Mere days after a Japanese auto mag reported rumblings of a new Z built by a Nissan-Mercedes alliance, Autocar has apparently received word that a Nissan 370Z successor—tentatively dubbed the 400Z—will indeed be happening pretty soon.
Internally known as the Z35, the next Z will reportedly share a platform and engine with the next Infiniti Q60. That car packs a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V6 good for 400 horsepower in its red-hot Red Sport trim. While 400 horses would be more than sufficient for most casual drivers, Autocar says Nissan has something even quicker in store for its most hardcore Z customers: A 475-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Nismo 400Z. To put that into perspective, Nissan's own supercar-slaying GT-R boasted just 480 horses when it first debuted back in 2008.
According to Autocar, a concept for the new Z is set to drop at the Tokyo Motor Show this October before the production version's unveil in Los Angeles at the end of 2019. The coupe is expected to hit showrooms in 2020 with its convertible and Nismo variants releasing in 2021.
In an email to The Drive, a Nissan spokesperson refused to share anything substantial but reiterated the Z's importance to the brand. "The Nissan Z has been an icon of our brand for nearly 50 years and we appreciate the excitement of Z enthusiasts and sports car fans around the world," said the Nissan rep. "We have not announced any plans beyond the 2018 model year 370Z, and as a policy do not comment on speculation regarding future product plans."
While a half-Nissan, half-Mercedes sports car might sound weird as hell at first, recall that it wouldn't be the first time the two companies have been in bed together. If you weren't already aware, the Infiniti QX30 is essentially a re-skinned Mercedes GLA. What's more, given Toyota's success co-developing the 86/BRZ with Subaru and plans to repeat it with its upcoming, BMW-collab Supra, a Benz-birthed Z isn't all that far-fetched if you think about it.
Oh, and as long as Japanese manufacturers are hooking up with the Germans to create sports cars, we'd just like to say that a Honda S2000 successor co-developed with Volkswagen (read: Porsche) would be the absolute bee's knees. Make it happen, Honda. We'll even call Stuttgart for you, if you're shy.