Despite its struggling sales and management woes, is Nissan feeling bullish about the future? Very much, at least from the looks of its latest teaser video.
NISSAN NEXT: From A to Z
A one-minute clip uploaded on the Japanese carmaker’s YouTube channel hints at a dramatic lineup of new models that could define Nissan’s direction in the next 18 months.
The ad shows a succession of silhouettes – including a crossover, SUV, and pickup – falling in formation and eventually joined by a sleek sports car sporting the legendary Z badge.
A new Nissan Z is part of the carmaker's refreshed lineup
No less than 12 vehicles can be seen kicking up dust on a vast expanse, driving into the camera, and followed by a quick roll call of their respective model names in alphabetical order: Ariya, Armada, Frontier, Kicks, Murano, Navara, Note, Pathfinder, Qashqai, Rogue, Terra, and Z. The clip ends with the words Nissan Next, a statement that’s both optimistic and defiant.
This A to Z rundown of upcoming vehicles is largely composed of familiar models, but the more intriguing points of interest are the Ariya and the yet-unidentified Z. The former is likely the anticipated production version of the Ariya electric crossover concept introduced at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
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The production version of the Ariya electric crossover concept is highly anticipated
Built on a dedicated EV platform, the Ariya concept was designed with a short nose and long wheelbase. In line with Nissan’s Timeless Japanese Futurism design language, the Ariya sports a smooth surface, thin headlights, and copper accents.
While the uber-futuristic cabin might not make it to production, the powertrain could yet see the light of day, as a pair of electric motors that can be fine-tuned for precise traction regardless of the road surface.
The Ariya also showcases Nissan’s newest driver-assistive tech, including ProPilot 2.0 that allows for hands-free travel on select Japanese highways, and a remote parking feature.
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The upcoming Nissan Z will take style cues from the iconic 240Z
Much more intriguing is the upcoming iteration of the iconic Z sports car. The current 370Z has been around for more than a decade, so rumors, renders, and much hoping have finally yielded the welcome news that the next Nissan Z is officially on its way.
Again assuming the form of a low-slung coupe, the car takes design cues from the 240Z: low nose, circular LED lights, sculpted rear wheel arches, and a roofline that slopes abruptly. The interior retains the two-seater configuration with a generous trunk for its class.
A tuned version of the Inifiniti Q50's twin-turbo V6 is rumored to be under the new Z's hood
Power is rumored to come in the form of a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 found in the Infiniti Q50/Q60 Red Sport, but specifically tuned for the Z. A total of 400 hp is speculated, earning the car its unofficial moniker, the 400Z.
A limited-slip differential, adjustable suspension, and a manual transmission have all been hinted at, as well as a possible Nismo variant that packs 500 hp. The model hits showrooms by 2021, at the latest.
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Joseph Paolo Estabillo