Bootcamp Z

The Datsun 240Z created a sensation when it arrived on U.S. roads in 1969. The sleek, nimble two-seater easily out-performed Corvettes and Mustangs on the street and track. The new 400Z is all that and more.
Words by Bill Lindsey | June 24, 2021 | Luxury

The original straight-six, 151-hp Datsun 240Z’s aerodynamic dart-shaped body featured a very practical rear hatch, making it a practical grocery-getter that was a hoot to drive. Essentially an affordable and brilliantly engineered alternative to the Jaguar XKE Coupe which had a reputation for being difficult to start on days that ended in “y,” the Z, with its Jag-like forward-tilting hood, was an instant success. As the years went by, Datsun became Nissan and subsequent Z cars lost their sharp edges. But now, as if exiting from an extreme fitness boot camp, the “real” Z is back with a sleek body, a track-tuned suspension and almost three times the power. The Nissan 400Z exterior harks back to the shark-like lines of the original 240Z, which is a very good thing, but it keeps getting better. Power comes in the form of Infiniti’s 3.0 liter twin-turbo V6, capable of up to 400 hp. While the 400Z will feature a paddle-shifter automatic transmission, enthusiasts are hopeful a manual option will be offered. This car is proof even legends can still learn new tricks;