Nissan Z – The lady we all have been dreaming about?
As the 350 and 370 have become obsolete and outdated in today’s world, and the GT-R getting older by the day, Nissans mighty hold on the sports car market has all but vanished. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi restructuring did also its fair share in changing priorities for one of the biggest car companies in the world. What will happen with the GT-R, nobody but Nissan know. However, as the Supra name got a rebirth, the possibility to have one of the most legendary rivalries after nearly two decades makes my heart jump a beat. Great, but it takes two to tango, and it has been quiet at Nissan, until some spy shots of a car with a shape undoubtedly similar to the 370. No, it isn´t the final production car, but as with the Supra, it might show something that will become a reality.
The first sentence reads “The new Z is coming”, meaning that this is not only a prototype. We will get to drive one as well. Taking inspiration from the first generation Fairlady Z, and many other retro classics, the Z looks unmistakably Nissan, while still being something completely different. Many companies are trying to nail that retro futurism. No easy feat. Proof? Look at the Z. Simple lines in the front and feminine front lights combined with a huge air inlet makes for a huge amount of nothing. I am not the only one mentioning it, but I believe that there is much more than a simple reshape that needs to be changed in other to make the front something worth looking at. Other than that, I frisking love it. The old school rear, the black roof and the unmistakable profile of the 350 and 370. It is not as small as let’s say, a Miata, but smaller than full-fledged sports cars.
Interior is also brought up into the 21st century. 12.3 inch infotainment screen and a digital gauge cluster. However, big, fat, round dials. I love it! It gives the interior some nice symmetry with the three gauges above the middle vents. It is also from the pictures that we find a manual gearbox. Yes, a manual! It is paired with a twin turbo v6, which at a minimum must have the same power as the new Supra, which would mean 380 hp. Or in reality 440 hp. Cramming that power in a v6 twin turbo doesn’t bode well for space in a mid-sized sports car.
The worst part about this car is not that is not the finished product, but it is the fact that as strict emissions, Covid and changing markets made Nissan not make the Z available in Europe. Instead, crossovers and electrification will be the focus. What is happening…
Unfortunately, Nissan has severely fallen behind on the electrification race, and that means hefty fines. While they credit themselves to making the car without the help of another company, yes it was a low shot at Toyota, the fact is that the Supra is and the Z isn´t. Food for thought. Having Nissan and Toyota battle it out with ever evolving sport cars in the 21st century would be a godsend. Supra with the straight six and the Nissan with the v6. What a time to be alive.