If you’ve been anxious these past few years for the new Nissan Z car to emerge, you can pinch yourself — you aren’t dreaming. A next-generation prototype will actually debut on September 15, giving us our first official look into what the 370Z’s successor will look like.
It’s been over a decade since we first saw the Z34 generation, and this new Z35 model promises a radical departure from that formula. At least in terms of styling — details on powertrain and chassis improvements over the old warhorse amount to rumors at this point. That said, we do have a decent idea what may lie underneath what’s colloquially called the ‘400Z’. At this point, Nissan has officially just called it the Z car, or in this case the “Z Proto”.
The old 3.7-liter V6 has served the 370Z since 2009, but rumor has it a more potent powertrain lies in store for the next Z. That would be a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with up to 400 horsepower, which is a healthy improvement over the current model’s 332. Beyond sheerly using “400Z” as an evolution in the naming scheme, linking the name to the car’s power output would be a clever move on Nissan’s part, if the suggested powertrain comes to fruition. We’ll likely see some change on the 7-speed Jatco automatic transmission in the new Z car, but a six-speed manual should live on as well.
Behind the engine, the next Nissan Z car should also ride on a new platform. Again, there’s no official word on that yet. The “Front Midship” (FM) platform the 370Z currently uses is extremely long in the tooth at this point, however, so it would be surprising if Nissan iterated on it rather than making more dramatic changes.
Stay tuned on September 15 at 7:30 Central Time for more updates! In the meantime, Nissan posted a video covering the Z car’s 50-year history below: