By on August 17, 2021


Tonight’s the night. The wraps finally officially come off the next Nissan Z.

Your humble author is sitting at a Starbucks in Brooklyn, counting the hours until tonight’s unveiling. And thinking about the future of not just the Z, but Infiniti.

That sounds weird, I know. What does Nissan’s luxury brand have to do with the Z?

Hear me out.

Last week, as we planned our coverage, my boss and I were batting around an idea. What if the Z acts as an unofficial replacement for the Infiniti Q60?

There’s an argument to be made for that — the new Z probably will be priced similarly to the Q, and Infiniti is struggling a bit these days, in part because it seems to have lost its performance-luxury appeal. Infiniti also seems, like most brands, to be heavily crossover-focused these days.

Not to mention the Q60 rides on the FM platform, which it shares with the old Z, and the new Z, for all its changes, is expected to remain on the FM platform as well.

I did ping Infiniti to see if they’d spill any beans, but PR will of course not say anything revealing about future product. The response I got talked up the current Q60 while carefully avoiding any mention of the car’s future.

Personally, I hope the Z and Q60 both continue to exist — we need more sports coupes in this world. And if the new Z is good, I hope Infiniti can use its bones, lux them up a bit, and make the Q60 into a true BMW 4-Series/Lexus RC fighter.

What say you, Best and Brightest?

[Image: Infiniti]

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25 Comments on “QOTD: Could the Nissan Z Be a Secret Infiniti Q60 Replacement?...”

  • avatar

    I fear that Infiniti is being phased out– and that’s too bad. The world needs a modern take on the original Q45 without that ridiculous grille. If there was ever a case for an electric Infiniti, they could do worse than turning the page back to 1991.

  • avatar

    With the market being all CUVs all the time I’m surprised the Z was even launched. As someone who owned both a 350Z and currently a Q60 (really a G37) there is enough differences to have two separate vehicles. However I can’t see Nissan’s brass keeping them both alive given slow coupe sales. The Q60 has been out for awhile and the Z is late to the party. Thus I imagine the Q60 will just go away and will not be missed.

    I might buy another Q60 (used) as my wife really likes hers. I gave up on the Z and got a used C7 3 years ago. I doubt I could back since the mag-ride on the Corvette platform has spoiled me. The best part of my Z was its size, the C7 is a touch too big on the outside and tight on the inside in comparison. Clearly the C7s handling (and associated PTM modes) and V8 power are superior to the Z.

  • avatar

    Sport/lux coupes continue to be a shrinking class (isn’t MB merging the C and E coupe/cab into 1 model next year?), and does Nissan have the resources to stay in it? Parts sharing w the new Z helps, but with a forgotten nameplate and Infiniti as a whole needing help, these days a coupe isn’t a viable way to prop up a brand.

  • avatar

    I find the idea intriguing. Done well it could outsell the Z even though Infiniti has fewer dealers.

  • avatar

    I hope this means a new Q60 is on the way.

    But I’m about 99.9% positive that the next “coupe” from Infiniti will be some stupid “coupe roofline” crossover.

    We need like that we need another five waves of COVID.

  • avatar

    I do feel like the current Q60 and Q50 are maligned a bit more than deserved. For some reason they seem to get graded on a much steeper curve compared to H/K/G or Acura or Alfa Romeo or even Cadillac products. They certainly aren’t perfect but they aren’t hopeless either.

    What they really could use:
    0. Limited slip differential on every version.
    1. Updated interior aesthetic.
    2. Updated infotainment displays and interface.
    2. Drop DAS. No one has ever liked it and the autonomous revolution seems to have been delayed for another generation.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree 100% – these are NOT bad cars by any means. But they drive duller than the competition. They’re great cruisers, but when you push them, they get a bit uncoordinated.

      I’d put all your suggestions on my list, and add a sharper driving interface, or at least a “sport” option that offers it.

      • 0 avatar

        I missed replacing the 7-speed with the new 9-speed. The current transmission does feel a bit old compered to the competition.

        I think transmission, limited-slip, and some tweaked steering is really all it needs from a performance standpoint.

        • 0 avatar

          They’re hindered by the ancient ass platform, which of course they’re using on this new Z.

          I don’t see how it’s worth it to totally redo the Q50/60 at this point as it would only marginally improve sales. It’s feeling like a sorta lost cause to me. Do a couple special trims and cancel them.

