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New Nissan 400Z details, electrification off the table

Nissan’s new Z car isn’t far away from being unveiled.

There’s still plenty of speculation around the upcoming “400Z” that Nissan officially teased last month. But it remains as such.

However, the motor underneath the bonnet is certainly likely to remain petrol power, both according to a report printed in a Japanese magazine this week and after a media conference with Nissan executives.

As it stands, Nissan suggested that electrification of its popular Z car isn’t yet feasible, due to things like overheating batteries and added mass.

Speaking with media during the video conference, Nissan’s VP of global product strategy Ivan Espinosa said that for now, we’ll see conventional (combustion engine) power until hybrid and potentially fully-electric drivetrains takeover.

“I can tell you I still see space for two different things,” said Espinosa. “Probably in the short term you can still see a bit more conventional technology coming. By conventional, I mean [internal combustion].”

Espinosa also said, “I cannot give you details about the car now,” though it seems clear that the highly speculated 3.0-litre petrol V6 twin-turbo engine which has been reported from sources close to Nissan Japan is right on the money.

Indeed, if we do get that engine (and Nissan Australia has told us it will be gunning to bring the new Z Down Under), it will be in the ballpark of 298kW (which is a conventional 400hp – hence the name) and 475Nm of torque, mated to a seven-speed automatic.

The newest report from Japan this month inside a local car magazine also suggests that these details will be confirmed this year, and that the model will go sale next year. The reporter, who has previously held correct with their Nissan source, also supports the idea that there will be two output versions (at least in Japan), perhaps with the lower-spec coming with a six-speed manual transmission and the higher output the seven-speed auto (and also an option on the lower output variant).

During the conference, Espinosa went on to explain that while there’s a push to electrification and vehicles such as the Z might well become electrified, there are many challenges still to overcome for electric sports cars.

What we would expect first is a dedicated EV sports car from Nissan, using a variation of Nissan’s all-wheel-drive twin-electric motor system already plugged into a mule Leaf car. This would be built on the brand’s electric car platform and built for purpose, rather than shoehorning an existing combustion engine platform.

Nissan’s luxury arm Infiniti also built a V6 hybrid performance test mule, though being based on F1’s KERS system, it is a very expensive drivetrain to produce.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae