The new sports car is expected to be shown in coupé guise before the end of next year ahead of UK sales starting in 2020, some 50 years after the original Z car arrived here.
Future generations of the Z model are understood to have been in doubt because of struggling profitability in the sports car segment, an issue felt more widely across the industry. Honda has admitted a similar quandary about an S2000 replacement and Toyota and BMW have teamed up in order to cut costs in the creation of their respective forthcoming Supra and Z4 sports cars.
Nissan design boss Alfonso Albaisa told Autocar last year that he was in favour of a new Z car to replace the 370Z. He said the sports car market was a challenging one but was “personally advocating” a new Z car.
The forthcoming model is known internally as the Z35 – a codename that continues a process started with the Z31 model launched in 1983. It has been twinned with the next Infiniti Q60, with which it will share its rear-wheel-drive platform, engine line-up and electric system, according to senior officials from Nissan.
Dimensionally, the new Z car is set to mirror the more upmarket Q60. At about 4520mm long, 1890mm wide and 1240mm tall, it will be slightly larger than the 370Z, which has been in production since 2009.