After years of disheartening rumors of a sporty crossover replacing the Nissan 370Z, news has surfaced that the Japanese automaker is indeed hard at work developing a new coupe which will wear the legendary Z-badge of Nissan’s enthusiast cars.
It has been a long time the 370Z has been soldiering on as Nissan’s relatively affordable performance coupe. There were rumors floating around that the company will bring out a new sporty crossover to replace the aging Z. Recently, a Japanese automotive floated a rumor of Nissan teaming up with Mercedes-Benz to produce a new sports coupe. Just a few days after this news, Autocar received official word that Nissan is indeed coming up with a successor to the fantastic 370Z.
While the idea of Nissan collaborating with Mercedes-Benz does sound a little absurd, the two giants have worked together before. Case in point, the Infiniti QX30 is essentially a Merc GLA under the skin. Also, manufacturers nowadays are seeking out alliances on specific projects that go beyond firm rivalry. Toyota has tasted immense success developing the GT86/BRZ with Subaru, and plans to replicate it with the new Supra that is co-developed with BMW. So a new Nissan sports coupe developed in conjunction with Mercedes doesn’t seem that peculiar, after all.
Codenamed Z35 and tentatively named the 400Z, the new car will supposedly share its underpinnings and powertrain with the Infiniti Q60, which is good news, to begin with. The Q60 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 petrol mill that makes a respectable 400 hp, which is more than sufficient for most drivers. For its more discerning customers who are loyalists of the Z-badge, Nissan is going to tun out a hotter version: an all-wheel drive, 475-hp Nismo 400Z.
Autocar says that Nissan will unveil a concept at the 2018 Tokyo Motor Show this October, followed by the launch of the production Z at Los Angeles at the end of 2019. The coupe will hit dealerships in 2020, followed by a convertible as well as the proposed Nismo variant in 2021.