Nissan design chief confirms new Z is underway

A new concept could be seen at Tokyo 2019

  • Image Credit: Nissan
Nissan's global design chief has confirmed that the company has started work on a new Z-car. As the classic Datsun 240Z turns 50 in October 2019, the carmaker wants to have something to display at the Tokyo Motor Show, which is handily held at the same time.

There have been rumors about both the Z's well-timed rebirth, and the 370Z's eventual replacement, but an interview by Wheels confirmed that a new prototype is underway, perhaps even in time for the show.

Wheels interviewed Nissan's Senior Vice President for Global Design, Alfonso Albaisa, who said that the next generation Z-car is on Nissan's to-do list. "The Z-car, oh my god. Huge pressure," said Albaisa. "You can imagine I'm completely excited that I am in the position to work on that."

Albaisa has worked at Nissan design for 31 years, and his portfolio includes concepts such as the Infiniti Prototype 9. He succeeded Shiro Nakamura in the spring of last year.

The current iteration of the Z bloodline, the 370Z, has been on the market since 2009, and its predecessor, the fairly similar 350Z was introduced in 2002. But it was nearly twenty years ago that Nissan first showed the 240Z as a reborn concept version, at the 1999 Detroit Auto Show; that concept served as a basis for the eventual production 350Z, even if the design language developed further away from those retro shapes. The production 350Z and 370Z interiors included modernized Z-car details seen already in 1999.

Since implementing the classic Z-car shape on a modern car will result in a certain retro look, it's likely that the new concept will bear some similarity to both the 1999 concept and the 1969 production original. We're hoping that the 50th anniversary concept will spawn a production version, too.

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