Report Says Nissan’s Next Z May Be Co-Developed With Mercedes

Japanese media reports that the next Z will be built on a platform shared with Mercedes-Benz.

byJames Gilboy|
Mercedes-Benz News photo

The Nissan 370Z is one of the most dated sports car platforms on the market. Fate for the Z looked bleak as of late last year, though Nissan admitted to "working on" the answer to the Z question in January.

Now, in the wake of the Toyota Supra's formal return at the Geneva Motor Show, Nissan is reported to be emboldened by the Supra's warm reception. It appears to be interested in bringing the next Z to market with the aid of Mercedes-Benz, who it is said would split the costs for platform development according to Response

The alleged powertrain options consist of a 2.0-liter Mercedes turbo four for cheaper cars, and the 3.0-liter twin turbo V6 from the current Infiniti Q50. Said V6 produces up to 400-horsepower, which would bump the next Z's peak power by 50-hp over the 370Z's 3.7-liter V6. 

Some outlets are skeptical of an Infiniti engine powering the Z, with Japanese Nostalgic Car citing Nissan's desire to distance its premium Infiniti brand from its mass-market Nissan brand.

It is also alleged that the announcement of the new Z is due in 2019, at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The Drive contacted Mercedes and Nissan for comment; the former declined to to issue a statement, and the latter left a coy, yet positive statement.

"The Nissan Z is an iconic nameplate," stated Dan Bedore, Nissan's Director of Product Communications. "We appreciate the excitement and interest in its future among Z fans and other automotive enthusiasts. We have not announced any plans beyond the 2018 model year Nissan 370Z and, as a matter of policy, do not engage in speculation about future product plans."

Split development costs for sports cars is becoming commonplace in the car industry. Toyota and Subaru pioneered the practice with the 86/BRZ, and Toyota later linked up with BMW for the Supra's development, which will be sold as the Z4 by the German brand.

Nissan's enthusiast offerings are in a desperate need of refresh, with the GT-R now a decade old, and the 370Z approaching the milestone in December of this year. The Nismo brand is in shambles, with Nismo Sentras and Jukes reception comparing unfavorably to the competition, and things aren't about to get better. Desecration of the Nismo name will continue with the Leaf Nismo's eventual release, which we suspect will result in Nismo fans giving Nissan the EV-il eye.