Nissan is reportedly hard at work on its next-generation Z. According to Inside Line, designers are already churning away on a concept version of the 2015 Z that may bow at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. The report notes that Shiro Nakamura, head of design for Nissan, says the new Z will be both smaller and lighter than the current 370Z.

The model will also be geared toward a wider audience, and Nissan may be investigating the possibility of ditching the tried-and-true 3.7-liter VQ V6 for a turbocharged four-cylinder, a move that would almost certainly help fuel efficiency. The current Z is saddled with a lackluster 26 mpg highway, and strong early sales of cars like the Scion FR-S certainly indicate certain buyers are willing to drop a few ponies for a machine that's engaging to drive and at least somewhat fuel efficient.

Blasphemy? Maybe, but the thought of an engaging, lightweight turbo four sports car is the stuff dreams are made of – it's the "wider audience" part of the discussion that has us concerned as enthusiasts. A smaller Z would likely mean abandoning the Z's FM platform which also underpins machines like the Infiniti G Coupe and Sedan as well as the FX softroader. Inside Line says Nissan may turn to its corporate partner Daimler for some help in the chassis department.


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  • 127 Comments
      Mike
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nissan it's called a 240SX. You use to make one remember? Leave the Z as the step up car.
      z32
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have no problem with downsizing the current v6 and adding a turbo or bringing back and i6 for the z, but the z-car has and always should have a 6 cylinder powerplant. If they want to bring a four cylinder to market in a sports car, it should be on a different platform. Would you be ok with a turbo 4 cylinder in a corvette? Would you be ok with a turbo 4 or 6 cylinder in the viper? No, the engine is part of what makes the car. Iconic cars need to keep with their heritage. I think that Nissan will continue to acknowledge this, they have for the last 42 years.
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am possibly seeing a trend here. Smaller, lightweight cars might just make a comeback. The BRZ/FRS was one of the first on the market to follow that thinking, but other car makers have been hinting that they are going to go that route as well. Nissan has said multiple times that they want to cut the weight of their cars, as has VW. The next-gen Camaro is almost guaranteed to be much lighter and smaller since its moving to the ATS platform. I believe that Ford has said the Mustang is going to shrink a little to better fit worldmarkets. This is a very good thing.
        truewhiteboy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        Rumor has the Challenger going away and Dodge revealing a lighter "Cuda" as well.
          Hazdaz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @truewhiteboy
          This is the first time I have heard that rumor, but it sounds good if true. The problem I see though is that Chrysler doesn't have a smaller RWD platform to use, and I believe neither does Fiat. And it would be cost prohibitive for them to release a platform JUST for the 'Cuda. Maybe a co-developed one with Alfa Romeo? It will be interesting to see what happens.
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @truewhiteboy
          Justin: Seriously? Why axe the Challenger name?
      Jon Acton
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Z car has evolved into a shadow of what it started out as. Hell even Mr K, the father of the Z car can't stand the 350Z and the 370Z as they have gotten far away from what the Z car needs to be. Now thats not to say make it cheaper with a 4 cyl. turbo, it means make it what it needs to be; a razor sharp, powerful sports car that adds lightness and takes out weight. There's no way Nissan will develop an I-6 for one car. It should be a V6 of smaller displacement or weight. If Chevy can make an LS motor lightweight and powerful then Nissan should have no trouble making a lightweight V6 with high power. The new car IMO needs to be more of a 240z and less like a 370z which looks like belongs stashed away in a clock tower never to see the light of day.
        Donny Hoover
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jon Acton
        Agreed. As the owner of a Z32, the 300 will always be my favorite Z bar none but that formula didn't work for them. They built a halo car. Larger, very high powered for the time, more weight, way more technology; a high priced exotic and Corvette killer that while awesome, moved away from the point of the original Z. Then they axed that and went to a sort of compromise. It can't go after Ferraris and Corvettes any more but it isn't exactly light and inexpensive like the 240 and 260 either. Its like they just wanted it to fill a spot in the market and it really should be moved around, whether up or down. I vote they take a page out of the Mustang and Camaro's books and make a light, retro looking Z based on the old Datsuns. 4 cylinder not necessary though. Look at the V6 Mustang's power and efficiency.
          S30Z
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Donny Hoover
          Both Jon and your self have perfect points on this subject. thank you for posting!
      miammt
      • 2 Years Ago
      instead of making this smaller and lighter, they should re-introduce the silvia in the us to rival the fr-s and brz. making the z smaller and putting a 4 cylinder will kill the z all together. The z should be the flagship sportscar of nissan while a siliva like car can be an entry-level sportscar.
        S30Z
        • 2 Years Ago
        @miammt
        You make a good point sir. YET think about the routes of the current Z's and FRS/GT86. Just like 70's Fairlady Z's to rival with the gt2000. Its time Nissan goes back to Z's affordable and under 3000lbs
      Cain Gray
      • 2 Years Ago
      "The model will also be geared toward a wider audience, and Nissan may be investigating the possibility of ditching the tried-and-true 3.7-liter VQ V6 for a turbocharged four-cylinder, a move that would almost certainly help fuel efficiency." Hey Nissan! What you have there is a 180/240SX.......................................just bring the damn thing back and leave the Z alone.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Henry
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's baloney. Less weight, yes for crying out loud but smaller and four cylinder? That sounds like a 240 SX to me unless they are thinking of lesser iteration in the like of a 260Z. The Z moniker is too revered to be toyed with like that. And that's my 2 cents.
      Richard
      • 2 Years Ago
      A zcar with a 4 cylinder engine is a terrible idea. Why not just revive the S platform(Silvia) again?
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      Dreez28
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm guessing they'll be going more Subaru BRZ direction. Which is more true to Nissan/Datsun Z history. How the Z ever became such a short, fat turd I can't understand.
      ThucBiDza
      • 2 Years Ago
      There's a market for a V6 sport coupe, don't **** with it. Instead, bring back the 240z Nissan!
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