Report: Nissan Design Bigwig Suggests Next Z-Car in Development

The 370Z was revealed almost a decade ago, so it's about time we get its replacement.

Bloomberg, via Getty Images

Nissan's Senior Vice President of Global Design Alfonso Albaisa reportedly suggested the next Z-car is in development.

"The Z-car, oh my god. Huge pressure," said Albaisa, when listing off Nissan's planned design programs, according to Wheels. "You can imagine I'm completely excited that I am in the position to work on that."

"Democratisation of the sports car, the 240Z, unforgettable," continued Albaisa. "Even in the modern day…The 300ZX of 1989, this Japanese simplicity was impressive."

Another Nissan executive reportedly confirmed the Japanese automaker was "working on" the 370Z's successor back in January, though official company comment was more cautious, falling short of confirming the vehicle outright. When The Drive reached out to Nissan for comment on its plans for the next Z-car, the automaker reiterated its on-record statement on the next Z.

“The Nissan Z is an automotive icon with 50 years of storied heritage.  We share the excitement of Z enthusiasts and sports car fans around the world who dream about what the future may hold for the Z. We have not announced any plans beyond the 2019 model year 370Z. As a policy, we do not comment on future product plans.”

Unverified reports from March alleged that Nissan intends to copy the Toyota-BMW partnership that resulted in the return of the Toyota Supra and a new generation of the BMW Z4, both of which share a platform and drivetrain. As with the platforms that underpin the current Infiniti QX50 and QX30, the "400Z" will reportedly also share a platform co-developed with Daimler, even utilizing low-end Daimler power plants for the base model Z-cars. 

A 2.0-liter Mercedes-Benz turbo-four will reportedly come in the base model Z, and Infiniti's own 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 making 400 horsepower would power the middle version. Fastest of all would be a retuned twin-turbo car with 475 horsepower and all-wheel drive, approaching the performance capabilities of the GT-R of yesteryear.

Reports point to this October's Tokyo Motor Show where Nissan could whip out the new Z-car concept, with a production-ready variant following at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, and cars in showrooms in 2020. Let's hope the reports are right—the 370Z could use a reprieve.