If there’s one car to name that explains how Nissan (or Datsun, at the time) managed to break into the North American market, it’s the 240Z. This affordable two-seater coupé, whose timeless, long-bonnet design by Yoshihiko Matsuo captured the attention of many European vehicle enthusiasts, kicked off an illustrious line of sports cars in 1969. Nissan presented last week its latest opus which is part of a desire for change while retaining the basics.
Posted on August 23, 2021 at 5:45 p.m.
Charles René La Presse
Simply named Z, this descendant of the 370Z whose life stretched for 11 years brings a breath of fresh air to the sporting side of the Japanese manufacturer. Its design reflects a desire for memory, with a marked inspiration from the 240Z for the front end. Its double-dash taillights refer instead to the 300ZX, produced from 1990 to 1996. This Z is otherwise dimensionally identical to the 370Z, except in length, which increased by 12.5 cm in the transition.
The interior design is also more modern by integrating a fully digital instrumentation unit. The informed eye will however detect parts used in the finishing of the doors also used in the 370Z.
Still a V6, but with two turbochargers
As advanced by Nissan during the unveiling of the styling study that greatly inspired its final form, this Z is entitled to a 3.0 L twin-turbo V6. This marks Nissan’s return to a discontinued turbocharged formula with the end of the 300ZX. Unlike the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 which have used this six-cylinder engine since 2016, only one 400 hp configuration will be offered, whose 350 lb-ft of torque will arguably make its grip noticeably more pronounced at low revs than the 3.7 V6. L he replaces.
Like the 370Z, this engine can be bolted to a six-speed manual transmission with downshift speed synchronization. For those who wish to take advantage of the dynamic abilities without playing the lever, a new nine-speed automatic transmission will also be offered.
A known platform revised
As the nearly identical test points to the 370Z suggest, this Z relies on the latter’s revised platform. Larger diameter shocks and a revised suspension geometry, Nissan says, improve its stability on rough surfaces. However, we did not make the jump to adaptive damping, presumably to prevent the price of this Z from skyrocketing.
The costs of the two liveries offered (Sport and Performance) will be communicated later before its planned commercialization in the first half of 2022. One thing is certain, this Z could well hurt sales of the Toyota Supra.