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Sep 16, 2020
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Global product boss says new Nissan Z-car's drive experience will be 'authentic and pure'

Nissan’s global product planning boss has reassured Z fans that the next-generation Z-car will deliver a “pure” driving experience.

And he’s provided a very clear indication that unloved technology such as Nissan/Infiniti’s fly-by-wire Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS) won’t be recycled in the new Z.

The new ‘400Z’, due in Australia late next year and previewed by the Z Proto unveiled on September 15, will roll on an updated version of the same FM (front-mid) platform used under vehicles like the Infiniti Q50/Q60.

Indeed, the twin-turbo V6 that will power the sports car is almost certainly a tweaked version of the 3.0-litre (298kW/475Nm) engine used in the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport.

When quizzed on the use of the problematic DAS in the new 400Z by carsales, Nissan’s senior vice-president of global product planning, Ivan Espinosa, laughed, stating: “The intention with this car is to give a very pure driving experience. I would describe it as authentic and pure.

“This is what we are trying to achieve and the proof of that is that we have a manual transmission.

“Z is not about being the fastest. Of course, it needs to be a fast car, because it’s a sports car, but the reality [of Z] is about the [driving] experience – that making sure you’re blended and connected with the car.

“This is the line of thought we had when we started to tune the car, decide what sort of hardware we should put in the car – all these things were considered following this line of thought…”

In an electronic roundtable with journalists, Espinosa also hinted strongly that the production version of the new seventh-generation Z would spawn NISMO versions, but retreated from previous suggestions that the Z could be electrified.

He also shed more light on the likely racetrack direction for the car.

“There’s always an appetite [to go racing] and this car could be a very nice contender in a GT4 kind of class,” he said.

“This is one alternative we could consider. The car is capable. The size of the car is capable. And we have a wonderful heritage.”