A New Z Approaches…

Nissan’s 370Z sports car has been on sale for the better part of a decade. What with the influx of crossovers hogging the limelight and getting a broad swath of refreshes and redesigns, the Z car soldiers on with only a small exterior refresh and not much else in the way of mechanical updates. Not that there’s much to complain about in that regard. A naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V6 with over 330 horsepower hooked up to a six speed manual and rear wheel drive for around $35k is still a value play. The sucky part though, is there’s not much else to the equation. While cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger have seen either complete redesigns or major updates, the 370Z has soldiered on largely unchanged since 2008 save for that small exterior refresh. Where’s the infotainment system? Where’s the lane departure warning or smart cruise control (if you’re into that sort of thing)?

Well Nissan has finally seen fit to reimagine the Z car and has released a thinly veiled image that teases what it will look like. Debuting some time in late 2020, the new Z will be more a very major update than a thorough redesign. This is good because the FM platform that has anchored the Z since it’s reintroduction on the 350Z is one of the best RWD chassis out there. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right? While the VQ 3.7-liter V6 is potent, it will be making way for the 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 currently serving duty with the Infiniti Q60. With 400-hp on tap, the new Z will be on a new level of sportiness. While the Q60 is only available with a 7 speed automatic, a 6-speed manual should also be expected in order for the Z to remain true to its roots as a true sports car (we’d cry otherwise).

The biggest change however, will be in the interior. While the current 370Z reflects a Nissan from 2009, the 400Z (we think that’ll be its name on debut) will sport the latest tech that Nissan has to offer like a standard touchscreem (hopefully greater than 7 inches), Apple Carplay and Android Auto, navigation, premium audio and Nissan Connect. On the safety front, expect features such as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and blind spot monitoring to be standard. Nissan’s ProPilot suite of semi-auto, driver assist features will likely be optional, adhering to the 400Z’s driver-focused mission. The cabin will be luxurious but updated to fall in line with the rest of Nissan’s lineup.

Expect the new Z’s pricing to reflect all of these updates with an entry point in the low to mid $40k range. Nissan will reposition its icon to challenge the new GR Supra and BMW Z4 instead of duking it out with the Toyobaru Twins or the Mazda Miata. We look forward seeing the new Z in all is glory later this year.

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