The 2022 Nissan 400Z could simply be badged 'Nissan Z' and undercut hot hatches on price in the US when it is unveiled later this year, according to new information.
A post on the NewNissanZ fan forum claiming to quote leaked insider information – the authenticity of which couldn't be validated by CarAdvice – alleges Nissan's new sports car will be badged 'Nissan Z' in export, non-Japanese markets, rather than the power-based 400Z designation widely rumoured.
The source also claims to possess details of the new Z's model range and standard equipment lists for the US market, along with its starting price: US$34,995 (AU$46,000).
If true, the entry-level, manual-equipped Nissan Z in the US would undercut everything from its closest rival, the US$50,990 (AU$67,000), 3.0-litre Toyota GR Supra, to front-drive hot hatches including the US$37,895 (AU$50,000) Honda Civic Type R and the US$37,940 (AU$50,000) flagship, Mk7.5 Volkswagen Golf GTI 'Autobahn'.
Don't expect those prices to necessarily translate to Australia, however, given pricing for an entry-level, outgoing Nissan 370Z locally opens from $50,490 before on-road costs, versus the US$33,820 (AU$44,500) quoted for a similarly-specified model in the US.
Above and below: Leaked images of the production 2022 Nissan Z, in grey-hued, auto-equipped guise.
Apply that difference to the new Nissan Z and an Australian starting price for a bare-bones manual model of between $52,000 and $55,000 could be on the cards – though Nissan Australia is unlikely to confirm an official number until closer to the model's local launch date, expected in 2022.
It's worth nothing the aforementioned figures apply to an entry-level, option-less model, and given Nissan Australia is more likely to opt to import a sole, fully-specified flagship grade, expect local pricing to fall closer to $65,000 – more on that in a moment.
Powering all Nissan Z variants will reportedly be the "400hp flavor" of the widely-rumoured (and spied) 3.0-litre twin-turbo 'VR30DDTT' V6, developing 298kW and 475Nm – rather than the 331kW output published for the Z Proto concept in the Project Cars 3 video game earlier this month.
The post makes no mention of a lower-grade, 224kW version of the same engine, as reported by Japanese media in recent months – suggesting the low-power engine option could be restricted to the Japanese market.
The source claims a six-speed manual will serve as the standard transmission option, with the gearbox reportedly a carry-over from the outgoing 370Z.
A nine-speed automatic developed by Mercedes-Benz will be available as an option – as featured in other new Nissan models, including the full-size Titan pick-up – as opposed to the seven-speed automatic shared with the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport (which shares the VR30DDTT engine) previously expected to feature.
Dry (tare) weight is said to be rated at 1475kg – matching the Project Cars 3 leak – thanks to increased use of aluminium and carbon-fibre in the Z's chassis compared to the 370Z, with which the new model shares much of its architecture.
The NewNissanZ post claims a choice of four Z 'variants' will be available, comprising the entry-level US$34,995 model, a pair of 'Type S' and 'Type T' option packages, and a fully-loaded 'Type ST' flagship.
Standard equipment on the entry-level grade will reportedly include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a widescreen infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Akebono brakes with fixed calipers, and the rear 'ducktail' spoiler first seen in leaked images earlier this week.
Opting for the performance-focused Type S (standing for Sport) package adds Brembo performance brakes, thicker anti-roll bars, additional engine and brake cooling and more.
Meanwhile, the luxury-focused Type T (standing for Touring) pack brings power-adjustable heated and cooled seats, leather trim, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and more.
The source claims the Type S and Type T package will each "roughly" command a US$5000 (AU$6500) premium, with the Type ST model – which combines the aforementioned packs, thus its name – will set buyers back US$10,000 (AU$13,000).
Should Nissan Australia opt to bring in only the circa-US$45,000 (AU$59,000) Type ST variant, pricing for the new Nissan Z could start from upwards of $65,000 before on-road costs Down Under.
Keen for more punch? A full-fat Z Nismo model is said to be on the way which, according to the forum post's source, "won't just be a body kit, exhaust, tune and some badges this time".
Above: Silver Nissan Z leaked earlier this week, as posted by @laidoutdc4. Bottom of story: Nissan Z Proto concept.
A drop-top Roadster body style won't be offered at launch, though it's possible one could be introduced at a later date.
The forum post concludes by stating the single-tone gunmetal grey and two-tone silver Nissan Z vehicles leaked on social media earlier this week were two of three US-market production models shipped to the 'States for a national Nissan dealer meeting, before being reportedly passed on to American media for a first drive.
According to the source, the grey car is an entry-level model, while the two-tone silver example is a Type T-equipped variant, both featuring automatic gearboxes. A third production Z is reportedly also on US soil, equipped with a manual transmission and the Type S package.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest on the 2022 Nissan Z, as its full debut approaches later this year.