A few weeks ago, Daimler announced it would be making a strategic alliance with Renault-Nissan to share engines and car platforms. It seems like a pretty good match; Mercedes is well known for its reliable and fuel efficient diesel engines, and Renault-Nissan is making a big push into the electric car department.
So just what kind of crazy cars might we see out of this alliance? If AutoCar is right, the next Nissan performance Z-car could be powered by a Mercedes diesel engine. Say what?
I’ve always been a fan of Nissan’s Z-cars. I even owned a 240SX back in the day (which in my opinion was better than the complicated 300ZX). Datsun Z-cars were some of the first performance vehicles in America from a Japanese company, and they were mighty fine cars. Today’s Nissan 370Z does more, with less, its 3.7 liter V6 engine pumping out over 300 horsepower.
Renault-Nissan has promised to provide Mercedes with 3-and-4 cylinder engines… of which there are none in Mercedes’ lineup (lest you count Smart). Mercedes will in turn provide larger six and eight-cylinder engines, as well as diesels, for the Renault-Nissan lineup. This opens a slew of options for the 370Z car, which is due to be replaced in a few years anyway. Could the next Z-car have a diesel engine?
I’ve often touted the mucho amounts of torque diesel engines can make. And a diesel-powered sports car would be perfect for the coming mileage crunch. 400 horsepower and 40 mpg? Yes, please. Even so, perhaps a hybrid Z-car would make more sense? Or maybe even a turbocharged four-banger?