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Nissan Z's future likely won't include a hybrid

It sounds like electrification isn't in the cards for the next Z car -- at least not right away.

Nissan Z teaser
I think I already love it.
YouTube video/Screenshot by CNET

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Nissan gave us some really good news. In May, the automaker provided our first look at the next-generation Nissan Z, perhaps called the 400Z.

Since then, it's been tight lips over at the automaker, which has been busy with the reveal of the Ariya electric SUV, which looks mighty nice. However, Ivan Espinosa, vice president of global product strategy, had some interesting things to say for a Car Advice report last Thursday.

The executive hinted that a hybrid or any sort of electrification probably isn't likely for the next Z, at least not right away. Instead, Nissan will stick with "conventional" technology, or focus on the internal-combustion engine for now. Rumors suggest a twin-turbo V6 borrowed from Infiniti or the latest Frontier's V6 engine could find a home in the new sports car. A Nismo variant could debut with 500 horsepower.

The new Z should take lots of inspiration from the 240Z.

YouTube video/Screenshot by CNET

That's not to say Nissan will rule out an electrified Z in the future. Should Nissan decide to pursue something electric, Espinosa said a hybrid would definitely be the way to experiment with the technology before something all-electric. He said he personally believes there's "space for two things," such as room for something traditional and something more experimental. Nissan declined to comment further on the upcoming sports car for this story.

Whatever that may be, it's not happening anytime soon. The executive emphasized that battery technology is not where it needs to be when it comes to delivering a proper sports car. Weight and charging remain big issues for automakers when it comes to proper performance vehicles.

The best news of it all is we're supposedly quickly approaching the new Z's debut. We know Nissan has 12 new cars coming over the next year and a half, and the Z is one of them. Whether we'll see the Z on the early side of the 18-month time frame remains to be seen.

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