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I'd be ok with a smaller lighter version and also a smaller N/A 6 cylinder of some kind. I'm with you on the 4 cylinder too. That is too far from the Z heritage. It would be a reborn 240sx, NOT a Z car.

You have to think of it from Nissan's perspective though. With each new generation, it should outperform the last one, at least that is what has historically happened with most sports cars. Thinking about that it's probably a fairly difficult move from a marketing perspective to make the car slower than the outgoing model. But wasn't that the case with the 350z? Didn't the 300ZX outperform it in just about every regard?
Most stock VQ35DEs from 2003-2005 dyno'ed out around 235-245. Stock with full interior everything they ran on average about 13.5 -13.6 1/4 mile. I think officially the stock 300ZX's 1/4 time averaged just a little bit higher in the high 13s to 14 even. The stock 300ZX came in around 3300 lbs vs. the 350Z at around 3300-3500 depending on trim. They were very close performance wise in stock trim. I think the 350Z had a slight edge.
 

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I don't care all that much about heritage and what the previous generation had. What i care about is how a new and current version of said car performs. I wouldn't be opposed to a lighter weight new Z with a turbo'd 4 cylinder that performs better then what we currently have. It would be even better if nissan left headroom for people to safely up the power and have a strong aftermarket support. Attach it to a true 6 speed that can hold enough power and it sounds like a winning combination. Price it around the fr-s and genesis and offer more power, lighter weight chasis that can perform and nissan would have a winning car on their hands regardless if it is a turbo'd 4 cylinder and not a NA 6.

I see this as a similar situation like what Ford did with eh ecoboost and F-150. And everyone loves the ecoboost F-150 and what they are capable of.
 

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A smaller lighter Z that would go against the FRS, Geneisis 2.0T, or any other smaller displacement sports car was basically left open by Nissan when the 240SX went away. If they want to use the Z platform for this then you're basically saying that the Z needs to do an 180 and go back to the days of the Fairlady and 240ZX. I honestly think Nissan should introduce a different car to compete in this segment.

The Z since the late 70s has always been a large displacement car with the introduction of the 280ZX. IMO if Nissan stays on this route then they need to a couple of things to make it competitive. 1) Reduce the weight!! Both the 300ZX through 370ZX were too heavy. 2) Stick with the V6 but improve it. Direct Injection for better performance, efficiency, and MPG. The current VQ is horrible on gas. 3) Offer a turbo option and NA option like they did with the 300ZX. The VK56DE would be a horrible move. That engine is just too big and would throw off the balance of the car and undermined the whole less weight and better mpg. With a NA option you can take the cost down and keep it around the high 20s to mid 30s.
 

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I wonder if Nissan every thought about boosting the VQ25HR that was sold with the anemic G25 and using for the Z.
Given the power that it makes NA, it wouldn't be hard to make 300+ HP with it turbocharged.

I see this as a similar situation like what Ford did with eh ecoboost and F-150. And everyone loves the ecoboost F-150 and what they are capable of.
Apples to oranges. Trucks, with the exception of special models, are mass-produced utilitarian vehicles; the Z is a TRUE sports/GT car and not just a tarted up version of a pedestrian vehicle like the Sentra. Heritage and emotion are as much a part of the equation as hard numbers when it comes to a car like this.

Maybe the next 'Z' could just use the S or SX name instead?
Sorry, but it wouldn't be a Z car. What you're suggesting is that they effectively kill the Z car.
 

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The 370Z as is, sits in no mans land. Pay a little more and get the base corvette, or pay a lot less and get an FRS. Nissan made the GTR their iconic performance car. The Z car needs to return to forced induction for the asking price.
 

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^Well everyone is whining about a 4 cylinder so just trying to find a solution to make everyone happy.
Well, I actually happen to think a return of a sub-Z sporty car to Nissan's lineup would be a good move. I just don't think it would be wise to do it at the expense of the Z.
 

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The 370Z as is, sits in no mans land. Pay a little more and get the base corvette, or pay a lot less and get an FRS. Nissan made the GTR their iconic performance car. The Z car needs to return to forced induction for the asking price.
Pay the same and get a Mustang GT.
 

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I don't think Nissan's issue is their design. A lot of people like them and they generally give you a little bit more standard features than their competitors. However IMO the Zs case was a bit different.

