Nissan 400Z to get retro design - motoring.com.au
Hours after an official YouTube video confirming the next Nissan Z-car would be revealed in Z Proto form in just two weeks, Nissan’s chief of design has revealed the iconic Japanese sports car’s styling will tap deep into its rich 50-year history.
A wireframe sketch posted by Nissan chief designer Alfonso Albaisa on his Instagram page confirms the all-new 2021 Nissan 400Z – if it gets that name – will boast a distinctive rear-end design with horizontal LED tail-lights inspired by the Nissan 300ZX launched in the late 1980s.
Toyota Supra vs Nissan 400Z
We’ll get a better idea of the 400Z’s overall design when the wraps come off the Nissan Z Proto at 10:30am AEST next Wednesday (September 16), but a tip of the hat to the Z32-series ZX will certainly please the Nissan faithful.
The upcoming Z35-series Nissan 400Z also appears to borrow a few design cues from the original 240Z of 1969, particularly a return to the circular headlights that adorned the brand’s Z-cars of the 1970s.
The Toyota Supra has a handful of design cues similar to its forebears, but it appears as though the Nissan 400Z will deliver a more powerful visual homage to its iconic ancestors than its Japanese sports coupe rival.
In his Instagram post, Albaisa used the #datsun240z and #nissan300zx hashtags and explained how important the new Nissan 400Z is to him personally.
“Projects with huge meaning do not come every day, on top of that, few projects trigger immediate “slide show” memories like Z.
“In Tokyo 50 years ago Tai san (Nissan Executive Design Director) saw his first Z and “lights on” wanted to be a car designer. Around the same time but a few thousand miles away a Cuban kid (me) in Miami saw his first Z and as well simply “what?WOW”!
“Tai san later was a designer on the ultra-modern, breathtakingly minimalistic 300ZX, the 2nd clay model I saw on my first trip to design studio in Japan 31 years ago (another huge WHAT?WOW moment).
“I later found myself working on 350Z, a team dream to find a new language for Z discovering mechanical beauty and road hugging performance posture. More to come but please share and let us know your memorieZ.”
Nissan Z-car history
After the Nissan Proto Z is revealed in a couple of weeks, the final production version of the Nissan 400Z is expected to be revealed next year, before production begins in the second half of 2021 and cars begin rolling into showrooms globally later next year.
Nissan Australia’s managing director Stephen Lester recently told carsales he can’t wait for the new 400Z.
“Anytime you’ve got a vehicle or a nameplate like Z, with that history and that loyal following … in that sports car arena, you’re crazy not to want it or be excited by it.
“So we’re really enthusiastic about all the things that are getting teased out there, if you will, and we’d be behind another iteration for the Australian market, 100 per cent,” he said.
We’ve written plenty else about the 2021 Nissan 400Z, which is expected to be powered by an Infiniti-sourced twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 outputting about 300kW — enough to smash the upgraded 285kW Toyota Supra coming later this year.
At around $70,000, Nissan’s all-new Z should also be more affordable than the $85K Supra too, although the born-again battle between the two Japanese rear-drive sports car icons will heat up further when NISMO and GRMN versions of both coupes are released down the track.