Nissan: The Z Is Gonna Be A [Porsche] Contender!

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
nissan the z is gonna be a porsche contender

The forthcoming version of Nissan’s Z-car only gets 200cc more displacement than the current version, but Nissan is saying that improved performance will put the 370 Z on par with Audi’s TT and Porsche’s Cayman. “When we launched the current Z in 2002, it was a symbol of Nissan’s revival, a kind of brand symbol, plus driving performance,” Nissan’s Japanese marketing director Tatsuo Shimada tells Automotive News (sub). “This time with the 370Z, we are focusing more on the driving performance, as a pure driving sports car.” Besides the bump in displacement and power, the 370 Z will be lighter than the outgoing model. Development testing on the Nurburgring and elsewhere has specifically targeted improved handling in order to take on its European targets. Or, in less PR-friendly terms, the Mazda RX-8 R3. The flip-side of all the “taking on Europe” talk is that the Z should probably end up far more expensive than the current model, likely north of the $35k mark. If it can give the Cayman a run for its money though, that will still be something of a performance bargain. In other words, a true Z car. The 370 Z goes on sale in Japan later this year. A U.S. launch date has not been set.

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4 of 25 comments
  • DearS DearS on Oct 02, 2008

    I agree It better drive well. A used 3, 350Z, Vette or AMG have the engine thing down pretty well.

  • Hwyhobo Hwyhobo on Oct 03, 2008

    I normally don't care much about car's looks, but this thing better had a rocket of an engine if it wants to succeed. The only thing it's missing stylistically is a pair of fart cans and articulated purple side skirts, and it would fit very well in some of the neighborhoods around here. Then again, it's a bit on the expensive side for the pimped-out Civic market.

  • John R John R on Oct 03, 2008

    @ doctorv8 I did read my link. The figure I quoted is the assumed weight of the 370Z. 3346 lb - 200 lbs = 3146 lbs.

  • Doctorv8 Doctorv8 on Oct 03, 2008

    John R, If they slice 200 lbs off the FM chassis to make the next gen Z car, I'll eat my hat. That would require extensive use of aluminum and other lightweight materials, and I doubt Nissan is dumb enough to move the 370Z far enough upmarket to warrant the increased costs.