From 2003 through 2005 everybody was excited that Nissan was the first company to bring back an iconic sports car from the 90s that was affordable. While Toyota was busy selling Camarys, Corollas, and SUVs Nissan had a true large displacement 2dr sports car. Your other options at that time from Japan were the WRX and S2000. By 2005 and on many of the Zs short comings were being exposed. The minor facelift in 2006, going LED rear lights, upgraded projectors in front, and a few interior tweaks, just wasn't enough. The 2007-2008 VQ35HR motor swap was also not enough to save the 350Z falling numbers. When 2009 rolled around the 370Z was everything that the 350Z was suppose to be and better. However the cost of the Z car had gotten expensive which went against the original spirit of the Z car.

To give you an idea in 2003 after the initial rush, you could get a base Z at $26.9K. Well equipped Performance and Touring models were around $30-33k. Now a bare bones stripped down Z is 32k before TT&L. Anything remotely equipped and you'll be knocking at $40k. At $40k many people now days can find several other options. The 370Z as is is no longer competitive.
The Grand Touring model (and maybe the Track model too?) received the VQ35HR motor a year before other models in 2006. The problem with the Z is quality control issues that Z owners like myself warn others from buying the car. '03-'05 had bad tire feathering issues due to suspension design that couldn't be fixed with an alignment, and many of the VQ35DE motors had issues with high oil consumption. Fuel economy pretty much sucks for the performance. The car is heavy, but you're not exactly getting any usable space out of it. There was an extended warranty for the radiator fans, which suddenly decide to go out without warning. Note this wasn't a recall - you couldn't get them fixed through the dealer at no cost until there was a problem that effectively made the car inoperable. I know an owner who had to immediately pull over with coolant boiling in the middle of a 900 mile drive due to this issue. That ruined half his vacation. And why the fuck did they decide to coat a significant portion of the interior, including highly-touched pieces like the factory radio, console and hinge, and door handle areas with rubberized coating similar to the Supra's dash panels? They scratch at the slightest touch and makes the interior look like shit within a couple years of even light use. Just imagine the Supra with dash panel surfaces on the door handles and factory radio volume knob. Initial quality felt great (light years ahead of the C6 Corvette), but soon the lack of continued quality is apparent.

I look at the Supra now and think, it's lighter than the Z, has more torque and power, and has a LOT more interior space in both storage and foot/headroom. It has better fuel economy, and doesn't have high oil consumption. Its wheel/tire combo has better traction and aren't such a rare size that tires cost ~$400 a piece. There are no reliability issues regarding the powertrain. It's very easily modified for so much extra power, and it was designed with that in mind. It's also not a dime-a-dozen car on the roads. I take a step back and think, who the hell would buy a Z at $30-35k when there are great examples of Supras available around that price? If only I had put that $36k from the Z into a Supra back in late '05... live and learn. I had an '05 S2000 for 2 years, and the build quality outside the convertible top left me with zero complaints. Due to my Z experience, I've been telling anyone looking at it to look elsewhere, starting with the FR-S/BR-Z or Corvette.
 

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The Grand Touring model (and maybe the Track model too?) received the VQ35HR motor a year before other models in 2006. The problem with the Z is quality control issues that Z owners like myself warn others from buying the car. '03-'05 had bad tire feathering issues due to suspension design that couldn't be fixed with an alignment, and many of the VQ35DE motors had issues with high oil consumption. Fuel economy pretty much sucks for the performance. The car is heavy, but you're not exactly getting any usable space out of it. There was an extended warranty for the radiator fans, which suddenly decide to go out without warning. Note this wasn't a recall - you couldn't get them fixed through the dealer at no cost until there was a problem that effectively made the car inoperable. I know an owner who had to immediately pull over with coolant boiling in the middle of a 900 mile drive due to this issue. That ruined half his vacation. And why the fuck did they decide to coat a significant portion of the interior, including highly-touched pieces like the factory radio, console and hinge, and door handle areas with rubberized coating similar to the Supra's dash panels? They scratch at the slightest touch and makes the interior look like shit within a couple years of even light use. Just imagine the Supra with dash panel surfaces on the door handles and factory radio volume knob. Initial quality felt great (light years ahead of the C6 Corvette), but soon the lack of continued quality is apparent.

I look at the Supra now and think, it's lighter than the Z, has more torque and power, and has a LOT more interior space in both storage and foot/headroom. It has better fuel economy, and doesn't have high oil consumption. Its wheel/tire combo has better traction and aren't such a rare size that tires cost ~$400 a piece. There are no reliability issues regarding the powertrain. It's very easily modified for so much extra power, and it was designed with that in mind. It's also not a dime-a-dozen car on the roads. I take a step back and think, who the hell would buy a Z at $30-35k when there are great examples of Supras available around that price? If only I had put that $36k from the Z into a Supra back in late '05... live and learn. I had an '05 S2000 for 2 years, and the build quality outside the convertible top left me with zero complaints. Due to my Z experience, I've been telling anyone looking at it to look elsewhere, starting with the FR-S/BR-Z or Corvette.

