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Nissan Z's future penciled in with retro design cues, up to 500 HP

Finally, it appears the Z has a solid future inside Nissan.

2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition
It's a good day to learn the Z is reportedly alive and well.

The future of the Nissan Z has been hard to predict in recent years. Rumors pointed to the nameplate's end once again, or even a performance crossover to replace it. I'm happy to report this doesn't appear to be the case.

According to Autoblog, sources who've seen the next-generation Z say it's going to please a lot of fans. Nissan has reportedly shown the car at dealer meetings, which the unnamed individuals said evokes some retro cues from past Z cars. The automaker, obviously, declined to comment on this story.

The exterior design is said to pull from the 240Z at the front with round headlights and a squared-off jaw, while the rear supposedly evokes the 300ZX's taillights. Inside, Nissan will modernize the cabin with a proper infotainment system not unlike the current Altima, according to the report.

The sources continued to even supply powertrain information. The intel points to a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 as the engine of choice, which Infiniti currently runs in the Q50 and Q60 400 Red Sport. A nine-speed automatic will handle shifting duties, per the sources, but a manual transmission is in the cards. Yay! 

Another possibility, Sam Fiorani of AutoForecast Solutions told Roadshow, is a version of Nissan's new V6, which will find its way to the next Frontier pickup. If this happens, look for a power figure in the 350-400 hp range. And if we do see the twin-turbo 3.0-liter make its way to the Japanese sports car, Fiorani noted it "would make an excellent, if not expensive, choice." Indeed, it sounds like this car wouldn't exactly be cheap.

No power figures were floated for the possibility of a twin-turbo V6, but for a potential Nismo model, Nissan is supposedly looking at a figure hovering around 500 hp. That's definitely a shot in the arm for the sports car, which has soldiered on with minimal changes since 2009. Yet, we still likely have some time to kill.

Autoblog's sources said the car won't be ready for at least another year and a half. We could see Nissan surprise with a lightly disguised concept later this year once the auto show circuit kicks into full swing, but otherwise, practice patience. Good things come with time, Z car faithful.

Originally published Jan. 17, 8:41 a.m. PT.
Update, 1:03 p.m.: Adds Nissan comment and additional insight.

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