Next-Generation Nissan Z Car Confirmed By Design Head

'Electrification' separates the 2019 Nissan 370Z from the rest of the pack.

08 Sep Next-Generation Nissan Z Car Confirmed By Design Head

Improved for the 2019 model year, the 370Z can’t shake off its age. Production began at the Tochigi plant in Japan in 2009, and since then, Nissan didn’t make too much to keep the two-door sports car aligned to the current trends. Nevertheless, the company is well aware that there’s no Nissan without a Z in the lineup.

Alfonso Albaisa, head of design at the Yokohama-based automaker, confirmed that he’s “completely excited” to work on the successor of the 370Z. Speaking to Which Car, the Cuban-American official is a veteran at Nissan, joining the U.S. division in 1988 in his final year at the Pratt Institute.

Responsible for the Prototype 9 and Q Inspiration concept cars, Albaisa says there’s “huge pressure” to come up with a successful design philosophy for the next-generation model. Even if Albaisa is a fan of the 240Z and 300ZX, the successor of the 370Z will be different from a mechanical standpoint. More to the point, electrification will make the difference.

According to Infiniti product strategy vice-president Francois Bancon, the FM platform used by the 370Z will make way for something that could polarize opinion in 2021. “Since you shift electric, you have a motor in the front and back, so RWD doesn’t make sense anymore. So with the new electrified platform… it’s a bit like Audi.”

You’ve heard the man. Nissan and Infiniti are expected to go front- and all-wheel drive with this vehicle architecture, which means the 390Z (name not confirmed) could feature AWD. Fret not, however, because the instant torque of an electric motor driving the rear axle would make the next Z an enthralling driver’s car.

As for the engine bay, an unverified report on the matter points the finger at the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport. Codenamed VR30DDTT, the engine comes from the same family as the VR38DETT in the Nissan GT-R. As it is, the six-cylinder motor develops 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque.

The 370Z relies on the VQ37VHR, the first production engine built by Nissan with Variable Valve Event and Lift technology. In the NISMO, the six-cylinder is rated at 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque.
Frank Rodriguez Junior
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