A couple of fact corrections that I have with what you posted before I respond:

1) The VQ35HR was never introduced in the US 350Zs before 2007. 2007 was the first year of the HR in the Z. That is why all 2007+ 350Zs had that bump on the hood to clear the new engine. In 2005 the GT and in 2006 Nissan put in the VQ35DE Rev Up engine. These were the ones that had the big oil consumption problem.
2) The tire feathering issue really never went past 2004. Nissan released a second alignment spec that fixed a lot of the tire feathering problems for some 2003 and most 2004 and 2004.5. 2005 never really experienced it all that much if any. You are correct that this was a design issue and a huge headache for many owners.
3) You missed one of the biggest issues with the 2003-2006 Z which was the soft transmission syncos. That is why Nissan released a TSB to have the tranny replaced for free with the redesigned CD009 6MT for all 03-06 MT models.

All that aside I agree with most of what you've posted about the Z. The Z33 had a lot of problems the first couple of years. However non of that took away from the excitement, popularity, and anticipation of the new Z car in 2003. I honestly believe the car was rushed into production after the initial concept was received so well in 2002. Because of that Nissan spent 3 years fixing a lot problems in Production. That is why I said by 2005 a lot of luster had faded and many of the 350Zs problems were exposed on the initial models. The interior has always been a major sore subject about the 350Z. It has always felt cheap and bland. However you gotta look at the price point that this car came in at initially. $26.9k MSRP could get you a base 350Z back in 2003/2004. Again, this is why IMO the 370Z was everything that the 350Z should have been. A lot of interior upgrades, finishes, characteristics, and features from Infiniti were carried over into the 370Z. Unfortunately these enhancements along with others drove the price of the Z car into the $40k range. What made the Z33 unique in 2003-2005 was the fact that at the time it was the only affordable true large displacement Japanese 2dr sports car. That was a theme and concept that Nissan tried to captured from the 240 and 280ZX, and was mostly successful, in the re-release of the Z33.

Comparing the 350Z car to the Supra is not exactly apples to apples. The Supra is a large GT car that Toyota went to extreme lengths to lighten. I'm mean com'on which manufacture these days would go as far as installing hollow fiber carpet in the their $40k car to reduce weight? The Supra was well over engineered in during a time when manufactures allowed their designers and engineers more autonomy. I agree with you completely about the fit and finish in both the Supra and S2000 being superior. Being an ex owner of a 2005 S2K and 2004 350Z myself I am 100% behind that. As far as performance well that is 1 major reason I got out of the Z. I honestly think the VQ was already maxed out in NA form. That is why it was so hard to squeeze anything more out of it without dropping an arm and a leg turbo charging it to make power.

Even with all it's faults I'm still glad that I owned one. There are days I still miss my Z car. My S2k not so much. It was technically the better car but I always felt like I had to work twice as hard driving it to make it go fast. The Z during the mid 2000s before it depreciated and all the high school kids got a hold of them did turn heads. I use to love opening my garage to this:


 

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Well, I actually happen to think a return of a sub-Z sporty car to Nissan's lineup would be a good move. I just don't think it would be wise to do it at the expense of the Z.
Yes, but I think the sales numbers are showing there isn't much of a market for a $30k+ Z. Looks like making it a little cheaper may be the only way the car can survive.
 

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A couple of fact corrections that I have with what you posted before I respond:

1) The VQ35HR was never introduced in the US 350Zs before 2007. 2007 was the first year of the HR in the Z. That is why all 2007+ 350Zs had that bump on the hood to clear the new engine. In 2005 the GT and in 2006 Nissan put in the VQ35DE Rev Up engine. These were the ones that had the big oil consumption problem.
Yes, my mistake, RevUp was in certain models of '06, including mine. However, it was the pre-RevUp models that had oil consumption issues as well.. 35k miles on mine now and I've never had an issue with it, but two former coworkers with '03-'05 non-RevUp engines did.
Ha! Deja vu. I had both side by side with the same silverstone colors as well (factory exhaust on the Z though). I do agree with you about ~2003 though. I remember playing the Z33 concept back in GT2(I believe?) waiting for it to come out. Yeah, after the long Japanese hiatus of sports cars (with the lone sub-$40k exception being the S2000), the Z33 was refreshing. However, looking back, there is some regret.. especially since yet another shitty build quality issue surfaced just yesterday. My passenger side door handle won't open the car, so that's yet another thing I'll need to look into. I'm sure I'd be much happier today if I had put that money I used to purchase the Z into another car at the time, notably the Supra, which I didn't purchase because I was finding it very difficult to even find stock 6-speeds back then. I hate to say it, but I think I would have enjoyed the new '06 C6 Corvette I test drove more than the Z. The base Corvette was only a couple grand more than the GT Z, and the potential for power would have been much easier to tap into. The ironic thing is that the initial quality of the interior did have something to do with my decision for the Z over the 'vette.. yet the Z's still ended up sucking in that respect. The Corvette felt like it shared most interior parts with a Chevy Cobalt.
 

