With tightening global regulations on emissions and fuel economy, sports car manufacturers are twisting itself like a contortionist to find new and creative ways to remain compliant. One car that runs into this issue is the current Nissan 370Z. The Z car has always been a six-cylinder vehicle, including the early years of and 240Z, but European buyers mostly don’t care for V-6-power and U.S. buyers need a more fuel-efficient models to choose from. This is exactly why Nissan is looking into offering various engine options for the next-generation Z car, per a report from Car Advice.
The Aussie site spoke to Nissan’s corporate vice president Roel de Vries, and he is quoted saying “Can you sell a V6 [370Z] in Europe? No. Does that mean the next Z will have a V6 [for Europe]? No, of course we are not going to do that.” He followed that up with “[But] there’s still an audience that wants a six-cylinder engine, so why should we give it up? That’s all part of ongoing studies.”
Translated, this means that Nissan won’t necessarily kill the V-6 in the next-generation Z, but it is looking into what other engines buyers may consider. Most of the speculation in the industry has centered on a midrange, turbocharged four-cylinder and a base-level, naturally aspirated four-pot sitting under the range-topping V-6. These engines would give the Z the opportunity to take on the new Mustang Ecoboost and the upcoming turbo four-cylinder Camaro with its midrange engine, and the Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S and Toyota GT 86 triplets with its base engine.
After changing the engine beneath the hood of the next Z, the issue that pops up is the name. Both the 350Z and 370Z were named after the displacement of their engines — the 350 had a 3.5-liter and the 370 has a 3.7-liter — so how would Nissan structure this? The Nissan boss responded to that by saying “In my opinion the displacement as part of the product name is a bit behind us,” but clarified it later by confirming that the “Z” name will remain. He even pointed to the possibility that the 370Z’s successor could simply be called the Nissan Z.
The next-generation Z car is expected to hit the market within two years, so we’ll likely see more details rolling our soon. We’ll bring you more updates as they come.