In the history of Nissan the Z sports car occupies a position similar to that of the Mustang at Ford or the 911 at Porsche: a signature model, one that has become an ambassador for the brand. Since it was first introduced in 1969, the Z has symbolized Nissan’s sporty character.
Rumours had been circulating widely in recent months that the long and storied career of the Z was coming to an end. Now, however, credible sources are saying that on the contrary, the sporty model will be benefiting from a major revamp in view of a new generation for 2019.
The Z lives.
Also heard through the grapevine, the new Z project, known internally as Z35, involves the new model using the same platform that will underpin the coming Q60 from INFINITI. The two cars will share a number of mechanical components and the same electrical architecture. As a result it is likely that the next Z will be somewhat larger than before – to the equally likely consternation of purists.
What might make those purists happier, and cause them to forget the current Z model, is word of a 475-hp NISMO variant also being in the works. This beast will probably run on a 3.5L twin-turbo V6 and feature all-wheel drive. “Standard” versions of the Z will settle for rear-wheel drive and an output of 400 hp.
According to the magazine Autocar, which first reported the news, we should be getting more details regarding the new Z before the end of this year. The production version is expected to be ready for its unveiling in 2019, in time to celebrate the model’s 50th birthday, and the new Z should be in the hands of its first owners in 2020. The first version to be offered will be a coupe, with a convertible following one year later.
Of course, none of this has been confirmed by Nissan, currently refusing to issue any comment regarding the rumours. Autocar claims that the source for the information is familiar with the project.