Whether it’s the new Z or something else, Nissan certainly stirred up a hornet’s nest at the Nürburgring recently. The matt black and orange shell were that of the 370Z, albeit with six holes added to the front and some differences in the facia.
The current much loved Nissan 370Z has been around since 2009, and rumours of a replacement have popped up since at least 2013. Nissan’s Senior Vice President for Global Design Alfonso Albaisa did confirm last year that they were working on a new Z, but would not go into details. Which leaves us to speculate.
Speculation 1: The new version will be called the 400Z, because it will have the 400bhp (298kW) 3-Litre twin-turbo V6 found on the Infinity Q50 and Q60 and the Skyline. The air holes below the bonnet may be an indication of a bigger engine. But being a test mule, the purpose of these holes may simply be to confuse harmless journalists.
Speculation 2: Nissan will go mad and make a super-powerful Z – a 354kW, all-wheel drive Nismo version. This would certainly throw the cat among the European pigeons.
Speculation 3: They may ditch the V6 for a straight 6, sort of going back to the roots. It has been 50 years . . .
Speculation 4 -7: The new Z may be a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure electric. There is plenty of expertise of all three iterations in the extended Nissan partnership. A Japanese Tesla?
Speculation 8, based on observation: The test mule had a noticeable overhang on each of the wheel wells. This points to a narrower, possibly smaller and lighter car. Imagine the 240Z reimagined, a retro two-seater with a monster electric motor. That would do it.
Whatever it is, it will most likely only be launched after 2020 and then we won’t know if or when we will get it in South Africa.
This leaves you with the current Z, the much-loved Nissan 370Z.