I See You: Next Nissan Z, Frontier Make Brief Appearances

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Nissan’s new 4-year plan, despite aiming for efficiency and value, doesn’t leave sporty driving in the dustbin of history. Sports cars still exist as one of the automaker’s core products, and the very long awaited next-generation Z will be among that global cohort.

On the volume side of things, the brand’s compact and midsize crossovers are due for a rejuvenation, along with Nissan’s midsize pickup, which last gained a new body during the Bush administration.

In a teaser video accompanying its business plan, Nissan rolls out the entirety of its near-future product introductions. Most notable is the new Z, a sport coupe bearing a distinctive teardrop shape and immediately recognizable retro features. The camera zooms in to the new Z logo adorning the C-pillar.

There’s trim proportions and clean bodywork to be seen, with bulging rear fenders and a pronounced chin. If Toyota’s new Supra is too ungainly for your tastes, Nissan might have what you’re looking for. Expected to appear next year as a 2022 model, the next-gen Z might carry the 400Z name.

While the video showed no sign of the low-volume GT-R, as associated presentation outlining Nissan’s market strategy does indeed show the model inhabiting one of Nissan’s four core products (C- and D- segment vehicles, EVs, and sports cars). That’s no guarantee of its continued existence in the lineup, what with Nissan planning to shed 20 percent of its models over the next 4 years.

The next revamped models to appear in the Nissan lineup will be the next-generation Rogue and Pathfinder, joined by the updated Frontier (a model which saw its new powertrain debut in an old body for 2020) and full-size Armada. An electric SUV heralded in January by the Ariya concept vehicle will also make an appearance in the coming year. Besides that, the automaker’s woefully underperforming Infiniti division stands to gain a new QX60, which is something that might sell.

It seems Nissan felt comfortable giving us a taste of the 2021 Frontier, which appears in the video for just a brief moment. There’s not a lot to tell. The Frontier remains a midsize pickup, one that’s expected to ride atop an updated version of its existing platform.

[Images: Nissan]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on May 28, 2020

    Assuming Nissan will be around in 2037 but if they are they might be part of Geely. The more I read articles about Nissan's cost cutting the less faith I have in Nissan. Nissan needs to start with better quality and better quality will bring in the customers. Getting out of less profitable markets is a good plan but without quality and relying on just less models and higher prices will just accelerate their problems.

  • El scotto El scotto on May 28, 2020

    Could Nissan build a light, fast, nimble Z car again? Or gasp! lower, yes actually lower, one of their CUVs and come out with a modern front wheel drive 510? One hit vehicle, Nissan just needs one hit vehicle.

  • Pau65792686 I think there is a need for more sedans. Some people would rather drive a car over SUV’s or CUV’s. If Honda and Toyota can do it why not American brands. We need more affordable sedans.
  • Tassos Obsolete relic is NOT a used car.It might have attracted some buyers in ITS DAY, 1985, 40 years ago, but NOT today, unless you are a damned fool.
  • Stan Reither Jr. Part throttle efficiency was mentioned earlier in a postThis type of reciprocating engine opens the door to achieve(slightly) variable stroke which would provide variable mechanical compression ratio adjustments for high vacuum (light load) or boost(power) conditions IMO
  • Joe65688619 Keep in mind some of these suppliers are not just supplying parts, but assembled components (easy example is transmissions). But there are far more, and the more they are electronically connected and integrated with rest of the platform the more complex to design, engineer, and manufacture. Most contract manufacturers don't make a lot of money in the design and engineering space because their customers to that. Commodity components can be sourced anywhere, but there are only a handful of contract manufacturers (usually diversified companies that build all kinds of stuff for other brands) can engineer and build the more complex components, especially with electronics. Every single new car I've purchased in the last few years has had some sort of electronic component issue: Infinti (battery drain caused by software bug and poorly grounded wires), Acura (radio hiss, pops, burps, dash and infotainment screens occasionally throw errors and the ignition must be killed to reboot them, voice nav, whether using the car's system or CarPlay can't seem to make up its mind as to which speakers to use and how loud, even using the same app on the same trip - I almost jumped in my seat once), GMC drivetrain EMF causing a whine in the speakers that even when "off" that phased with engine RPM), Nissan (didn't have issues until 120K miles, but occassionally blew fuses for interior components - likely not a manufacturing defect other than a short developed somewhere, but on a high-mileage car that was mechanically sound was too expensive to fix (a lot of trial and error and tracing connections = labor costs). What I suspect will happen is that only the largest commodity suppliers that can really leverage their supply chain will remain, and for the more complex components (think bumper assemblies or the electronics for them supporting all kinds of sensors) will likley consolidate to a handful of manufacturers who may eventually specialize in what they produce. This is part of the reason why seemingly minor crashes cost so much - an auto brand does nst have the parts on hand to replace an integrated sensor , nor the expertice as they never built them, but bought them). And their suppliers, in attempt to cut costs, build them in way that is cheap to manufacture (not necessarily poorly bulit) but difficult to replace without swapping entire assemblies or units).I've love to see an article on repair costs and how those are impacting insurance rates. You almost need gap insurance now because of how quickly cars depreciate yet remain expensive to fix (orders more to originally build, in some cases). No way I would buy a CyberTruck - don't want one, but if I did, this would stop me. And it's not just EVs.
  • Joe65688619 I agree there should be more sedans, but recognize the trend. There's still a market for performance oriented-drivers. IMHO a low budget sedan will always be outsold by a low budget SUV. But a sports sedan, or a well executed mid-level sedan (the Accord and Camry) work. Smaller market for large sedans except I think for an older population. What I'm hoping to see is some consolidation across brands - the TLX for example is not selling well, but if it was offered only in the up-level configurations it would not be competing with it's Honda sibling. I know that makes the market smaller and niche, but that was the original purpose of the "luxury" brands - badge-engineering an existing platform at a relatively lower cost than a different car and sell it with a higher margin for buyers willing and able to pay for them. Also creates some "brand cachet." But smart buyers know that simple badging and slightly better interiors are usually not worth the cost. Put the innovative tech in the higher-end brands first, differentiate they drivetrain so it's "better" (the RDX sells well for Acura, same motor and tranmission, added turbo which makes a notable difference compared to the CRV). The sedan in many Western European countries is the "family car" as opposed to micro and compact crossovers (which still sell big, but can usually seat no more than a compact sedan).