October 2019 is an important month for Nissan. It marks the 50th anniversary of the legendary 240Z, which is the original Z model from the Japanese carmaker. As part of the celebrations, Nissan is planning to unveil a new Z car – in prototype form -- at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, which coincides with the 50th year of the very first Z model.
This was basically confirmed by Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s Senior Vice President for Global Design, during an interview with Whichcar.com.au. Before this confirmation, there had been rumors that Nissan is planning a replacement for the 370Z, which has been in production since nearly 10 years ago. This decade-old two-seater rear-wheel-drive coupe is considered as one of the oldest sports car available in the market. A replacement would hardly surprise anyone, but back then, Nissan had yet to confirm anything.
During an interview with Whichcar.com.au, Albaisa remarked that is a huge pressure in creating a new Z car, adding that he is completely excited that he is in the position to work on the newest Z model. His statement essentially confirmed the rumors and the possibility of a new Z car. This also confirmed that no less than Nissan’s Senior Vice President for Global Design is involved in the project. Nonetheless, many are thrilled that the 370Z won't be continued as another version – instead a new Z car is really on the way. Expect a new Z prototype at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
So far, this is the only confirmation Nissan can provide so far concerning the replacement for the Nissan 370Z. However, the timing of the words from the carmaker’s top man in design is something not to overlook at. Nissan is celebrating the 50th year of its Z cars in 2019 and it would be strange for a major carmaker like Nissan not to create something special for this event. A special edition of the 370Z would be an understatement, but an all-new model that pays tribute to the original would actually be more fitting.
Furthermore, a new Z car would serve as one of the first major projects for Albaisa as Nissan’s Senior Vice President for Global Design, a position he inherited in 2017 from former Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura. Nakamura was the man who oversaw the 350Z and 370Z, and now his successor, Albaisa is involved in the creation of the latest Z car.
Albaisa isn't really unfamiliar with Nissan’s design mantra, having been with the Japanese carmaker for already 31 years. In fact, he was responsible for a number of stunning Nissan and Infiniti show cars. Among his works are the Infiniti Prototype 9 shown at Pebble Beach in 2017 as well as the elegant Infiniti Q Inspiration.