You’ve probably heard your fair share of rumours regarding the new Nissan Z sports car by now, but this time the few new details available are official.
We’ll get straight to the point and mention purists will be happy to learn the 370Z successor will initially stick to the tried-and-true formula of a petrol engine without hybrid assist. The reveal was made to Australian magazine CarAdvice in a video conference by Nissan’s vice-president of global product strategy, Ivan Espinosa.
He went on to mention the hotly anticipated sports car – believed to be called 400Z – is “very close” to being officially revealed as part of Nissan’s new model push. The lineup refresh campaign has already started with the Rogue and Ariya electric crossover, and will continue with everything from the Armada and Frontier to the Note and Qashqai / Rogue as part of the “NISSAN NEXT: From A to Z” plan.
Getting back to the much-awaited Z car, Espinosa said he believes there’s room for “two different things.” He was referring to a conventionally powered version and one that could be either a hybrid or a pure EV. Nissan’s executive added that while EV tech has greatly evolved in recent years, it’s not yet worthy of a performance-oriented model. Other automakers would beg to disagree, but Espinosa said the hardware available at the moment is “not at the level you can deliver the performance expected in a sports car.”
Drawbacks such as the battery pack’s weight and the lack of consistency regarding power output are two of the main hurdles, but Nissan aims to address both by taking advantage of its involvement in Formula E. In the meantime, Espinosa is confident there’s still room to improve the ol’ combustion before hopping on the electrified bandwagon in the “mid to long term.”
Gallery: 2021 Nissan 400Z rendering
Reading between the lines, we’re getting the impression the upcoming Z will eschew electrification altogether seeing as how it’s expected to ride on the same bones as the 370Z. A hybrid or an EV might be in the cards for an all-new Z, but it goes without saying that won’t come out in the near future.
In regards to styling, Nissan's global design boss Alfonso Albaisa confirmed the teaser released at the end of May showed the “real” Z car, adding its appearance is “not retro as much as it's respect.”