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What’s in a name? Out in Japan, the name ‘Fairlady’ goes a long way back in a storied sports car history; it belonged to the Datsun Fairlady which eventually became the Z models of today.
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One of the most wonderful sensations come when you command a whole handful of power just with the flexing of your right foot. Horsepower is an intoxicating element when it comes to driving, but that doesn’t mean that it’s saved for the most expensive vehicles out there.
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.