Nissan Teases More of Upcoming Z-car, Possible Manual Option

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
nissan teases more of upcoming z car possible manual option

Nissan has been extremely clear that it has been focusing heavily upon its past for the formation of its upcoming 400Z. Considering how the automaker is faring in the present, casually throwing customers into a sea of nostalgia is likely a 200-IQ play. Vintage Z cars have an obsessively loyal fan base and are awarded rolling praise from practically everybody who remembers them in their heyday.

Your author has always held a soft spot for the 300ZX Twin Turbo, despite his not being the resident Nissan aficionado and the 300 being the most pig-like in the Z-car’s expansive lineage. But plenty of people recall its enthralling performance as turbo lag boost was playfully teased out to make pressing the accelerator feel less like you were about to pass a slow-moving motorist on the highway and more like you were about to launch a Grumman F-14 Tomcat off an aircraft carrier. They also undoubtedly remember its stellar design, especially the Z32, which present-day Nissan has decided to tap into for the upcoming performance model.

In its latest teaser, you can see the evolution of the Z32’s taillights for a microsecond before subtle references to several of the incoming prototype’s other ancestors. Nissan also seemed to suggest that there will be a manual variant available, as the spot ends with a hand reaching for a gear selector — rather than a hideous dial or having the driver shout “drive, please” at an uncooperative voice-command system. While we’ll admit that we’re speculating a bit on the possibility of a be-clutched automobile existing after 2020, the manufacturer seems to understand that the old ways are sometimes the best when it comes to finding the maximum amount of driving enjoyment. It seems within the realm of possibilities.

The “Z Proto” (short for prototype) will be serving as the template for the 400Z and will allegedly borrow the favored aspects of its forebears. Nissan has already shown that the car’s silhouette will be somewhere between the original 240Z and the current 370Z (both handsome). But it has also hinted that would only be the tip of the heritage-drenched iceberg. Proto drops on September 16th during Nissan’s official debut and should represent the production model rather closely. But we cannot say how that will impact the delivery timeline for those interested in buying one. Nissan has a lot of fires that need tending right now.

[Images: Nissan]

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  • Jetcal Jetcal on Sep 08, 2020

    How funny. The F-14 actually lost 14,000 lbs of thrust on the Cat after PPC 481.

  • JMII JMII on Sep 09, 2020

    I assume like the 370Z this will be an Infiniti Q60 minus rear seats + hatch. I highly doubt Nissan developed a whole new engine and RWD platform for a niche sport car in today's market. I'll be shocked if it retains 3 pedals. As said in the other teaser post about this car: A) I'm already tired of hearing about it especially since its likely 2-3 years away from being a thing you can actually buy. And B) I've already moved onto a C7. Also as I've mentioned before the Z was in this odd middle ground in the market. Too heavy to compete with the GT86 & Miata yet too under powered to compete with Mustangs and Camaros. To me this is a good thing as it offered a unique choice but its niche of a niche. I think it best aligns with the new Supra. I got rid of mine because it was a loud, rough riding, out dated platform. The high points were a balanced track car with a linear NA V6 and great manual transmission. The low points were its weight and lack of sophisticated traction control. While I'm sure many appreciated the raw nature of the car it made for a steep learning curve. It didn't encourage you to play with it, the Z was a work out to drive (stiff steering and heavy clutch) and at times it felt like it was actively trying to kill you with its harsh ride and twitchy rear end.

  • Irvingklaws Gas station coffee (which is usually pretty good these days) and a small bag of chips/nuts/pretzels to help stay alert. Sometimes bring a Gatorade because it doesn't seem to make me need to use the restroom as much as water or soda. Maybe stop McD's or BK for something to-go if I actually get hungry. Nothing fancy. I'll eat better when I get where I'm going 🙂
  • Legacygt There is nothing "trapezoidish" about that grill.
  • Ltcmgm78 I think cars need an AM/FM radio for emergency notifications. Driving at night, I will scan the AM frequency just to see what comes up and to be amazed at the different cities I can get after dark. My SAAB had a Euro-spec radio and I could get long-wave (lower freq than the AM band) and found lots of interesting listening.
  • Golden2husky You'd be way better off in a base Vette for that money.
  • Gene Sedans and coupes don't sell in the quantity that they used to but they still make up a significant market. Why Ford abandoned this segment still baffles me. Again, just look at Toyota, Dodge, Mercedes, BMW, Hyundai, etc who have not abandoned this segment.