The ‘new’ Nissan Z Coupe is a re-bodied version of the previous generation 370Z with a new engine and gearbox. Without the carryover parts, the iconic sports car would have become extinct.
carryover parts, the iconic sports car would have become extinct.
The new Nissan Z Coupe wouldn’t be in Australian showrooms today had the company not carried over the core structure from the previous generation 370Z, the chief engineer for the iconic sports car has revealed.
The ‘new’ Nissan Z Coupe is a rebodied version of the previous generation 370Z with a new twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 engine and the option of a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
However, without the carryover parts, the iconic sports car would have become extinct.
The 2022 Nissan Z Coupe also brings other mod-cons such as a digital instrument cluster, two cup holders (instead of one), more aerodynamic door handles, and Apple Car Play and Android Auto, as well as advanced safety aids.
However, the vehicle was lucky to have been built at all, with Nissan only decided to go ahead with a successor five years ago amid financial uncertainty across the broader company.
The chief engineer of the vehicle, Hiroshi Tamura, said the carryover platform and core structure were crucial to keep costs down – and for the very survival of the car.
“Carryover of parts was very important for us, and carryover means reality of affordability,” Tamura-san told media at the preview drive in Melbourne last weekend.
The former chief engineer – whose job title is now “brand ambassador” due to strict retirement age rules in the company – said while about 80 per cent of the sheetmetal had changed, the core structure of the car was carryover, save for some minor suspension pick-up points and some bearings in the carryover six-speed manual gearbox.
Indeed, the six-speed manual gearbox almost didn’t make it on the option list because Nissan executives wanted to streamline to an automatic-only model, as Toyota initially did with the Supra.
However, Tamura-san showed Nissan executives a slide that indicated 40 per cent of 370Z were for manual models. In fact, Tamura-san had used a statistic from the Nismo version of the 370Z to get the transmission over the line, because manual gearboxes represented a fraction of sales across the overall model range.
Nissan Australia says 70 per cent of the first 1200 orders are for manual transmission models, but over the life of the vehicle automatics are expected to account for most demand.