          • 0 avatar

            Wasn’t this platform originally developed for the FX-series and original G35 way back when? As much as I roll my eyes for Chrysler riding the K-car platform horse until it dropped dead, Nissan beat this into the ground until it was nothing but clumps of fur and not much else.

            It’s a heavy, old platform that is being forced into sports car duty. The 350Z was always compromised by the extra weight and hard points this platform brought to the party. And Nissan just can’t seem to part with it.

            Mazda seems to scrounge up enough to have a new or freshened MX-5 platform for the sale of, what, 10K-20K MX-5s per year? Surely Nissan can do the same for a sports car platform to share between all partners.

          • 0 avatar


            I don’t think the old platform necessarily kneecaps the new Z…IF it’s priced right, which should be a lot easier with the existing platform and the off-the-shelf equipment. This car is going to have a twin-turbo six, so if they can sell loaded examples for 2.0 Supra money (+/- $50,000) then they’ll find buyers. The Supra with the six is undoubtedly the better car, but most examples go for $55,000 and up.

            If the initial pics are accurate, then the Z will be considerably better looking to my eyes than the Supra; certainly the styling is going to be a lot less polarizing. That’ll snag some buyers too.

            If Nissan’s smart, they try for a value play on this. If they try to get Supra money for this car, that’s going to be a big problem.

          • 0 avatar

            I think it’ll be a discount offering. The hard points inside are the same as before (check door handles), so Nissan calling it “all-new” is misleading.

      • 0 avatar

        “But they drive duller than the competition. They’re great cruisers, but when you push them, they get a bit uncoordinated.”

        My, how the mighty have fallen.

        In 1991, Infiniti was known as “Lexus, but for those who like to drive”. They had the sports sedan chops. Lexus was left for those who tolerate driving, who want the Japanese Buick experience.

        At some point, Nissan lost its way on this. Had they stuck with it, they could have been very successful.

  • avatar

    I get loaners from the Infiniti dealer when I take my G37S coupe in for service. My reaction to them is that they are somewhat more refined than my G37S, especially the computer graphics, but not enough better to justify trading in the one I already own. That’s very different from my reaction to the G37S’s competitors when I was car shopping back in 2007. The G37S was as close as I could get to a classic front engine, rear drive sports car like a mid ’60s Jaguar XKE coupe or Ferrari (not that I could afford one) or a ’90s Porsche 928 (maintenance headache). If I do trade in the G37S, it will be for a long range Tesla Model 3 or a VW Golf R with DSG.

    • 0 avatar

      For me the original G35 sedan was like a Japanese BMW. Before BMWs became bloated, ugly things with iDrive in them.

      I think the current Q60 is very sharp looking. Part of Infiniti problems is they hard to cost justify new. Once they hit the used market they are downright bargains. My wife’s used Q60 was 2 years old and 50% off its original MSRP. About the only let down is what appears to be the thinnest paint I have ever encountered. In 4 years the clear coat started peeling off so a respray is due. Mechanically its been perfect and still very enjoyable to drive.

  • avatar

    Unlikely. In fact, I’ll wager the Q60 is dead within two years. Sport coupes simply don’t sell well enough. If Infiniti hadn’t just gone through the expense of designing an all new QX60, I’d swear the entire brand was about to get dumped. The “Nissan Plus” strategy is going to kill the brand whether the name lives or not.

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    I lost all interest in the new Z when just learning that it’s still uses the heavy ancient FM platform. We waited 15 years to do a Z refresh rather than a new car ? how lame.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe a little lame. But Nissan isn’t exactly swimming in money these days. If the choice is between using the carryover platform or no Z at all, I’ll gladly deal with the old architecture.

  • avatar

    Use the Z platform as basis for 4 door Sports Sedan for Infiniti. There is no business case to obtain ROI.
    If Nissan sells one version as Maxima and one version as Infiniti then maybe.
    Too risky. It’s ICE season and regulators have few obstacles to eliminating gasoline vehicle sales.

  • avatar

    I always thought of the Infiniti G35 Coupe, G37 Coupe and Q60 as being the replacement for the Nissan Z’s 2+2 Coupes. I can’t see the new Z-Car as being a replacement for the Infiniti coupes, unless they bring back the 2+2 version.

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