Nissan has unveiled the Z Proto, signaling the company’s intent to launch a new generation of the legendary Z sports car. Shown at a virtual event the prototype car features a new design inside and out, as well as a V-6 twin turbocharged engine with a manual transmission. The Nissan Z Proto pays homage to 50 years of Z heritage.
Penned and developed by the design team in Japan, the Z Proto boasts of a fresh, attractive exterior design with a silhouette that looks more like the old model. It sports a bright yellow pearlescent paint – a tribute to a popular paint scheme on both the first generation Z (S30) and the 300ZX (Z32) – and a black roof.
The Nissan Z Proto sports a bright yellow pearlescent paint – a tribute to a popular paint scheme on both the first generation Z
Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida said, “The Z, as a pure sports car, represents the spirit of Nissan. It’s a key model in our Nissan NEXT transformation plan, and it’s proof of our ability to do what others don’t dare to do, from A to Z. As a Z fan myself, I’m excited to announce that the next Z is coming.”
The shape of the hood and the canted, teardrop-shaped LED headlights are both unmistakable reminders of the original Z. The rectangular grille’s dimensions are similar to the current model with the addition of oval grille fins to offer an updated modern look. The form continues to exude both sportiness and elegance.
The rear takes inspiration from the 300ZX (Z32) taillights, reinterpreted for the modern world.
The link to the original Z is most striking when viewing the Z Proto from the side. The roofline flows from the nose to the squared-off rear to create a distinctive first-generation Z profile whose rear edge was slightly lower than the front fender height giving the Z its unique posture. The signature transition from the rear quarter glass to the low-slung position of the rear tail adds to the effect.
The rear takes inspiration from the 300ZX (Z32) taillights, reinterpreted for the modern world. Set within a rectangular black section that runs across the rear and wraps around the outer edges, the LED taillights convey a sharp glow. Lightweight carbon fibre treatments on the side skirts, front lower lip and rear valance are all there to enhance performance and the 19-inch alloy wheels and dual exhausts complete the Z Proto’s looks.
The roofline flows from the nose to the squared-off rear to create a distinctive first-generation Z profile
The interior design team sought advice from professional motorsports legends to give the Z Proto an ideal sports car cabin, both for road and track. This can be seen in the Z’s instrumentation. All vital information is found in the 12.3-inch digital meter display and arranged to help the driver grasp it at a glance, such as the redline shift point at the twelve o-clock position.
All vital information is found in the 12.3-inch digital meter display and arranged to help the driver grasp it at a glance, such as the redline shift point at the twelve o-clock position.
The new, deep dish steering wheel offers the driver quick access controls without losing its vintage aesthetic. Yellow accents are found throughout the cabin, including stitching on the instrument panel. The seats feature special yellow accenting and a layered gradation stripe in the centre of the seats to create depth.
The Nissan Z Proto gets a 6-speed manual transmission
Under the elongated hood is a V6 twin-turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. As a prototype, work is now underway on synchronizing the power so we don’t have the figures yet from Nissan.
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