HEY PROTO! Nissan Shows Us the Next Z vehicle

Daniel Fowler
September 19, 2020

"With the Z, we're bringing drivers the excitement of a pure sports auto", he said.

It might be a while until Nissan announces anything official, but considering its age it would certainly come as little surprise to see the current GT-R retired after 2022, and the Z moniker entering GT500 battle once again in the years to come.

The headline act is that there will be a twin-turbo V6 under the bonnet - likely the 298kW/475Nm 3.0-litre unit from the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport - which will connect to a six-speed manual gearbox, though an automatic is also being developed.

Sporting a bright yellow pearlescent paint - a tribute to a popular paint scheme on both the first-generation 240Z and the 300ZX - the Z Proto boasts a fresh, attractive exterior design with a silhouette that communicates respect to the original model.

The new Z is coming.

Otherwise, the Z Proto looks fairly modern inside.

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Which all sounds pretty great to us - a Nissan Z that pays due respect to its enviable heritage while embracing all that's great about modern sports vehicle.

Nissan says as a prototype, work is now underway on synchronizing the power with the "grace and control that has defined the Z for the past 50 years".

Openly admitted by Nissan that the new "Z" will be a key model in its NEXT transformation plan, the sportscar will be a product that showcases the firm's capabilities in delivering a sportscar that will rival the best of the best.

Other cues taken from the original Z auto include the teardrop-shaped headlights, pointed nose and bright yellow pearlescent paint, a colour Nissan says was a customer favourite on both the 240Z and Z32 series 300ZX. However, the main highlight is the body shape, which repeats that of the first-gen Nissan Z. Numerous details such as a carbon body kit, 19-inch wheels and dual round tailpipes wrap things up on the outside. The driver takes in information through a 12.3-in digital instrument panel, combined with a trio of analog gauges that top the center console.

The auto, called the Z Proto for now, is the next chapter in Nissan's rich history of producing sports cars that excel in every conceivable way. "Even as we open this new chapter, the Z, its heritage and passion, express who we are and has been shaping our DNA for over fifty years". Typical to any Z vehicle, the steering wheel is chunky and gets the large Z logo in the centre while the rest of the cabin sports a healthy mix of leather and Alcantara with contrasting yellow stitching.

Nissan Z Proto comes with a manual gearbox. "This is a real auto, it's just not finished", he said.

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