Infiniti coupe, Nissan 370Z and Nissan Cube

Published: 07 May 2008

Nissan has given a glimpse of three new cars – a new Infiniti sports car, the replacement for the 350Z coupe and the new-generation Cube city car.

No photos of the cars have been issued, but CAR nabbed a front-row seat and had its camera phone primed during Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura’s presentation. So excuse the shaky picture quality for our sneak peek at three key new Nissans…

An Infiniti sports car, you say?

Nissan’s upmarket division will show this sports coupe in the next year, probably late in 2008. The brand is considering launching a small 1-series sized car, but doesn’t want to do a me-too hatchback.

Infiniti sources say that a sports coupe like the one shown in this grainy silhouette is under consideration. This teaser (first image far left, above) reveals a very long bonnet and an unusually cab-backward stance for a smaller sibling to the existing G37 coupe.

An overhead, plan view of the red sports car was also displayed at the presentation, suggesting the concept car will have more curves than today’s soberly styled Infinitis.

Nissan’s European design chief Alfonso Albaisa told CAR Online that Infinitis would have a global design language, rather than localised styles for different markets. ‘When we talk about Infiniti, we talk about Michelangelo. It’s about surfaces and subtle body language.’

Click ‘Next’ to read about the new Nissan 370ZNissan 370Z: a new coupe and convertible

Also flashed up in the presentation was a heavily obscured image of the new Nisssan 370Z (second photo, middle). As its name suggests, it’s the new 350Z with a slightly bigger engine (the 3.7 V6 from the Infiniti G37).

That means it’ll be rear-wheel drive – and possibly four-wheel steer, as available on the Infiniti. Engineers are keen to preserve the no-nonsense driving qualities that have made the Z a popular mid-market choice, especially among US enthusiasts where the bulk of Z models have been sold.

This helps explain why the 370Z will be unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show in November 2008, with UK sales starting in April 2009.

These grainy pictures don’t tease… they annoy!

Yes, it is another frustrating product of the PR drip-feed machine, but at least this teaser shot gives something to whet the appetite… this blurry shot from the presentation shows an elegantly designed coupe with a curvier quality than today’s thuggish 350Z.

The squared-off wheelarches are heavily chamfered, drawing attention to the big wheels within. One of the other details clearly visible here is the ornately styled, vertical metal door handles.

But CAR understands there will also be a clear link with the GT-R, so expect a handful of design cues linking Nissan’s two sports cars. The marketing suits are desperate to make sure the latest Skyline’s halo rubs off on the rest of the range; and the 370Z isn’t the last Nissan sports car – a smaller, affordable coupe like

Click ‘Next’ to read about the new Nissan CubeThe new Cube? Is this one coming to Europe?

You bet. The new Nissan will be shown in Japan later in 2008, but this one has been confirmed for global sale. And that means this one will come to Europe and the UK.

Design chief Nakamura flashed up this teaser of the new Cube (far right) and – yes – it’s still a cube. They’re hardly going to launch the Nissan Rhombus, are they?

Will it still have a door on one side only?

‘The Cube is all about asymmetry,’ Nakamura told CAR Online. ‘The next one will be as well. The exterior design is an evolution of today’s model, but the interior will be more different.’

Nakamura-san raved about the sofa-like quality of the benches; we got the impression there was special innovation lurking with the Cube’s cabin.

Expect it on UK sale in 2009, powered by petrol and diesel engines. It uses the Nissan-Renault Alliance B platform, so it’ll share many of the mechanical details from the Micra/Clio superminis.

However, Nissan showcased an electric version at the 2008 New York auto show…
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  • Nissan 370Z side profile - snapped by camera phone
  • Nissan Cube (2009), side profile. Official teaser shot