It’s becoming one of the motoring world’s worst-kept secrets - Nissan is working on an all-new sports car, and we’ve known for ages. The company’s vice president of design Alfonso Albaisa has already said he’s involved in a replacement for the next Z car, and although Nissan itself hasn’t said anything official since then, a curious 370Z-based test mule spied at the Nurburgring a few months back added fuel to the fire.
More recently - as spotted first by Motor Trend - the Japanese firm has filed a patent with the Canadian government for a new Z logo. Please stop the hype train, as we want to get on.
It’s thought the long-awaited successor for the ageing 370Z will adopt the name ‘400Z’. Although unlike its predecessors, that name won’t refer to displacement - the car is set to use the VR30DDTT 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 also seen in various Infiniti products.
In production form, the VR30 is always paired to an automatic gearbox, but another recent 370Z report suggested that a manual version will still be available. It’s certainly technically possible - Nissan paired the engine with stick shift for a 400bhp 2018 SEMA show car.
As for when we’ll see the new Z car (rumoured to be a crossover rather than a sports car, once upon a time) will arrive, we can’t be sure. It might be revealed before the end of the year, but with the automotive industry currently under heavy disruption, we might be waiting until 2021. The ancient 370Z will have to soldier on for a little longer, it seems.