Accelerate

SA's premium automotive magazine

Nissan’s new Z leaner and meaner

While the development of the Nissan 370Z’s successor is far from complete, design boss Shiro Nakamura has promised that the new Z car will be lighter and leaner than the current one and that it will appeal to a wider range of buyers. Work on the replacement “is at an early stage,” Nakamura said. “There is a concept car to come; work has just started on it.” When the concept will be unveiled is not known at this stage, but it could well happen at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show.

The current 370Z has not performed as well as Nissan would have hoped from a sales perspective after the successive of its predecessor, the 350Z, which revived the Z car reputation and sold well worldwide. The global recession has not helped matters, with 370Z sales 45% down from 2009 in the States, which is the car’s biggest market. Nakamura went on to say, “The next one has to have a stronger impact.”

On a positive note, Nakamura is not keen to make the car any bigger. “It cannot be any larger. It’s at its maximum size now and should go leaner.” The same goes for the engine, which will most likely not be the 3.7-litre V6 but a downsized and force-fed 4-cylinder unit. “It needs to be lighter and more accessible to open the door to more people,” Nakamura added.

Don’t worry about power though, as the turbo 4-pot will undoubtedly have impressive outputs – Nissan may be downsizing the next Z car, but from the look of things it’s actually getting closer to its sportscar roots than ever before.

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