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Here’s why enthusiasts shouldn’t be worried about the Nissan Z car’s future

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO z indicator
Rumors both wild and plausible surrounding the next generation of the Nissan Z will finally be put to rest before the end of the year. A recent report finds the Japanese brand will preview the next Z with a close-to-production concept during this year’s Tokyo Auto Show.

The good news for enthusiasts is that the Z will remain a low-slung coupe; many media outlets — and company execs — hinted it would morph into a crossover. It will eschew a retro design inspired by the original Z car and instead adopt a sportier rendition of the design language previewed in Detroit by Nissan’s Vmotion 2.0 concept.

The Z will borrow most of its underpinnings from the Infiniti parts bin, according to Car & Driver. It will ride on the same FR-L platform as the Q60, and it will be available with a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 engine tuned to produce 400 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 350 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 rpm. A seven-speed automatic transmission will spin the rear wheels.

Later in the production run, the coupe will become the first Z car to go hybrid. Sources familiar with Nissan’s plans suggest the gasoline-electric setup will consist of the aforementioned V6 and an electric motor that will provide up to 160 horsepower. Together, the two power sources could deliver up to 500 horses, a figure never seen before in a Z car.

Car & Driver reports a third drivetrain will be offered but stops short of providing additional details. Nothing is official at this point, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Nissan completed the lineup with a more basic, entry-level model powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

The 2017 edition of the biennial Tokyo Auto Show will open its doors on October 27. If the rumor to end all rumors is true, we’ll likely learn more about Nissan’s next Z car in the coming months. It’s tentatively scheduled to go on sale in 2019 with a base price in the vicinity of $30,000.

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