A new Nissan Z is coming, and the Proto concept shows us what to expect
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - Nissan is finally set to unleash a new Z car and you can expect it to look a lot like the Z Proto concept car that was revealed in Japan on Wednesday.
Despite being more modern than retro, the styling of the prototype is strongly influenced by its earliest ancestor, the 240 Z of 1969, although the taillights also pay tribute to the 300 ZX of the 1990s.
Nissan’s design chief Alfonso Albaisa explained that combining retro and futuristic design elements into a modern sports car package was a challenging task.
“Our designers made countless studies and sketches as we researched each generation and what made them a success,” Albaisa said. “Ultimately, we decided the Z Proto should travel between the decades, including the future.”
But what’s under that elongated bonnet?
Nissan says the prototype is powered by a V6 twin-turbo engine that’s paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. There’s no official word yet on how powerful it is, but it is strongly rumoured that the newcomer will wear a Z400 badge, denoting 400 horsepower, which equates to 298kW in metric speak.
Nissan is also not saying whether an auto box will be offered, although the manual will certainly appease those fans who enjoy driving their sports cars the good old fashioned way.
“The Nissan Z Proto pays full respect to 50 years of Z heritage. At the same time, it’s a thoroughly modern sports car,” Nissan said.
Chief product specialist Hiroshi Tamura added: “Z is a balance of power and agility. It is a vehicle that creates a connection with the driver not just on the physical level, but emotionally, and responds to the driver’s impulses.”
Just like the car’s exterior, the cabin aims to seamlessly blend modern technology with retro Z touches, and the design team even went as far as seeking advice from racing drivers on what constitutes an ideal sports car cockpit.
While most of the information is accessed via a touchscreen and digital instrument cluster, the Proto still has three analogue gauges on the dash top to relay boost and voltage information.
That’s as much as we can tell you about the new Z for now, but it surely won’t be too long before Nissan pulls the covers off the real thing.