The new Datsun. Allegedly.
My thoughts on the 2021 Nissan 400Z Concept.
"The last letter of the alphabet is the last word in sports cars," is a quote I often hear being thrown around by enthusiastic "Z" car owners at various gatherings and internet forums. A quote which could arguably hold some merit back in the days when the late Yoshihiko Matsuo first made his 240Z under the Datsun badge. While it might not have been appreciated in the manner it deserved when it came into existence, it's impossible to not look back on the 240Z and appreciate what it was.
However, these days we all know the once-great Z-car has been doomed to live under the badge of a very different company. The likes of which make me feel unwell at the simple mentioning of its name: the dreaded Nissan. The very company that excels only in making cars for people who don't actually like cars. Think of the Nissan Versa or Rogue owner who says things like "It's just a car," or the 350Z owner who truly thinks he has a race car and it sounds good when he's revving it in the local mall parking lot.
I could go on and on about the sad reality of what Nissan has become, but then suddenly they come out with these new Z-car concept images. Of which immediately make me wonder who at Nissan managed to sneak this design through; it's not bland, boring, or even blob shaped. It reminds me of something similar to what Jaguar pulled off with F-Type being our modern-day E-Type. The supposedly named 400Z clearly takes so many of its styling queues from the Datsun 280Z from all angles, and that's a good thing. While the interior itself looks like they hired a former Mazda employee to style it for them, and that's a good thing as well; minus the yellow stains down the middle of the seats that make it look as if you've had an accident.
Surprisingly stunning looks aside; Nissan claim it will be equipped with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 with the option of having a real 6-speed manual transmission behind it. Which sounds impressive on its own, but then you have to remember that is essentially the same engine that provides the vacuum-cleaner mimicking exhaust note currently found in the Infinity Q40 and Q50. A fact that doesn't exactly instill the sportiest of vibes, to say the least.
Whatever the case, on paper the 400Z is worth getting excited over as Nissan is finally hinting at the possibility that they're capable of making a fun sports car these days. Even though I'll be more surprised if it looks anything like the current concept when 2021 rolls around.
What about you? Do you like the concept design? Do you think it will actually come out of production as such? Let's hear your opinions down in the comments.