• Jun 3, 2010
Nissan 370Z 40th anniversary – Click above for high-res image gallery

Given the reality of upcoming CO2 emissions regulations in both Europe and North America, it's not much of a stretch to assume that the next generation Nissan Z will get more fuel efficient. How Nissan will manage to extract those extra miles per gallon and reduced emissions is purely conjecture on the part of everyone outside of Nissan's engineering staff at this point.

Thankfully, the British motoring press has no aversion to speculation or even simply stuff up. In the wake of the cooperation deal between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan alliance, the future of the Z is a ripe target for such prognostication. Could the 370Z successor get a version of the 3.5-liter V6 hybrid powertrain from the Mercedes S400? How about a V6 diesel or inline-four diesel-hybrid?

Anything's possible, but not necessarily probable. Given the personality that customers expect from a Z, we think something along the lines of a downsized, boosted gasoline V6 is a much more likely configuration. The relatively low volumes of the Z would easily be balanced out by all of the electric vehicles Nissan is planning to build without having to do anything too radical to the sports car.



[Source: Autocar]


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  • 39 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Given the small percentage of Z model's sold in relation to Nissan's total volume, why would they focus on saving fuel in a sports car?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe because saving fuel in ALL cars is important - every bit helps. While it clearly would not be the most important consideration when someone buys a car like that, there is no excuse for a sportscar to also be a guzzler either (not that the current car necessarily is). With fuel prices expected to rise over the next few years, any car that doesn't get at least decent mileage is going to be considered a dinosaur.
        • 4 Years Ago
        i mostly agree. I dont think its critical that they make it extremely efficient because if there is anything that isnt going to be an mpg king its got to be a truck or a sports car. And AB...dont even talk about a diesle hybrid Z???!!! wtf? put down the crack pipe!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree, a return to the early times would be nice. A smaller displacement 6, inline even, with DI and turbos. Probably need to stay a V to be used across as many models as the current VQ motor is. Its that last part that makes this rumor even less believable, why would Nissan get just the Z motor from Mercedes when it currently uses the VQ in so many models? It would make more sense to build a VQ successor that could be used in all the same models and is more fuel efficient.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is this before or after Mercedes steals 12 billion dollars of Nissan funds, shuffles over 16 billion dollars in Mercedes debt onto Nissan, fires all the non-Aryan management, disembowels Engineering, fires every Jew in the company, and forces Nissan to decontent the product until it is wholly and completely uncompetitive? DaimlerChrylser 2.0 is coming!
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is turning out like the ZXs all over again.. straight downhill...

      They better even call the next generation a ZX.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Nissan 370Z would be better served with an engine similar to the BMW 335i or Audi S4 (3.0L Turbo / Supercharged 6cyl) A lot more refined, higher torque starting lower in the rev range. The VQ37 sounds something like a busted pickup jump at high revs and 270ft-lbs of torque while not too bad isn't quite enough in my opinion. I test drove a 370Z not too long ago and when I hoped back in my lighted modded MS3 it felt like a rocket by comparison due to the much higher torque to weight ratio. No way would Mercedes use a VQ engine in one of their automobiles; way too unrefined.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My guess is that Nissan is going to develop the next gen V6 engine for Mercedes, not the other way around, for the simple reason that Nissan sells far more V6es than Mercedes.

      But they are going to call it a Mercedes anyway, because it is good for business.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think your right since the V6 Nissan VQ in some form or another has been on the Ward's 10 best engine list or what not, longer than any other motor on the market. I don't see Nissan giving their ability to build well rated V6's up.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mercedes right now is regarded as the premire engine builder in the world; I highly doubt they will look to Nissan for help.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Merc makes some of the most efficient engines for their size and power. Their V8 beat alot of small fuel efficient engines last year for JD Power associates award of fuel efficient engines.
        Tim
        • 4 Years Ago
        As an 09' Altima Coupe 3.5SE owner...I can contend Nissan makes an amazing V6...I've driving other(mainly american V6's) and they don't compare...not sure what MB can do though.....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, it has worked so well for the remnants of Chrysler, after Daimler chewed them up and spat them out.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mercedes just went through the trouble of redesigning their V6s so I doubt they'd go to Nissan for one. The opposite makes slightly more sense, especially since the VQ is an aging design.

        Link related:
        http://www.autoblog.com/2010/05/07/officially-official-the-new-direct-injected-multi-spark-v6-an/
        http://green.autoblog.com/2010/05/07/mercedes-to-introduce-new-3-5-liter-v6-capable-of-301-hp-30-9-m
      • 4 Years Ago
      Diesel and Sports car should not go together.


