MAY 29, 2017 UPDATE: Nissan’s “Z” line of cars has been around for decades, and so far all of them have been quite successful. The latest is the 370Z which received a small update with the 2018 Heritage Edition. This is celebrating 50 years of Z-edition cars. However, the changes are only cosmetic so what else do the 2018 Nissan Z news bring? For starters, it seems Nissan might release a prototype or at least a concept of the future model in the upcoming months. This hasn’t been confirmed so far, but it will more than likely happen. How are we so sure? Well, the ongoing 370Z has been released back in 2008, and it is actually based on a much older platform.
2018 Nissan Z – New Chassis
We are pretty sure Nissan’s old FM-platform won’t find its way under the skin of the new Z-car. Even though this is still a very capable chassis, it can’t really match its much newer rivals. Not that long ago Nissan signed an agreement with Mercedes to co-develop at least a couple of new cars. These would be released under both the Infiniti and the Nissan brand. So far all models co-developed by the two companies are based on Mercedes’ front wheel drive chassis. However, a rear wheel drive model based on Mercedes’ new highly modular rear-wheel drive platform isn’t out of the question. This would benefit greatly from the all aluminum construction, and it would make a really impressive sports car.
It still is quite early to say much about the Z’s future look. At this point, it seems Nissan might turn away from the bulky design of the 350 and 370Z towards the design of their older cars such as the 240Z. These were much sleeker, longer and lower than the ongoing 370Z. This would be entirely possible with the help of the Mercedes platform which would allow them to precisely control the wheelbase and width of the car. An all aluminum construction would allow Nissan to keep the weight down while a modern-classic design would certainly stand out.
Under the Hood
So far the car has been powered by a V6 engine. Most 2018 Nissan Z news suggest the new model might turn away from the V6. Instead, it could use an inline six gas engine developed by Mercedes. This would be actually a return to its roots as some of the original models used this type of engine. This new 3.0 liter turbocharged or twin-turbocharged inline six could develop considerably more power than the V6 while also using less fuel, so it should be the easy choice for them. Unfortunately, these are just rumors, so it remains to be seen what will actually happen with the car.
APR 10, 2017 REVIEW: The ongoing 370Z has been released back at the end of 2008 so it is not really up to date. On top of that, the car does share quite a few parts with the older 350Z which was released in 2002. Both cars are based on Nissan’s FM platform, a rear wheel drive chassis which is quite good. The 370Z offers a rather neutral driving experience, and its powerful V6 offers a more than adequate amount of power.
However, as we said, the car is not perfect. At little over $30,000 for a base model, the ongoing 370Z is worse than cars like the Mustang or the Camaro which are more fun to drive and more powerful for the same amount of money. Because of that, Nissan is looking to release a new model in the near future.
2018 Nissan Z Car Release Date and Price
The rumored 2018 Nissan Z is expected to release by the end of 2018 and it should hit the market shortly after that. There is still very little information about the car so far. Despite that, there are quite a few rumors about it. For starters, it seems that a naturally aspirated engine might be out of the question due to emissions concerns.
Also, the car is expected to be lighter and better to drive. Like the older model, it may still use the same FM chassis as before. Even though this is quite old at this point, the FM provides a great platform for Nissan. Things might change by the time it will release but considering Infiniti just released the Q60 based on the FM platform, it is safe to assume Nissan will follow the same recipe. The price is still unknown, but most rumors suggest a higher starting price. This is because Nissan might release a lower end model to fill in the gap. This would allow the 2018 Nissan Z to compete with the likes of the Porsche 718 or the upcoming 2018 Toyota Supra.
So far the Z line of cars has been dominated by a long hood and short rear end design. This should also hold true for the upcoming model. Even though it has been a while since Nissan released a concept, we are quite sure the upcoming Z car will borrow design traits from its predecessors. The 350Z and 370Z were both quite similar. However, the future 2018 Nissan Z is expected to borrow more from the original models.
This has been the norm with most of its rivals which mean Nissan might follow the same path. In the front, we expect more cues from the early 240Z or even the newer, but still rather old, 300ZX, which featured a wedge shape design.
Inside the Cabin
Unlike with the exterior, the upcoming Nissan Z 2018 will more than likely feature a similar cabin to that of both the 350 and 370Z. The three large dials in its instrument cluster, the dash-mounted information dials or even the hidden infotainment system are all expected to be seen on the new model. However, the massive amount of buttons, the rather odd driving position or the bad materials are all expected to be gone. Thanks to the higher price tag, the new 2018 Nissan Z should feature a more modern interior with quite a few design cues taken straight out of the new GT-R.
Under the Hood
The 3.7 liter V6 from the 370Z is more than likely going to be gone. While most people love this engine, it won’t be able to meet emissions standards for long. It will be replaced, but Nissan hasn’t confirmed the replacement so far. There are rumors that the new Z might feature either a hybrid or a turbocharged engine. The first option would raise the cost of the car a bit too much. However, a turbo would make a lot more sense. Nissan already has the twin-turbo VR V6 which is currently available as a 3 or a 3.8 liter, the later only available on the GT-R. The 3 liter twin-turbo V6, on the other hand, is currently available on the Q60 where it makes 399 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.
With the help of a six-speed manual or a seven speed automatic, the upcoming Z would easily outrun its predecessor, and it would easily match the competition. A less powerful version might also be offered at a later date in order to allow the 2018 Z to compete with the American muscle cars which improved tremendously in the past couple of years.