The end of an era is upon us.
The Nissan 400Z is expected to debut this fall at a time when the Japanese automaker desperately needs the spotlight. The GT-R is aging fast and the outgoing 370Z is no longer competitive. It'll be up to the 400Z to earn affordable halo car status and fans of the Z car family are understandably excited.
However, the 400Z is arriving at a time of great change as the auto industry continues its brisk pace towards all-out electrification. That means one thing: combustion engines are on borrowed time. As for the 400Z, it's highly likely to get a tuned version of the VR30DDTT twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 found in the Infiniti Q50 and Q60.
It produces 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque in base trim and the Q50 Red Sport pushes those figures to 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of twist. It's a great engine but all good things must come to an end one day.
According to Japan's Best Car Web, the 400Z will be the last time this V6 is used. Assuming this is true, it does make sense despite being rather unfortunate. Aside from the 400Z, the engine is only used in the Q50 and Q60 coupe, and the Japan-only Skyline 400R. It's an older engine that no longer meets strict emissions regulations in Europe, for example.
That's the reason why the 400Z won't be sold in that market. Will the 400Z be the last twin-turbo V6-powered Nissan? It's hard to say but we wouldn't be surprised if that's the case. It's possible the next-generation GT-R could utilize an updated version of the R35's 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 paired with a mild hybrid system. An all-electric R36 should not be ruled out, however.
It's unlikely the 400Z will share the 370Z's 12-year long lifespan for obvious reasons. Even North America could soon impose updated emissions requirements that'll ban the use of the VR30DDTT in the next few years. But that's a problem for later.