      Hybrid and Sports car are dubious at best.


      Neither are a pure, uncompromised drivetrain for a pure, uncompromised car. (although 370Z's aesthetics are currently quite compromised.)

      A diesel is a good engine. Lots of torque for comparatively less fuel. But it is an efficiency engine, not a performance engine (and a multi-million dollar V12 Audi Prototype doesn't count, as it is not a production car)

      A diesel doesn't rev like a gas engine. It doesn't sing. It isn't as flexible. No sports car should have a 4500RPM redline.

      Hybrid is heavy, and instantly compromises the simplicity of a sports car. Porsche GT3-hybrid may add enough power to over-come it's additional weight, but it is still more complex and heavier than a GT3 without that equipment.

      A sports car isn't as much about lap times as a race car, anyway. It is more about the purity of the driving experience. Diesel and hybrid don't deliver the purity of the experience, as they aren't designed or inherently as well suited for that.

      You might as well call an econo-box, or a pickup truck, a "sports car". It still doesn't make it true.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ mutantchimp
        If you read carefully what I stated you will see that you just made an invalid point. If you said the TDI was faster than the GTI then you would have compared turbo with turbo, not turbo with NA. That is the point I tried to make. Petrol > Diesel for sports performance. If the guys that ran petrol LMP1 cars were to slap turbos on they would rape the R10 and the 908.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Physics? Anything is possible, as Porsche and Ferrari are already stating with their recent hybrid concepts.

        Powertrains are a means to an end, and given a concrete brief like "our sportscar can only have 25% of its mass devoted to the powertrain" for instance gives creative engineers several avenues to deliver. Theres nothing inherently "pure" about an internal combustion engine. Reciprocating masses, cooling, lubrication - these are all complex in their own right. If the goal is the purity of the driving experience, it matters little what exactly is powering the car - but it matters a lot how much weight its adding.

        Power delivery characteristics define more of what you're talking about. A truck needs a huge slug low end torque, an economy car needs a flat band of torque and only enough horsepower to overcome drag.

        What does a pure sports car need? Light weight to enhance agility for sure. Powerwise, a good hit of torque for some excitement off the line, but a lot of hp to overcome high speed drag.

        Internal combustion can do this on its own, sure. But do we really NEED a big engine to make it all happen? Think of the concentration of mass a big engine implies. a small engine, combined with electrics can be spread all around the car, improving balance. electric motors can be used in front axles to provide part time traction improvement, or low speed quiet cruising - say if you want to go for a 5AM drive and don't want to wake the family or neighbors.

        Purity is a broad concept, and best addressed by looking at all the potential - not slavishly maintaining a narrow focus on already tried solutions.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @JZeke...

        You cannot break the laws of physics.

        How does a gas tank, and a gas power-plant, plus electric motors, 600vdc electrical insulation and cabling, and BATTERIES, plus the increased physical size of a vehicle to contain all of that equipment...

        weigh less than a single drivetrain, in a smaller vehicle that doesn't need to contain all the rest of that stuff?

        It may get lighter than current hybrids... but dual drivetrains, and more equipment will likely never weigh LESS than a car with only one drivetrain, and only enough car to contain it.

        And, who says that cars like Miata, Nissan Z, Porsche 987, Corvette, or other actual sports cars, are any less worthy of remaining pure as they are, and that only a Lotus 7 clone, or a Caparo?

        Any sports car should be kept as pure as it should be. Adding complexity dilutes the essence of a sports car's purpose.

        Again, if you want a performance hybrid, that is a different class of vehicle, or someone can try to build a new hybrid, and try to compete with pure sports cars that already exist... and we'll see how it competes.

        But changing the formula of a sports car that already exists just leaves us with fewer choices of examples of that established sports car formula.

        A car with more than two seats and a larger chassis for that, a car with added complexity and weight, supposedly for fuel efficiency, or a car with a diesel engine is something other than a sports car.

        Fuel efficiency may be a side effect of a sports car. It is not meant to be the focus. That is what an ECONOMY car is for.


        Why do people always try to make everything the same? When you start mixing priorities, the logical ends are oxy-moronic things that don't meet any of the priorities as well as a properly focused result would.

        If you want economy, buy an economy car. If you want a sports car, keep it pure. If you want a truck, make it capable of doing WORK. Things have specific purposes. Some mixing works... but some purposes CLASH if you try to combine them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @AKBOSS

        That is why it is so imperative, that the actual sports cars.... NOT BE DILUTED. There are comparatively few of them.

