular, tortured look seen on some Nissan concept and production cars lately. Roundish headlights and 300ZX-style taillights will reportedly serve as the key retro touches, as seen on our illustration above.

      Got Datsun Nostalgia?

      We doubt that the old-school theme will extend inside, however—and that's a good thing, because the 370Z's cabin is in need of a modern makeover. The cabin should retain its cozy, two-seat atmosphere, but we feel confident that it'll benefit from the latest Nissan infotainment system and a fresh dashboard design.

      Hopefully Still Affordable

      The current 370Z starts at just $31,015 and remains a decent performance bargain today despite its age. While there's no doubt in our mind that the new model will see a significant price uptick, we're guessing (and hoping) that the new Z will start somewhere in the $40,000 range, which would undercut the Toyota Supra by a few thousand dollars.

      All signs point to the new Nissan Z's arrival being imminent. Our suspicion is that it will make its first appearance sometime later in 2020, going on sale in the U.S. as a 2021 model either at the end of this year or early next year. We can't wait to see it for real.

      Source:  Car and Driver - https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a30586109/nissan-z-future-2021/

       

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      Over here.. we call that:  eenheidsworst!!   (translated: all look the same?)  It looks to much like a KIA or other coupe...  not for me.. thanks! 

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      I was really hoping the rumors of Nissan splitting from the Renault merger after the CEO issues were true before the full production of the new Z. The assurance of an all Japanese Z is all I ask for. And with a lot of manufacturers making options for smaller motors in the car, how would a 4.0L 400z work name wise with a small 4 cylinder? 240zx? 😂

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      On 1/22/2020 at 8:04 PM, Mike said:

      The current 370Z starts at just $31,015 and remains a decent performance bargain today despite its age

      Ah... another giant annoyance!!! over here (The Netherlands..)  the 370z costs over 100.000 euro!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Due to taxes taxes and taxes...

      that's nothing new here.. i drive a 300zxtt 1992 and i was told and i did the math and there are 50000 good old dutch guilders that dissapeared in the pockets of the government  It costed 173300 guilders about 65000 dollars then?....

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      6 hours ago, dutchzcarguy said:

      Ah... another giant annoyance!!! over here (The Netherlands..)  the 370z costs over 100.000 euro!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Due to taxes taxes and taxes...

      that's nothing new here.. i drive a 300zxtt 1992 and i was told and i did the math and there are 50000 good old dutch guilders that dissapeared in the pockets of the government  It costed 173300 guilders about 65000 dollars then?....

      Emigrate.

      • Haha 1

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      20 minutes ago, grannyknot said:

      Emigrate.

      Or vote against taxes and or expect less services from a nationally level government

      National government (either here or there)  is not known for its efficiency.

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      I hope it is a clean slate with low weight and low price as the key points. The 350 to 370 path is a sad one.  Had the 370 style came out in 2003 then that would have been nice  then they could have spent 15 years just making it lighter.

       

      The 300zx references may make "the new Z"  less "retro" or a truly mixed up mess.  It is the S30's 50'th not the 300zx's.

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      22 hours ago, Mike said:

      The image above was a concept drawing, I believe by a guy who works at Car and Driver.

      I really like how this concept looks. 

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      A March 23rd update:

      It's been reported in a major Canadian national newspaper(National Post) that Nissan has just filed to registrar trade protection for a 2021 400Z with retro styling:

      https://driving.ca/nissan/auto-news/news/nissan-files-retro-looking-trademark-for-400z-suggesting-cars-return

      Here's the dream: To own a 1971 and a 2021......WaHoo!!

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      On 1/25/2020 at 11:44 AM, SoCalJim said:

      I really like how this concept looks. 

      It looks familiar...

      1999 Concept Z.jpg

      I guess there's not too much that can be done with that shape.

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      1 hour ago, SteveJ said:

      It looks familiar...

      1999 Concept Z.jpg

      I guess there's not too much that can be done with that shape.

      I hope not!

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       Ditto. They can do better than that. That said, dropping it 2", adding an airdam and a rear spoiler would help.

