The logo for Nissan's 400Z might just have been exposed, looking retro.
Nissan's 370Z sports coupe has been around awhile - not quite long enough to start collecting Social Security, but long enough that it's been around the block a few times, certainly. Rumors of a replacement have been circulating for some time now, but with very little concrete evidence.
Now, Nissan might have inadvertently revealed the design of the next Z-car's logo in a Canadian trademark filing, uncovering a retro-looking emblem consisting of a stylized "Z" with an angled slash through the middle. That may not seem like much, but it suggests that Nissan is considering a classic design informed by the svelte Z coupes of yesteryear.
The recently trademarked "Z" logo recalls the one that adorned Nissan's earliest Z-cars, the 240, 260, and 280, but the name of Nissan's next Z is believed to be "400Z". Historically, the number preceding the "Z" has referred to each car's engine displacement in centiliters - i.e. the 240Z had a 2.4-liter inline-six under the hood. This trend has continued all the way up to the present day, the current Nissan 370Z boasting a 3.7-liter V6 under its hood.
This could change with the new 400Z. There's always the possibility that Nissan could bore out the new 3.8-liter V6 in the refreshed Frontier for 4.0-liter Z-car duty, but rumor has it that the engine could instead be a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, with the "400" referring to its horsepower rating.
Of course, that's all hearsay for now.
But we might learn the truth soon enough; it's thought that the new Nissan 400Z will debut before the end of the year, assuming all goes according to plan. Granted, like all automakers, Nissan faces a series of challenges related to complications from the spread of the novel coronavirus, and even before the outbreak of COVID-19, Nissan found itself taking a beating in US market sales, experiencing a dramatic downturn in the last quarter of 2019.
Still, Nissan recognizes that it's crucial to overhaul its product lineup, breathing new life into a stale, aging portfolio. While it's not likely to be the sort of high-volume new product Nissan needs, a brand-new Z-car might have the effect of generating a lot of buzz for a brand wary of losing relevance.