Nissan Z-car conundrum: European exit only or scrapped for certain?


Despite having thrown its support behind the new Z-car as rumours and claims about it become more prevalent, a new report from Europe has indicated that Nissan could be scrapping it before mass-production even starts.

According to Reuters, the Japanese automaker, which is planning on consolidating its operations in Europe and focusing more attentively on China, Japan and North America, will not only be axing the Z-car and GT-R, but also the Navara made alongside the Renault Alaskan as its Barcelona plant in Spain.

It will however keep a presence on the Old Continent with SUV production set to become the main priority. As such, the Sunderland plant in the United Kingdom will continue to produce the Juke and Qashqai, while the X-Trail and all-electric Ariya will be sourced from Japan.

The timing of the Reuters reports comes amidst yet another rumour about the replacement for the current 370Z, this time from the Allcarsnews Instagram page, which alleges that the 400Z will produce 298 kW from its 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6, have a Nismo fettled six-speed manual gearbox as standard and a sticker price of $40 000 (R719 440) in North America. A seven-speed automatic will be optional.

Earlier this month, Japanese website, Spyder7, alleged that the Z will however be called 480Z, thus reflecting an output of 480 pferdestarke (PS) or 373 kW instead of 400. The reported platform will be the FM used by the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 as well as the Skyline, with styling derived from the original Datsun 240Z and Z32 generation 300ZX.

Given the report's focus on Europe however, and Nissan's submission of a new logo back in March, speculation is that the 400Z/480Z will be offered only in the mentioned key markets with those on the Old Continent taking a backseat. As it stands, this is purely speculative and with more conflicting reports set to emerge in the coming weeks and months, only the tabling of the alliance's 2019 financial report on 28 May, which is likely to confirm the end of the Datsun brand for good, will set the record straight.

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