The next-generation Nissan Z Car will make its formal debut Aug. 17, the Japanese automaker confirmed today.
The debut is set to take place ahead of the rescheduled New York International Auto Show.
Nissan has been teasing the 2022 remake for some time, last year revealing the Z Proto, a concept version expected to strongly influence the production model. The Japanese automaker had little to say in a teaser video, simply confirming the date of the new Z’s debut.
What’s in a name?
And that leaves plenty of questions, starting with what the new sports car will be called. Internally, it is going by the codename Z35, but the production model is widely expected to be dubbed the 400Z.
That’s certainly a better option than the original badge, Datsun Fairlady, used when the sports car was first introduced in Japan in 1969. It’s undergone a variety of name changes throughout the years, the current version sold in the U.S. as the Nissan 370Z.
Barring a true surprise, the next-gen model will follow the Proto’s lead and pick up on classic Z design cues, such as a long nose and round daytime running lights harkening back to the 240Z sold during the 1970s. But the roofline of the concept was more influenced by models like the 370Z, with the back end a nod to 300ZX of three decades back.
The Proto’s headlights are larger than those on the outgoing Z car, something that appears likely to carry into production, along with a decklid spoiler.
Outpowering the competition
Under the long hood, sources hint of a 3.0-liter V-6 engine, with twin turbochargers expected to push output up to around 400 horsepower — making it a serious competitor to the 382-hp Supra Toyota brought back two years ago.
Unlike some competitors, Nissan is said to be building a 6-speed manual transmission into the base car, with a 7-speed automatic on the option list.
Power will hit the pavement through the new Z’s rear wheels. But as the sports car shares the same underlying platform found in the Infiniti Q60, it is quite possible all-wheel drive will be offered now or later in the Z’s lifecycle.
On the inside
The interior is expected to be familiar to Nissan fans, but will offer both a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, as well as an 8-inch touchscreen for infotainment. No word on whether head-up display technology will be an option. The good news is that there’ll be temperature and volume knobs.
Sources contend that Nissan will try to undercut Toyota by bringing a base version of the 2022 Z Car in somewhere just under $40,000. The competing Supra starts at $43,090.
In a declining market for sports car, that could prove one of the most appealing sales points for the 2022 Nissan Z.