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Nissan Z Nismo hybrid in the cards if fans want it, report says

The Z's chief product specialist reportedly told Australian media if fans really want hybrid power, then "we have to do that."

Nissan Z Proto
Nissan's Z has been the heart of the brand for 50 years, and it's time for something new.

"Nismo" is a sacred name among Nissan faithful and is responsible for not only some of the best performance Nissans, but the firm also handles motorsport activities. If a Nismo badge graces a Nissan, it means business. It's natural to assume the next Nissan Z will include some sort of Nismo high-performance model, but it could come with some sort of electrification -- if fans want that.

The Z's chief product specialist, Hiroshi Tamura, told Australian website Motoring in a Wednesday report that a both hybrid power and a Nismo model are totally possible, as long as fans want them. He said if customers "strongly request" a Nismo model, the attitude around such a car is more like "why not?" Even before Nissan showed teasers of the next Z car, which we saw in Z Proto form this week, we'd heard rumors a the company plans for a new Z Nismo with 500 horsepower. It'd be mighty surprising to not see another one, frankly.

What would be surprising is to see a hybrid powertrain, which Tamura said is also in the cards. Again, he said it's up to the "customer voice." If fans want an electrified Z, then "we have to do that." He added, "everything must be considered" as they look into the Z's future. This is a bit of a departure from what Nissan's vice president of global product strategy, Ivan Espinosa, said back in July. He suggested a hybrid isn't likely, and if it is, such a car is a long way out. He didn't rule it out, but it certainly sounds like Nissan's more focused on core engine technologies for the Z at the moment. The automaker declined to comment on Tamura's remarks.

We know the new Z will sport a twin-turbo V6 in some form, likely borrowed from Infiniti. The best guess is the firm's 3.0-liter twin-turbo unit and we expect somewhere around 400 hp. Motoring suggests a hybrid Z could actually be a nifty thing, if Nissan taps the Infiniti Project Black S concept's powertrain. If you recall, the sports coupe that never was featured a Formula One-inspired twin-turbo V6 with a heat-energy and braking energy recovery system. All the saved energy spools the turbos in an instant and helps provide snappier acceleration. While it sounds amazing for a hybridized Z Nismo, I have a feeling it would make for a very expensive sports car. The current 370Z Nismo already costs just under $46,000 and makes do with a standard 3.7-liter V6.

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