First released for sale to the public in 1970, the ‘Z’ was put out in Japan as the Nissan Fairlady Z, while the Datsun 240Z was given to the United States. It was the beginning of a love affair between the two-seater sport coupe and the rest of the world. Six generations of the ‘Z’ have undergone production and release since that first production year.
In the beginning, they were manufactured as both the Nissan and the Datsun, in Japan and the United States, respectively. This lasted approximately forty years, until 2009. It was then that Nissan took over the ‘Z’ entirely, manufacturing and releasing it as the 370Z. Other early models include the Nissan S30 and S130, , the Nissan 300ZX. Also included are the 350Z and 370Z. They were manufactured at the Nissan plant in Shittai plant located in Hiratsuka, with later models being constructed in Oppama (from 2002 to 2004) and Tochigi from 2004 until the present time
Today, the Nissan ‘Z’ model is just as loved as ever, by fans and admirers alike. The 2020 Z, which is the version released for this model year, actually commemorates the 50th birthday of this beloved coupe, and that speaks volumes about the car itself. But you will likely not be surprised at all by the fact that, while certainly a hallmark vehicle, it’s the ‘Z’ of tomorrow that will have enthusiasts itching to drive. You guessed it: The 2021 Nissan ‘Z’.
What’s the big deal? What’s so special that it seem to (gasp!) discount the 50th birthday milestone? Wait! They haven’t even started manufacturing for 2021 yet, have they?
These questions and more may be swimming through your mind, and we’ll try to answer them all here, plus a few, if we’re all lucky. The truth is that there is a bit of good information out regarding the ‘Z’ of next year…enough, anyway, that your mouth will water just a bit as you consider the changes (and consistencies) that Nissan has chosen to divulge. But the information below is limited, and by no means all-inclusive. No, they’ve given out just enough information to tease and tantalize.
Let’s get down to it and get a glimpse into next year; actually, later this year, if you want to be technical. After all, that’s when production will begin. Yeah, let’s get busy and dive into a sneak peak at what the ‘Z’ will have to offer in the 2021 model year. Read on…
A Fraction of Intel on the 2021 Nissan Z: Getting ‘The Goods’ On Tomorrow
While the numbers have reflected a pretty sizable slump in sales in the sports car category, makers of the ‘Z’ have decided to hold their heads high and continue with another year of manufacturing. The upcoming model year, however, will see some changes, and depending on who you are and what you desire in a small sports car, they could be considered favorable or less than desirable…
These changes will take place throughout the vehicles entire makeup, in one way or another. Don’t worry; you won’t look at next year’s Z and see a worked up version of a Saturn Sky or a cosmetically modernized Cadillac Allante. It will still be a ‘Z’, and it will be ‘all Z’, through and through. Since limited information is available regarding the complete list of re-workings that are going to take place, we’ll simply touch base on the different aspects of the car, and then go into what we DO know is on the list for alteration. By the time we’re done you’ll have a much better idea of what to expect when the 2021 Z is unveiled to all of us. So, get comfortable and check it out.
Let’s Start With the Obvious…
It’s name…it’s technical name, anyway. It’s been the 370Z for some time. In fact, it seems that is its go-to name for most anyone who drives…that’s how long it’s been. But according to Automobile Magazine , as of this past October there was a good chance that the 370Z was possibly going to be assigned a new moniker; it might become the 400Z. By December, however, the manufacturer set the rumors to rest by solidifying its decision…the 400Z it is (at least thus far). Customers can count on this much definitely…we think (and more to boot). Whew. Just keep in mind that this is definitely under consideration.
The 370Z…the 400Z…What’s the REAL Difference?
While the 400Z is technically the replacement for the 370Z, there are some differences that should be noted. Mostly we’re talking about differences in the engine and other performance parts. The 370Z came equipped with a 3.7 liter V6. The 400Z won’t have one that size, but rather, it will be a turbocharged six-cylinder that will put out 400 horses. Yes, in the past bigger was usually always better, but in this day and age we’ve come to know that size has nothing to do with it. The Nismo tag means that the car is pretty much super-powerful, so if it’s the power you want over the sporty appearance, well, you’ll get that in spades.
Nissan and Mercedes: Collaborating?
Interestingly enough, Nissan approached Mercedes and suggested that they team up for the development of the new Z, sort of like the collaboration between BMW and Toyota with the Z4. This would be a surprising twist due to many factors, such as significant cuts in cost for both Mercedes and Nissan, the fact that Mercedes currently has a partnership with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, Mercedes shares a lot of technology with Infiniti, and the fact that the market for sports cars today is quite a bit smaller than it was in years gone by. Well, while it isn’t a sure thing, rumors have it that there will likely be no collaboration that is ‘Z’ exclusive, but cooperation on some level will likely still take place.
What Can Be Expected Performance-Wise?
So, let’s take a close look at the performance that the new ‘Z’ will deliver. The Nismo version will prove to deliver, the way it sounds, It will have a maximum speed of 160, and will go from 0 to 60 mph in only 4.7 seconds. Now, these numbers apply to the Nismo, and it should be noted that the Roadster version of the new ‘Z’ will not come with the Nismo upgrades, so the specs there will be different. The Touring and Sport Touring versions will, but the coupe, which is pretty perfect as is, will pretty much stay ‘as is’.
Other Fine Points
While many of the changes taking place are ‘internal’, so to speak, the new ‘Z’ is really going to undergo an overhaul through and through. Besides featuring the new turbocharged V6, the new ‘Z’ will also have a cool new body design that is fairly retro in appearance. While the basic shape of the car will remain the same, it will also borrow some features from its ancestors. A square-shaped grille and round headlights will start the look, having been taken from the original 240Z. The taillights are said to have been inspired by the 300ZX and Z32; they will be set horizontally. As for the interior, well, Motor Authority says that it is both ‘simple and dated’, with styling that will be reflective of the interiors of both the Sentra and the Altima, models also made by Nissan. Looking at other important points, a manual transmission will be available, and Nissan may or may not implement electrification technology on the ‘Z’ in the future, but of course, only time will tell when it comes to that. They will probably want to see how the new ‘Z’ sells before making such a commitment.
So, the fact that Nissan is putting out a 2021 version of the ‘Z’ is likely very exciting news for fans of the model, regardless of the demand for sports cars or the way the ‘Z’ models have sold in recent years. Yes, it promises to be quite the cool little runner, both looking good and performing in a manner that is nothing less than great. Of course, only the release of the car will put all tall tales to rest and prove out the facts, and that release is set for later on this year, of course . Everyone may as well get comfortable and exercise their patience, because short of glimpses of it online or in the pages of magazines, we’ll all just have to wait to give on a test drive, or to buy one. In the meantime, enjoy the car you still have while you have it, and be sure that you play it safe behind the wheel both today and in the days to come.