Next-generation Nissan Z-cars to use Mercedes-Benz engines

Article by Christian A., on August 26, 2010

Nissan has plans to drastically shake up the design of its next-generation Z-car. There's mention of diesel engines and a four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, which is sourced as part of its recent tie-up with Daimler.

As part of their deal, Renault-Nissan will supply three and four-cylinder petrol engines and electric technology to Daimler. In exchange, Renault-Nissan will receive four, six and eight-cylinder powerplants.

Reports say that CEO Carlos Ghosn wants to install some of those units in the next Zed to make sure that the car meets the stricter emission standards. Having more environmentally friendly versions would also entice buyers in Japan's domestic sports car market. Nissan is mulling over three new engines for the Zed.

The first is a 3.5-liter V6 hybrid set-up used in Mercedes-Benz S400 while Nissan may also opt to have its own, similar-sized motor from the forthcoming Infiniti M hybrid. The diesel options that Mercedes is offering are very appealing as well.

There's the V6 from the E350 CDI and the four-cylinder petrol hybrid from the upcoming E300 Bluetec. The E300's combination of 2.2-liter, four-pot turbodiesel and 15kW electric motor delivers a total of 221bhp and over 420lb ft of torque.

The E-class is claimed to return 56mpg while emitting only 109g/km of CO2. Another longer-term option is Mercedes' Diesotto engine, which merges diesel and petrol technology and has enough power for vehicles as large as an S-class from just 1.8 liters.

Inspired by the 240Z of 40 years ago, the new Nissan 370Z boasts a styling with a classic sports car layout, as defined by a long bonnet, short overhangs, compact passenger compartment, as well as a truncated rear.

Compared to its predecessor, the new Nissan 370Z is around 100 mm shorter, having a length of 4,245 mm and a wheelbase of 2,550 mm. With a width and height of 1,845 mm and 1,315 mm, respectively, the new 370Z is lower and wider than the previous model. Its lower height prompted designed to lower the seating position, thereby ensuring that its interior still offers a generous headroom while further lowering the car’s center of gravity.

Furthermore, the body of the new Nissan 370Z boasts of torsional rigidity that is up to 30 percent higher than that of the 350Z. This increased torsional rigidity is more notable on the front section where a bracing bar sits on top of the suspension turrets.

Thanks to the extensive of aluminum (used for the bonnet, doors and rear hatch) and a number of other weight saving measures, Nissan was able to shed over 32 kg from the overall mass of the 370Z, even though the car boasts of more environmental, safety, and luxury equipment.

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