Rear lights, headlights, design influence and drivetrain details – here is everything about the new Z that Nissan is showing us.

Nissan 400z starts up and confirms manual

Nissan has confirmed the new 400Z will have a manual transmission. We can also hear it for the first time.

Nissan 400Z easter eggs

Nissan is finally beginning to pull the sheet off its new Z and the teasers are giving away details of what is one of the most anticipated car unveils this year.

Indeed, we don’t even really know the name of the model, though many point to it being called the 400Z, on account of unsubstantiated reports that the drivetrain will be a 400bhp version of the 3.0-litre V6 turbo found in the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 (VR30DDTT).

We quite like that idea though only one publication in Japan has actually suggested this. The name Fairlady is possible, given it has been registered, but that’s also just the Japanese domestic market name used now.

So where does that leave us? Officially, in no man’s land. But Nissan has given us a teaser video this week and it shows exactly what the new Z will be – an homage to all previous Zeds, sort of.

The video opens with what looks like the original Datsun S30 240Z (actually, it’s an L20-equipped S31 from Nissan’s Heritage Fleet), flanked on its right by the 280Z and Z32 300ZX, and on its left by the Z31 200ZG (precursor to the 300ZX and in the same generation) and Z33 350Z. 

Of course, Z all started with the 240, so we first see a close up of the oldest model’s snout in profile and a clip flashing over the new 400Z version, revealing the inspiration behind the new headlights.

Rather than set the new headlight inside a sculpted front guard, the new LED elliptical headlight will essentially fill a similar space as one whole headlight unit. Neat, and cost-efficient.

Moving on, we turn to the rear of the Z32 300ZX (we skip the Z31, presumably because it looked like a dropped pie), and to many Z fans’ delight, the rear bar light design of the Z32 is the foundation of the new 400Z’s buttocks. 

What’s neat in this new design is that rather than plonk two LED filled strips on top of each other, it appears that the four individual lights will be continuous bars in an extended oblong shape. Perhaps indicators and reversing lights will sit inside. 

Next up is perhaps the all-important image of the side profile, which begins with the new model’s new Z badge, positioned in the requisite upper rear flank position it was on the 240Z, and which then overlays to the profile of the Nissan Heritage Fleet’s 1969 S30, or simply put, the original 240Z.



We then see confirmation that Nissan will unveil the Z Proto (a pre-production prototype testing unit of the Z) on September 16.  And that’s it…or is it?

Following a Power Z slogan, we see a hand reaching to change gears on a gearshift knob, indicating the new Z will have a manual transmission still. Or at least it will for left-hand drive markets. 

That and the fact the new Z is (most likely) built in Japan still will give it some serious one-upmanship over the Austrian built, German underpinnings, auto-only Toyota Supra.

And as for the 200ZG? Well, it was allowed to hang out with the cool kids on the track, at least.


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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.


  1. I must say this car is looking more and more like the best of the new Japanese sports car. Super to see Nissan keeping it all in house.

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