Sports cars are having a moment—witness the revived Toyota Supra and the splashy mid-engined Corvette that both debuted last year—so it’s perfect timing for Nissan to redesign its aging Z coupe, which we expect will bear the name 400Z. Nissan has been secretive with details about the 400Z, but we now know that the updated sports car will come with a twin-turbo V-6—likely borrowed from the Infiniti Q60 coupe—and a six-speed manual transmission. Mercifully, the Z will receive a technology update with new touchscreen infotainment, a digital gauge display, and likely a host of new driver-assistance features. Whereas the last generation 370Z went up against more affordable sports cars such as the Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Toyota 86 in price and performance, this next-generation car is expected to move slightly up-market to put the Supra in its crosshairs.
What’s New for 2022?
Nissan’s iconic Z-car will be all-new for 2022. Previewed by the Z Proto concept car, the new 400Z draws design inspiration from past Z cars but gives us a glimpse into the future with updated technology and a much-needed interior modernization. We expect the 400Z to debut next year as a hardtop coupe but a convertible version could follow later.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Like its beastly brother, the Nissan GT-R, the 400Z is expected to be powered by a twin-turbocharged V-6. But, instead of the fire-breathing 565-hp 3.8-liter that’s under the hood of the GT-R, the 400Z will likely get the 300-hp 3.0-liter mill from the Infiniti Q60. It’s also possible that the high-performance NISMO variant could get the 400-hp version of that engine that’s currently exclusive to the Q60 Red Sport 400. While all-wheel drive is available in the Infiniti, we expect Nissan will stick with rear-wheel drive exclusively for the 400Z. Nissan has promised a six-speed manual transmission as standard, but we expect that a seven-speed automatic will also be offered as an option.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA hasn’t released any estimates for fuel economy for the new Z, but if the Q60 is anything to on, we can expect highway fuel economy ratings as high as 28 mpg or so, with city ratings falling just south of the 20-mpg line. We’ll know more closer to the car’s on-sale date and we’re hoping to test the 400Z’s highway fuel economy on our 200-mile test route.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Although it’s new for 2022, Nissan hasn’t changed the layout of the Z’s cabin. It remains a two-seat coupe with no vestigial rear seats à la Porsche 911. What has changed, though, is everything else. As seen in images of the Z Proto concept vehicle, the new Z will receive a modernized cabin with updated materials—a welcome improvement over the current 370Z’s dated interior. To justify its expected price-hike, we’d expect Nissan to throw in genuine leather upholstery, power-adjustable seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Cargo space remains a mystery, but we aren’t hopeful that the 400Z will turn into a Costco-run champion; we fit three carry-on suitcases in the trunk of the 370Z, which should be plenty for buyers of such a vehicle.