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 |  Jun 03 2010, 7:23 AM

The next generation of Nissan‘s iconic Z car could include both diesel and hybrid offerings in an attempt to meet increasingly strict emissions regulations and grow the car’s appeal in certain markets. According to a report by AutoCar, Nissan is reportedly considering several options for alternative powerplants that would be provided by Mercedes parent company Daimler as a result of the recent collaboration between the two automakers.

In terms of hybrid technology, the suggested option would be the current 3.5-liter V6 hybrid setup currently in use in the Mercedes S400 – although Nissan currently has its own V6 hybrid setup that will be used in the M35 Hybrid when it debuts later this year. The use of a hybrid engine would also help the Z in its home market of Japan, where hybrid cars are becoming increasingly popular.

As for diesel engines, if Nissan does decide to go this route then Daimler will most likely play a role. Suggested options for the Z include the Mercedes E350 CDI’s V6 engine or even the diesel hybrid planned for the upcoming E300 Bluetec. Using the E250CDI’s 2.2-liter diesel with 204-hp, it gets an additional 15 kW (20-hp) electric motor and lithium-ion battery that assist in powering the car. As a full-hybrid, the E300 Bluetec Hybrid can also operate on just electric power  for short distances at speeds of up to 35 km/h (22 mph). The diesel engine also shuts off when slowing down at speeds below 80 km/h (50 mph) to reduce consumption. Total output for the hybrid powertrain is rated at 224-hp and 428 ft-lbs of torque and average fuel economy is rated at an incredible 56 mpg on the European test cycle.

Nissan has yet to confirm these reports and with the next-generation Z still a few years off, planning is likely still in the early stages. Still, reports of gasoline and diesel 4 and 6-cylinder engines being used in the next generation Infiniti G have become prevalent – suggesting a hybrid or diesel Z is a possibility.

[Source: AutoCar]