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Yes, my mistake, RevUp was in certain models of '06, including mine. However, it was the pre-RevUp models that had oil consumption issues as well.. 35k miles on mine now and I've never had an issue with it, but two former coworkers with '03-'05 non-RevUp engines did.
The FWD VQ35's from '02-'03 also had oil consumption issues, including my Maxima. Starting in 2004 they switched valve cover designs to alleviate part of the problem (leaking oil) and I want to say they changed piston rings or something too.
 

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Nissan's Next 370Z Rumored to Have Two Mercedes Turbo Engines
The successor to the 370Z is one of the most hotly anticipated projects ever to come out of Nissan. With competition in an ever-shrinking sportscar market heating up, whatever the Nismo guys will offer has to be brilliant and from the sound of things, it really will.

A recent report from Australian magazine Motoring sheds lights on many specific details, some of which we simply find mind-boggling. They say the new car will be called Z35 and is expected to come in two different versions to better compete with German cars like the BMW Z4 or Audi TT.

Base model of the Z35 will come with the same engine currently offered by the Japanese market Nissan Skyline 2.0t. And since most of us don't live in the land of the rising sun, we'll just clarify that it's a 2-liter turbo making 211 PS and borrowed from the Mercedes C-Class and that the Skyline is actually the same as the Infiniti Q50. More power will be added though, together with a hybrid system to increase fuel efficiency.

The second version of the Z35 will get a turbocharged turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, again borrowed from Mercedes-Benz. It's the same one used by the E 400, but power will be increased to "in excess of 245kW", according to Motoring. That's 333 PS or 328.5bhp, which is more than a 370Z currently musters plus it will get torque by the bucketload. Not even Daimler's own roadster, the SLK, has access to that mill yet, so Nissan's sportscar really will put its best foot forward.

The automaker also reportedly believes a Targa or T-top body is ideal in order to appeal to the most customers possible. A budget 911 with Mercedes engines – that sounds like the best think to come out of Japan since the Datsun 240Z!
 

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Next-Generation Nissan Z Sports Car to Get Targa Roof, Hybrid Power?
A report citing unnamed sources has appeared on the Australian website Motoring.com.au purporting to reveal new details on Nissan’s next-generation Z sports car, and the info is interesting, to say the least. First off, the coupe version of the new Z will get a T-top or targa-roof arrangement, while the roadster will move from its current soft-top lid to a power-folding hardtop. As we’ve reported, a Mercedes-sourced turbocharged four-cylinder and a six-cylinder are expected, but Motoring adds that both powertrains will be hybridized and turbocharged. That is where the info gets a bit fuzzy.

You see, our intel suggests that Nissan will use an evolution of the current 370Z’s rear-drive platform for the new Z, instead of designing a newer, smaller, lighter one to take on the likes of the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S twins. This means that weight savings will be paramount to maintaining the Z’s performance (especially when equipped with the turbo four) while also squeezing better fuel economy from the six-cylinder car. Adding a hybrid system to both engines will not only increase the car’s price, but add pounds to its curb weight, neither of which jibes with Nissan’s Z agenda as we know it.

On the other hand, we could see Nissan moving toward a targa roof style, if for no other reason than to add a “wow” feature to help the car stand out against the new Ford Mustang, Chevrolet’s Camaro, and the upcoming Hyundai Genesis coupe replacement. We’ll find out what’s what when the new Z arrives next year—probably as a 2016 model—but consider us skeptical that it’ll be hybridized.
 

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Hmm, why cant they use engine from E550 mated with 6 speed manual? v8 TT MB motor, manual gearbox in a small sport car, can this be a bad thing?
 

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Won't be getting a MB engine. Both of the engines quoted in that article make LESS than the stock VQ37 that's been in the Z for the last 7 years. I do think the 2 engine approach is likely, but the engines will be built in house.
 
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