Ever since Nissan filed a Canadian trademark application for a new Z logo, we’ve been eagerly anticipating the “hello world” moment for the next-gen Nissan Z car. In that regard, today is a good day—Nissan announced via Twitter that the next generation Nissan Z “Proto” will be digitally unveiled on September 15 at 7:30 p.m. CT.
(For those of you seeing the tweet below and scratching your head at the conflicting dates: 7:30 p.m. CT is 9:30 a.m. in Japan the following day, September 16.)
— Nissan Motor (@NissanMotor) September 1, 2020
For a while, we weren’t sure that a new Z would make it past the threshing floor—in today’s world, sports cars of this nature are almost fighting an uphill battle when it comes to presenting a viable business case. Thankfully, when Nissan unveiled its NISSAN NEXT: from A to Z product preview early this summer, we were pleased to see the Z rounding out the product portfolio. To wit, 2020 marks the 50th year of this iconic Japanese sports car; what better way to celebrate than pulling the silk off the next generation?
Although details on the Z are scant, we like what we see in the silhouette of the car above. The long, sloping roofline and massive hood are reminiscent of the Datsun Z cars of yore. We expect power to come from some sort of boosted V-6, perhaps the same 3.0-liter twin-turbo six found in the current Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400. There’s an outside chance that it could nab a de-tuned version of the GT-R’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6, as well. A heart transplant from Godzilla would be a cruel twist of irony, as there was no mention of a GT-R within Nissan’s optimized future portfolio. While our wish list book is open, we wouldn’t mind seeing an updated version of the dual-clutch automatic transmission from the GT-R in the upcoming Z; the purist in us hopes for a manual option, but you will not see us crying (that much) if there’s no row-your-own setup.
While nostalgia is life’s highest-prescription pair of rose-tinted glasses, there certainly seems to be an appetite for Z cars of all generations, be they the late-aughts 350Zs or the early Datsun 240Z’s, some of which have sold for some truly eye-popping numbers recently. Bring on the 400Z.