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Fast forward to 2021 and an exciting new Z35 is nearing introduction in the near future. Will I put down another deposit on a new Z right away? I think not, and for a couple of reasons:

Nissan and dealers have to be careful not to over charge too much. The Z has always been a great sports car for a lower price then competitors. If the first year premium over invoice puts the price near r over $60k then buyers will cross shop with Corvettes and German sports cars. I know I would.
Are you considering any other vehicles like a C8 or are you just using it as an example?
 

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One story: the Toyota MR2 Spyder was in introduced April 1, 2000. It had the same engine/tranny as the Corolla and Celica.

No problem, right?

Well, after about a year, some owners experienced premature catastrophic engine failure. All of a sudden, the engine scarfed oil and, with low mileage on newer cars, you'd think not to check the level everyday.

Well, turns out, in order to make it an "ultra low emissions" car, they introduced "precatalytic" converters in the exhaust system. Unfortunately, the material in the precats broke down over time, eventually clogging the main cat, creating back pressure, which blew out the piston rings.

I replaced my engine at 17k.

Warranty, right? The earliest of those affected encountered denied claims due to "racing, racecar, cornering, autocrossing, etc" - basically anything Toyota could conjur up as an excuse not to warranty the engine.
 

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One story: the Toyota MR2 Spyder was in introduced April 1, 2000. It had the same engine/tranny as the Corolla and Celica.

No problem, right?

Well, after about a year, some owners experienced premature catastrophic engine failure. All of a sudden, the engine scarfed oil and, with low mileage on newer cars, you'd think not to check the level everyday.

Well, turns out, in order to make it an "ultra low emissions" car, they introduced "precatalytic" converters in the exhaust system. Unfortunately, the material in the precats broke down over time, eventually clogging the main cat, creating back pressure, which blew out the piston rings.

I replaced my engine at 17k.

Warranty, right? The earliest of those affected encountered denied claims due to "racing, racecar, cornering, autocrossing, etc" - basically anything Toyota could conjur up as an excuse not to warranty the engine.
Probably a blessing in disguise, great opportunity to swap in a more exciting engine like the Celica GT-S engine (which I believe is a fairly straight-forward swap on that car) or the 2GR.

In the Z/G world, the VQ37 had an oiling issue due to paper galley gaskets. Nissan persisted that design for 3+ years, until they finally began using metal galley gaskets. It's the only true "catastrophic" engineering flaw of VQ37, although it'll generally throw a CEL long before any real engine damage is done, most VQ37s can be repaired, still a PITA.
The VR30 has had more little issues than the VQs did, and I believe some may persist in the Z35.
Still, for a boosted car, the VR30 is reliable relative to it's peers.
I'd be more concerned about the 9AT..... There will be a fair number of 9AT Z35s rolling around, and we'll probably see some people modding for more than 100+HP, that'll show how durable the 9AT is.
 

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Probably a blessing in disguise, great opportunity to swap in a more exciting engine like the Celica GT-S engine (which I believe is a fairly straight-forward swap on that car) or the 2GR.
Let warranty replace engine with stock 1ZZ or replace with 2ZZ with new ECU on your dime. The 2ZZ was more HP, but the camshaft changeover to the higher RPM came as a surprise to many when it hit, and something not ideal to experience in a lively curve in a rear-engined lightweight. A few swapped to Camry V-6.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Well, this thread has gone off the rails in a big way! With talk about nine speed automatic gearboxes and Toyota powerplants, it can't go OT much more than that. Still wondering about whether there will be huge demand for the new Z35 from Z loyalists, or just a superficial blip from those who want the next new car.
 

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Well, this thread has gone off the rails in a big way! With talk about nine speed automatic gearboxes and Toyota powerplants, it can't go OT much more than that. Still wondering about whether there will be huge demand for the new Z35 from Z loyalists, or just a superficial blip from those who want the next new car.
I think there's going to be a strong chunk of Z35 owners that are current or former Z owners. I hope loyalists don't get snobby about the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Thanks for bringing us back OT. It's inescapable that Nissan is courting past Z owners to be part of the initial surge of Z35 customers. I don't think being selective about what they want in the next Z makes them snobby. After all, they've had great times with their Z purchases in the past.
 

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Thanks for bringing us back OT. It's inescapable that Nissan is courting past Z owners to be part of the initial surge of Z35 customers. I don't think being selective about what they want in the next Z makes them snobby. After all, they've had great times with their Z purchases in the past.
I don't mean snobby in terms of what they want in the new Z, for the money it'll cost I completely get that. I mean snobby in terms of rejecting it just because it's new. For example, a friend of mine has an order for a new Bronco and he's told me that he knows old Bronco owners who are rejecting the new truck just because it's new and not like the one they own.
 