        Leave the diesels and hybrids for the ECONOMY CARS, or the utility vehicles. Leave the Sports Cars to their purpose.

        @Mutantchimp...

        That is why a Sports Car isn't a Race Car, even if they are quite similar. A race car is all numbers. A sports car is mostly emotion, and the numbers just serve as a measuring stick of what a sports car is capable of... but the sports car is about the experience of driving, not the numbers.

        If you divorce the emotion from a sports car, you have KILLED THE POINT of a sports car.

        Theoretically, with enough gears, you can make a low-revving but torquey engine accelerate. It isn't that there isn't energy to be used. The essence of the issue is HOW the power can be used.

        That is why trucks are not the same thing as sports cars.

        Diesels have their very good uses, but they should be used for their strengths, not independent of their strengths.

        The character of a sports car engine should match and suit the use of a sports car, and be only as complex as is required to serve the purpose of a sports car.

        A sports car is not intended to be a fuel-efficient machine. It is meant to be an over-all efficient physics machine, making the most use of acceleration, deceleration, and handling forces, with the least compromise for additional size and mass. That is why Sports Cars, as strictly defined, usually do not have more than two seats, and tend to be packaged as compactly as the drivetrain and suspension, and appropriate tires allow.

        Don't turn sports cars into economy cars. Buy a good economy car (even one that has a little bit of performance...) if that is what you really want. Leave the sports cars to those of us who KNOW what they are.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @redline

        Golf 1.9 TDI's are often quicker around a road course than the 2.5 petrol Golf.

        • 4 Years Ago
        BoxerFanatic

        > A diesel is a good engine. Lots of torque for comparatively less fuel.

        Time and again... diesel engines do not produce any more torque (at wheels, where it propels the car) than turbocharged gasoline equivalents.

        Less fuel? If you account for energy density (=more crude oil to make diesel than gasoline), diesels come up being only 10 to 15% more efficient than modern forced induction gasoline counterparts, while being much more complex.


        > But it is an efficiency engine, not a performance engine

        True, although I'd rather call it a workhorse engine. Good for trucks or machinery.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you need pure and uncompromised, Caterham or Westfield will gladly sell you a Seven. Caparo has the T1 for those with deeper pockets.

        Well thought out hybrid drivetrains, featuring advances in lightweight motor and battery designs should happily co-exist in any pure sports car of the future. As the tech evolves, so to will the relationship between engine and motor. I'd bet a C-note future hybrid drivetrains weigh less than equivalent engines today, while offering a better experience all around.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Another stupid rumor about the Nissan/Mercedes tie up. If anything MB will be using Nissans engines as they currently have more power V6s and I4s. But in the end these two companies are highly unlikely to share powerplants.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So does that mean it looses that fabulous VQ exhaust note?
      • 4 Years Ago
      no hybrid Z, it simply can not be done. it is illegal....lol.
      • 4 Years Ago
      this is a horrible news............. another pony car lost its fun
        • 4 Years Ago
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pony_car
        "Pony car is an American class of automobile launched and inspired by the Ford Mustang in 1964.[1][2] The term describes an affordable, compact, highly styled car with a sporty or performance-oriented image. "It was small by Detroit standards, with sporty styling... [a]nd the rear wheels were driven by an engine — ideally a big V8 — mounted up front..."[3] Pony cars were "relatively small, relatively light and often absurdly powerful."[4]"

        The Z has not fit that description in over a decade.
        Even the creator of the Z has bashed the car for being too expensive, too heavy.

        He regaled the Miata and Mazda engineers for "getting it right." Fun to drive. Fun in the twisties. Not hard on the pocketbook.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Z is Japanese....it can't be a pony car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      While Merc makes a good V6 engine, so does Nissan. I hope they can both save money, and that the savings will translate to the customers..

      LOL.

      No part of putting a more expensive engine into a Nissan will make it easier, or cheaper, to maintain. I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating:

      A lady I work with drives an E class with the 4matic. NICE freaking car. EVERY SINGLE TIME she takes it into the dealer for service, it costs her $800.

      I don't want that sprinkled on my Z car. That's just frightening.
      • 4 Years Ago
      lets look at what happened to chrysler! chrysler had an exess of money, then here comes mercedes, and oops money's gone, time to sell chrysler off! mercedes came in, used every single resource they could and left them to die! they will do the same thing to nissan and before you know it, nissan will be laying there dying! it is mercedes way or no way at all...nissan has been warned!
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