Coming from a company increasingly plugged into an electric world, it is welcome news for fans of the Z car around the world, in the US especially, where the car has enjoyed iconic status since the first Datsun 240Z arrived in 1969. The new version will join the latest Toyota Supra in a revitalized Japanese sports market, and put pressure on compatriots Mazda and Honda to reprise their affordable sports car offerings, the RX-7 and S2000 respectively.
The 400Z is expected to pick up styling cues from previous generations of Z car including the first. The video shows a rakish coupe with a shark-like nose, fast-dropping roofline, powerfully bulging rear wheelarches and abbreviated tail with hardly any rear overhang. In short it looks to be the front-engine, rear-drive muscular coupe Z fans demand, a logical follow-up to the now dated (but still fun) 370Z and encompassing all the new technologies, from LED lighting and digital dashboard to the latest connectivity and driver-assist features.
Power unit? That’s likely stay true to Z form and be a six, with speculation centring on a twin turbo 3.0-litre V6. To beat the outgoing 370Z, with its normally aspirated 3.7-litre V6, it will need more than 328PS (324bhp) and a quicker 0-62mph time than 5.3 seconds. If it achieves all that and still stays affordable – remarkably, you can still buy a new 370Z for under £30,000 – it will surely be job done.
The new Z car has to be far more than a Japanese special (where it is called the Fairlady Z) or US-only model, but all previous gens of the Z car have been sold in Europe so there’s nothing to suggest the 400Z will not reach UK showrooms.