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Owners of old Broncos don't warm up to the new since I believe they were originally solid axle front, now replaced with IFS, so not sticking with heritage and toughness.
 
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Owners of old Broncos don't warm up to the new since I believe they were originally solid axle front, now replaced with IFS, so not sticking with heritage and toughness.
That is like complaining that it doesn't have a crank start and manual ignition advance, like a Model T.

That sort of thinking is why the Mustang didn't have an independent rear suspension designed into the chassis until 2015, when most performance cars got them sometime between the 1960s and 1980s.

Henry Ford himself said when asked why he didn't ask what people wanted... "they would say they want a faster horse."
He was also reported to be quite controversial in the way he did business, treated people, and ideology... and Ford ironically lost market share at times because Henry Ford resisted change, when Chrysler and Chevrolet moved forward.

That quote isn't necessarily wrong about people, though.

Sometimes I really wonder why people insist that time stand still. It never does, and definitively can't.

How many purpose-built off-road crawlers and race machines are purpose built with long travel independent suspension, instead of rigidly tying the right and left tires together?
 

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That would certainly sell a lot of Z35s, if it could soundly beat Supras, Porsches, base Corvettes, and V8 Mustang GTs and Challenger R/Ts for $60K. It would likely appeal for some of the same reasons that Shelby GT350 appealed.

But to draw a different parallel, I hope that if NISMO goes the way of full-boat performance model, like Porsche does with 911 GT3, and Type ST goes to something like a 911 GTS...

I hope there is also another option, perhaps the 'Type S' trim that is rumored, that will be equivalent to a Porsche 911T. Base engine, performance suspension upgrades, not necessarily extra luxury, but not poverty-spec, either... that is a pure road car.

Extra power usually comes with a raft of other aspects, and emissions/economy regulations that creates issues like having too-tall gearing, where 4th gear and above are all for fuel economy, and the engine is sedate and not thirsty... but if you rev the engine into the power band, by 4th gear, you are risking your license, and having your car impounded.

Porsche 718 GTS 4.0 and GT4/Spyder are insanely good sports cars... even with just 400 horsepower... but the gearing makes it a moot point. 4th and 5th gears are almost un-necessary, 6th is for highway cruising, and performance driving is mostly leaving it in 2nd or 3rd gear. PDK for this year is almost the same story.

Saving the manual transmission is only worthwhile if shifting manually is actually fun and useful. With tons of power on tap, the excess power overhead, and possibly the gearing associated with it... are not as useable, and become a flaw rather than a benefit.

Plus, drivers of other cars that currently have 450+ horsepower with rear wheel drive, especially front weight bias... tend to get news headlines by wrecking their cars, and sometimes hurting people by not knowing how to handle that in the split second when the car already has inertia, and traction is lost.
 

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I don’t think Nissan will do full-tilt on the Z, definitely not encroaching on GT-R perf territory, esp at that low price point. It will be in true heart the poor man’s GT-R, plus sticking to the heritage roots. I’m totally fine with that, bring it on!
 
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I wonder if GT-R will swan-song and bow out for a time while Z35 is new. It is already considered to be out of date, as 370Z also is... and R35 is very expensive, and suffers from some of the same perception issues as the new NSX.

450-500hp is not as monumental as it was when GT-R debuted, and not as expensive to produce, especially on a newer mainstream 3.0TT engine or an adaptation of it, rather than the unique VQ-variant 3.8L engine that GT-R has. Plus, the chassis and AWD drivetrain expense would be different.

The question would be... how well can the Z34/35 chassis handle that much power through the rear wheels only, as well as braking and cooling, while still being reliable and warranty-eligible.

I wholeheartedly agree that a key to Z's success is affordability and real-world performance.

I get the point about "Poor man's [expensive alternative]" thing... and I'd love for Nissan Z to be an affordable Ferrari Roma...

But I always cringe a little bit when I hear "Poor Man's ___" because it always seems like a negative connotation, that it is managing diminished expectations from the get-go for the product itself, and a bit of a slight to the people who would want to buy it... 'if they were just better people, they'd be wealthier, and then they could get a better car and not have to settle...'

Z35 is hopefully not a "settle for" car. Hopefully, it is a "Great on it's own merits" car, with one of those merits being mainstream affordability, and showing that quality doesn't necessarily require 50 grand, 100 grand, or a quarter-mil.

Because people who work for a living, and watch their spending are good people, too, on their own merits, and should have availability of the product they want to own and enjoy, not just the "rich man's toys".
 

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500hp in a small, 2 seat sporty rwd car is a bit too much. At 500hp of mods the current Z34 struggles with traction in at least 2 gears, if not 3.

I could see a factory 500hp Z possibly replacing the Mustang as an embarrassing meme "another Z leaving a car meet wadded up 100' out of the driveway". Heck, probably be able to do that at 400hp.

