The new Nissan 400Z is taking shape. Last night we learned a prototype is coming soon, this morning Nissan design boss Alfonso Albaisa has posted a sketch of the car’s retro-inspired rump.
The sketch shows the new 400Z will be heavily influenced by the second-generation 300ZX, with slim horizontal taillights that mark a significant departure from the design language of the more recent 350Z and 370Z.
Mr Albaisa’s post is our first official look at the rear of the 400Z. Nissan’s first teaser images have focused on the front end, which carries a clear link to the older 240Z.
Power in the new coupe is expected to come from a version of the turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine currently serving in the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport.
It pumps out 298kW of power and 475Nm of torque in the Infiniti, mated exclusively with a seven-speed automatic transmission. The Infiniti can struggle to put its power down, something we’re expecting will be fixed with the addition of a locking rear differential.
Nissan is expected to also offer a six-speed manual option, which would give the 400Z a significant point of difference against the auto-only Toyota Supra.
The development team may have actually already shown us this combination, having revealed a 370Z fitted with the VR30DDTT and a six-speed manual transmission at the 2018 SEMA show.
“Projects with huge meaning do not come every day, on top of that, few projects trigger immediate “slide show” memories like Z,” Mr Albaisa said.
“In Tokyo 50 years ago Tai san (Nissan Executive Design Director) saw his first Z and “lights on” wanted to be a car designer. Around the same time but a few thousand miles away a Cuban kid (me😇) in Miami saw his first Z and as well simply ‘what?WOW!’
“Tai san later was a designer on the ultra-modern, breathtakingly minimalistic 300ZX, the 2nd clay model I saw on my first trip to design studio in Japan 31 years ago (another huge WHAT? WOW moment).
“I later found myself working on 350Z, a team dream to find a new language for Z discovering mechanical beauty and road hugging performance posture. More to come but please share and let us know your memorieZ.”
The reveal of a new Zed model marks another step in Nissan’s move away from the path laid out by Carlos Ghosn.
It’s preparing a raft of new or significantly updated models, led by the 2021 X-Trail and all-electric Ariya SUV.