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      13 hours ago, Patcon said:

      It looks familiar...

      1999 Concept Z.jpg

      In 2001-2002..  something simular was a design for the, then new 350z...

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      46 minutes ago, dutchzcarguy said:

      In 2001-2002..  something simular was a design for the, then new 350z...

      Actually it was 1999. That was the 4 cylinder Z concept. Nissan actually conducted a survey of Z club members back then. I did not give it a rave review. While I could tolerate the front (barely), the rear styling is horrid to me.

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      47 minutes ago, SteveJ said:

      Actually it was 1999. That was the 4 cylinder Z concept. Nissan actually conducted a survey of Z club members back then. I did not give it a rave review. While I could tolerate the front (barely), the rear styling is horrid to me.

      I actually wrote a letter to Nissan about that horrid concept.  Although, I never got a response, I feel that in some small way, I helped keep that POS off the roads.  LOL

      Edited by Jeff G 78
      • Haha 2

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      What if Nissan were to invite the members of its Z car family (that being ourselves) to submit personal vision(s) of what we would like to see incorporated in the 400 Z design ?

      I hope to be positively in awe, much like I was 50 years ago and similar to today's GM response to its new Vette.

      Just thinking out loud

      George

      Edited by Dr. 240Z

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      What if Nissan were to invite the members of its Z car family (that being ourselves) to submit personal vision(s) of what we would like to see incorporated in the 400 Z design ?

      I hope to be positively in awe, much like I was 50 years ago and similar to today's GM response to its new Vette.

      Just thinking out loud

      George

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      34 minutes ago, Dr. 240Z said:

      What if Nissan were to invite the members of its Z car family (that being ourselves) to submit personal vision(s) of what we would like to see incorporated in the 400 Z design ?

      I hope to be positively in awe, much like I was 50 years ago and similar to today's GM response to its new Vette.

      Just thinking out loud

      George

      Sorry for the rant, but as an auto engineer who sees the inner workings of what it takes to bring a car to production, the chances of this happening are zero.  The cost to develop a mostly new car are astonomical and Nissan simply doesn't have the sales volumes to justify it.  We will be lucky to get a mildly reworked Z34 with a refreshed skin and a modified powertrain from an Infiniti product.  Nissan sells less than 10,000 Z cars per year when the product is fresh and is selling around 3,000 per year near the end of the product cycle.  There simply aren't enough sales to ever repay the R&D and the tooling.  An all-new Z35 would cost upwards of a billion dollars.  Even if they could sell 100,000 cars over the life of the product, that's $10,000 per car just to pay for the development costs.  That doesn't include the manufacturing costs, raw materials, supplier parts, marketing, or profit.  Even at $50,000 MSRP, they wouldn't be able to justify it.  Now, reuse the chassis, most of the body, and rework an Infiniti engine and that figure might drop to 200 million dollars.  Now, only $2,000 per car goes to pay for the R&D and they have a much better shot at success.

      There is a very good reason that even Toyota, the leader in cash on hand, didn't develop their own Supra or FRS.  It simply doesn't pay off.  Even when the Supra is 90% BMW, it will still go down as a poor financial decision for them and the next time around, they might shy away.

      The C8 Corvette is interesting because the R&D costs were huge, yet GM spent the cash to do it.  Volume is their friend and they will sell 50,000+ C8's per year.  GM is also likely to axe the Camaro again which freed up money to do the C8.  There will always be old guys with cash that just have to have a Corvette as a 3rd car.  There simply aren't enough young people with money to justify an all-new Z.   

      I just hope Nissan does enough with the Z34 refresh that sales will be in the 10,000/year range again.

      Edited by Jeff G 78
      typo fix
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      Thanks, Jeff

      Without providing a proper reference and simply from a failing memory, Nissan sold ~180,000 240Z's in four years (1970 -1973). Also, not to forget, that was from a standing start.

      With the same mix of product, price and presentation, my hope is Nissan will do it again.

      Cheers,

      George

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