The current generation Nissan Z car, the 370Z, has been around since 2009. The 350Z, the model that the 370Z replaced, and honestly didn’t differ too much from was released in 2002. Basically, more or less the Nissan Z car had not been majorly updated in sixteen years, the last major change being the switch from the 300ZX to the 350Z. Truth be told, I have always loved the Z cars, and most recently while shopping for a new “fun car” I thought about the Z but found it difficult to shell out top dollar for an almost ten year old car with ten year old power and tech. Unfortunately for the Z the price hasn’t really gone down at all but all of the cars around it have caught up thus providing much better fun factors for the money making it quite hard to sell the Z. Basically, just like the Nissan Frontier, another Nissan car that is in long need of an overhaul, it is time to update the Z (honestly I don’t understand why Nissan takes forever and a day to update their vehicles outside of the boring sedans and crossovers. The Z and Frontier haven’t been touched in a decade plus and just before the recent update the Titan also had a super long run).
The rumors currently swirling the auto scene are that Nissan Senior Vice President for Global Design, Alfonso Albaisa has confirmed that there is a new Z car in the works and that they would like to have something out by next year’s Tokyo Motor Show (October 2019) which just so happens to line up with the 50th Anniversary of the original Datsun 240Z. Hopefully by then we get an actual release car rather than just a super far out concept that will never see the light of day. Far too often car manufacturers get us super excited with a hopped up concept car and then it either never makes it to production or just ends up being a super watered down version of what the concept was (I guess my question is why design something awesome to show us what we could have but then give us crap instead, that is just plain mean).
Many different rumors have come up about the next Z car from things like saying it will be a V8 powered car, to people calling it the 400ZX because it will feature a 4.0 liter engine, to it tying to go back to its roots much like the 4th generation ND Miata and trying to lose weight and become a small and nimble car like the original Zs and lastly, the only one of the bunch that I hope doesn’t happen is a hybrid drive terrain Z. Look I get it, hybrid and electric are cool, it’s the “hip thing to do right now” but first of all lets not pretend like it’s saving the environment and second of all there is a time and a place.
Before I have a bunch of people trying to rip my head off on the environmental piece go ahead and research the amount of cost, waste and pollution associated with hybrid and electric car batteries and how many miles you would have to drive said car to offset that battery pollution with the not using gasoline pollution savings (not saying that it is my only source but I once saw an episode of “Adam Ruins Everything” that explained really well what I am talking about here).
More importantly though is that there is a time and a place for these technologies and it’s not in sports cars. Don’t get me wrong, I know what hybrid sports cars are capable of, I have seen the NSX and the hyper cars such as the McLaren P1 I get it, but these are very expensive cars compared to the Z. To keep the Z fun to drive, affordable and to its roots, it needs to follow a basic formula. Low weight, rear wheel drive, six cylinder or above motor, manual option and a good amount of power, it is that simple. Or at least I think it is, but what do I know after all.
I will keep you updated as more concrete details come out, but I know one things for sure, I really hope that Nissan doesn’t ruing the Z car like Mitsubishi did the Eclipse (I mean what in the world is going on with the Mitsubishi “Eclipse Cross”). Till next time.