The leader of Nissan’s GT-R and Nismo products, Hiroshi Tamura, revealed to Australian media that while alternative options were considered, Nissan development choice was “driven by customer voice”.
That means, for the time being at least, no hybrid or electric version of the 400Z will enter production, despite Nissan’s greater push towards electrification with vehicles like the Leaf and coming Ariya SUV – both pure EVs.
“If customer’s strongly suggest electrification, we’d have to do that,” Tamura said. “Every solution must be considered.”
Nissan has yet to reveal the details of the Z Proto’s powertrain, and the relationship it will have on the next Z-car, likely to wear the 400Z name.
The company has confirmed that the Z Proto concept is powered by a twin-turbo V6, linked to a six speed manual, but that’s all for now. Tamura's denial of electric assistance means a hybrid system, be it for performance or efficiency gains, won't form part of the product plan.
Last available locally in two states of tune, either 224kW/400Nm or 298kW/475Nm, it’s the latter that will likely end up powering the new Z. Even the suggested 400Z name comes from the 400 horsepower output, or spot-on 298kW, meaning the high-output engine is unlikely to change significantly.
“V6 twin-turbo is the answer right now,” Tamura reiterated. “How to make satisfaction for the customer? That is the answer.”
Along with the prototype’s six-speed manual, Tamura also confirmed that a ‘two pedal’ or automatic version of the 400Z would also eventuate.
Perhaps surprisingly, only one-third of 370Z sales globally have been manual versions, with the majority of customers opting for the comfort and convenience of an automatic.
Right now, Nissan uses a seven-speed torque-converter auto for both the 370Z and the high-output Q60. It is unknown whether that transmission will continue to be developed, or if a new transmission – be it a performance-focussed dual-clutch or torque converter unit – will be used.