What's taken so long?
Well folks, it finally appears to be happening. Our spy photographers tell us the test mule we're looking at is an early development vehicle for the next-generation Nissan Z car. Given that the current 370Z is 10 years old and still going, it's about time for Nissan to make a move. Although the test vehicle looks awfully like the 370Z, the front end is a dead giveaway something interesting is going on. Notice that there are extra cooling holes, indicating a powertrain change.
Unfortunately, we don't have any details at this time as to what that new powertrain could be, but we wouldn't be surprised if it were a hybrid set up, if not a plug-in hybrid. Whatever it is, additional cooling is required.
One non-hybrid possibility could be the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 found in the Infiniti Q50 and Q60. Remember, in the Red Sport versions this engine is capable of more than 400 horsepower. Out back, even the exhaust outlets look exactly the same as those found on the 370Z. Again, it's an early prototype, but at least work is underway.
Nissan has made it known it intends to launch a new Z car along with another GT-R but reiterated there was no immediate rush for either, particularly the latter. This test mule was caught running test laps around the Nurburgring, so it's clear Nissan fully intends for the new Z car to be a true sports car, as it should be.
There were once rumors Nissan was considering turning the Z car into a crossover, but company officials fairly quickly hinted that was not going to happen. Good thing. There's still no time table as to when a production version will arrive but expect to see more spy shots and related information arrive in the coming months. Z car test season has officially started.