Anyways, if someone wants a 500hp Z, tune it. The VR30 easily makes 500hp with not much effort. Just gotta keep it cool.
 

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That would certainly sell a lot of Z35s, if it could soundly beat Supras, Porsches, base Corvettes, and V8 Mustang GTs and Challenger R/Ts for $60K. It would likely appeal for some of the same reasons that Shelby GT350 appealed.

But to draw a different parallel, I hope that if NISMO goes the way of full-boat performance model, like Porsche does with 911 GT3, and Type ST goes to something like a 911 GTS...
Great points here about mt ratios in contemporary powerful sports cars. Unless you are tracking the cars the super-tall ratios suck most of the fun out of them. On the street I think I'd have more enjoyment out of the rumoured 9 speed auto in the new Z if the manual's ratios are very tall, at least I could shift gears with the paddles much more frequently at legal speeds.

But I can't see a $60k USD Nismo besting a C8 which hits 60 in what, 2.9 seconds. With that front engine it won't have the traction or the perfect weight balance.

Another issue is the fact that the next Z is carrying over the old chassis nearly intact from all accounts. The current car has not exactly had rave reviews in the handling and driving feel departments - see e.g. Chris Harris's comparison to a used Caman and the then-new GT86. The viscous LSD has been panned. Can that platform really be upgraded to world-class status at a reasonable cost, or is it destined to remain a Japanese muscle car?
 

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Great points here about mt ratios powerful sports cars. Unless you are tracking the cars the super-tall ratios suck most of the fun out of them. On the street I think I'd have more enjoyment out of the rumoured 9 speed auto, at least I could shift years with the paddles much more frequently.

But I can't see a $60k USD Nismo besting a C8 which hits 60 in what, 2.9 seconds. With that front engine it won't have the traction or the perfect weight balance.

Another issue is the fact that the next Z is carrying over the old chassis nearly intact from all accounts. The current car has not exactly had rave reviews in the handling and driving feel departments - see e.g. Chris Harris's comparison to a used Caman and the then-new GT86. The viscous LSD has been panned. Can that platform really be upgraded to world-class status at a reasonable cost, or is it destined to remain a Japanese muscle car?
Maybe not the Corvette... dunno...

The chassis and platform being brought over from the Z34 is not the same thing as being un-revised. Control arm geometries, dampers, springs, anti-roll bar rates, upright geometry... there are subtle things that can change by millimeters or degrees to significantly change and improve handling... before getting into things like brakes, wheels, unsprung weights, and battery, drivetrain, bodywork dimensions, and other weight distribution.

Cayman is not going to be a fair fight for the same reason you mentioned Corvette C8.

GT86 is lighter and lower CG... but otherwise the suspension is not more ideal or more sophisticated... possibly just a matter of tuning.

An eDiff with torque vectoring, revised clutch LSD, a torsen, or other visually indistinguishable changes may have been made.

Otherwise if it is unchanged, Z1 Motorsports and other aftermarket vendors have better parts that will bolt on, on Z35 Day 1.
 

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I wonder if GT-R will swan-song and bow out for a time while Z35 is new. It is already considered to be out of date, as 370Z also is... and R35 is very expensive, and suffers from some of the same perception issues as the new NSX.

450-500hp is not as monumental as it was when GT-R debuted, and not as expensive to produce, especially on a newer mainstream 3.0TT engine or an adaptation of it, rather than the unique VQ-variant 3.8L engine that GT-R has. Plus, the chassis and AWD drivetrain expense would be different.

The question would be... how well can the Z34/35 chassis handle that much power through the rear wheels only, as well as braking and cooling, while still being reliable and warranty-eligible.

I wholeheartedly agree that a key to Z's success is affordability and real-world performance.

I get the point about "Poor man's [expensive alternative]" thing... and I'd love for Nissan Z to be an affordable Ferrari Roma...

But I always cringe a little bit when I hear "Poor Man's ___" because it always seems like a negative connotation, that it is managing diminished expectations from the get-go for the product itself, and a bit of a slight to the people who would want to buy it... 'if they were just better people, they'd be wealthier, and then they could get a better car and not have to settle...'

Z35 is hopefully not a "settle for" car. Hopefully, it is a "Great on it's own merits" car, with one of those merits being mainstream affordability, and showing that quality doesn't necessarily require 50 grand, 100 grand, or a quarter-mil.

Because people who work for a living, and watch their spending are good people, too, on their own merits, and should have availability of the product they want to own and enjoy, not just the "rich man's toys".
I don't think Nissan is done with the GT-R. Along with the Z I think the GT-R going to be important to help them rebuild their reputation. I think there's going to be a new one coming (maybe hybrid) that will join the Z as their flagship models.
 
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