Nissan’s upcoming 400Z prototype/concept was revealed this week and feelings across the Internet and automotive industry has been mixed. Many have poo-poo’d the overly simple, retro design. The front bumper is overly simple, with only a large gaping hole for engine cooling.
The good news is that Nissan has confirmed it will be powered by a twin turbo V6 and put power down through a 6-speed manual transmission. What we’ll likely receive is the 300 horsepower 3.0 liter power plant from the Infiniti Q60. And that’s not a bad thing.
Not much else has been revealed.
The 400Z Competition
Who, or what, rather, is the Nissan 400Z competitors?
In my opinion, the answer boils down to how the 400Z tips the scale.
A 300-horsepower 400Z weighing in at or less than 3,000 lbs squarely positions it against the current Toyota 86, and more than likely would position it better than the next generation 86. Face it. Nobody honestly expects Toyota to release a turbo engine and the flat-4 boxer isn’t going to push 300 horsepower without forced induction. It’s just not going to happen.
Prove me wrong, Toyota.
If the 400Z tips the scales above 3300 lbs and delivers horsepower in the 350 range then it’s competing against the Toyota Supra. Just like the BMW B58 found in the M2 and Supra, tuners know squeezing power out of the twin turbo V6 in the Q60 isn’t difficult.
400Z Trim Levels, Were It Up To Me
First, I’d trim as much weight out of the 400Z as possible while keeping the base price in the mid-to-high $20k. There would be no more than three trim levels to start: Base, GT, Track. Interior options would be available. Track-oriented options would be available.
I’d love to see the 400Z’s curb weight just under 3,000 lbs. The chassis should support 275 width tires without fender modification. A massively de-tuned twin turbo V6 engine that can easily be uncorked, would be perfect.
Then give buyers options. Start with a simple package and offer a handful of desirable add-on features. See the Nissan 400Z options list below.
|Leather Heated + Cooled Seats|
Easy in-and-out, lower bolsters
|High Bolster Track Seats|
Think Porsche GT3
Keyless entry, CarPlay, Android Auto, All Safety Nannies, Best Stereo option
Larger oil cooler, larger intercooler, 400 hp
18″ performance wheels, lighter than base
|Forged Wheels + Competition Tires|
Wider, smaller diameter, clears Brembo brakes
|Limited Slip Differential|
Mechanical and serviceable
|Shorter Gear Ratio|
20% shorter ratio
Something quick and responsive
We’ve concluded that in my world, all 400Z’s would come standard with the 300 horsepower twin turbo V6. In the name of sport, and saving the manuals, so 3-pedals will be standard. An automatic transmission will be available across all trims, for a pretty penny.
The entry level 400Z should receive just the basics. Just as the trim name implies. MSRP of $26,000 USD.
Standard equipment also includes:
- Economy size brakes
- 17″ wheels with all-season tires
- Low bolster cloth sport seats
- 6-speed transmission
- Push-button start
- Rear view camera
- Projector headlights with non-xenon bulbs
- 8″ Touch screen w Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support
- 4 speaker, 200 watt stereo
For those wanting a bit more luxury, enter the GT trim. The GT trim will receive nicer interior amenities and all of the technology, and performance brakes and wheels. The MSRP of the GT trim starts at $31,200 USD.
GT starts with the base model, adding:
- Heated and cooled leather seats
- Brembo brakes
- 18″ wheels with all-season tires
- 8″ touch screen w Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support
- 6 speaker, 300 watt stereo
- Keyless entry
- Birds-eye camera view
- Projector headlights with xenon bulbs
Driving enthusiasts looking for a true dual-duty sports car, look no further. The Track trim has you covered with standard Brembo brakes, lighter wheels, Track data logging, short gear ratios and a mechanical limited slip differential. It’ll receive sportier seats with larger bolsters. It won’t receive anything that isn’t going to improve performance.
Best of all, you’re not being charged extra. The Track trim starts as the Base trim and then adds on the performance goods. The MSRP of the Track trim comes in at an unbelievable $29,500 USD.
Track trim starts with the Base trim, but adds:
- High bolster sport seats
- Brembo brakes
- 18″ Track-design wheels with summer tires
- Limited slip differential
- Shorter final drive ratio
Optional performance parts such as the Power package, seven-speed automatic sport transmission, and forged wheels would raise the price near $40,000 but still offer amazing performance on a budget. It could severely undercut the Toyota Supra.
This is What the 400Z Should Be
A 400Z sports car with these options could be nothing short of a sure winner for Nissan.
We haven’t touched on the possibility of a Nismo package, either.
Imagine a hyper-performance Nismo package that includes exclusive performance parts like a carbon fiber roof, lighter 2-piece rotors, larger intercooler, oil cooler, wider fenders, fixed bucket race seats, roll bar, and flex fuel support.
The Nismo package could be offered at $45-50,000 USD and still be a winner.
Nissan, don’t disappoint us!