The New 400Z Sports Car in Production Form
Nissan's new Z sports car will be powered by a twin-turbo V-6 with a standard six-speed manual, and soon we'll see the version you can actually buy.
Nissan revealed the Z-Proto (pictured) last fall as a production-intent prototype. That car was meant to give us an idea of what’ll be sold in the States, likely as the 400Z. Nearly a year after it showed the prototype car, Nissan will finally reveal the production version of the new Z on August 17, 2021 on its YouTube channel.
Images of what appear to be the production car have already leaked, and they showed that it won’t be far off from the Z-Proto we saw last fall. The cars, finished in dark gray and silver, had chrome trim integrated into the grille, slightly larger headlights, different wheels, and a rear deck-lid spoiler. The Z badge on the C-pillar will also make it to production.
The new Z will use a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine, and although Nissan hasn’t said anything about its output, we expect it to offer around 400 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but there’s also an optional automatic gearbox.
We’ll know the full details in a few months, including all the performance specs, which should create a compelling matchup against the 382-hp Toyota Supra.
The History of the Nissan Z
The Datsun/Nissan Z-car, introduced as the 240Z as the 1960s sputtered to a close, now ranks in the pantheon of great Japanese things, right up there alongside Nikon cameras, fatty tuna sushi, Katana swords, and Mothra. There wasn’t anything particularly new about the 240Z; it was built of ordinary and familiar parts. But it drove so well and was built so well that it elevated consumers’ expectations for all sports cars. It was a better Datsun—and Nissan—that would eventually inspire better Porsches, better Corvettes, and better Jaguars.
But Nissan didn’t have the spiritual fortitude to stick with the Z’s original mojo. The disco temptation was impossible to fight during the 1970s, and the Z became the ZX. Crushed velour upholstery, T-tops, and a flabby suspension came with it. Then Nissan changed its mind again. Here’s the Japanese sports car, its antecedents, its gooey successors, and its eventual resurrection as a true sports car again.