Spearheading the launch of a new-generation of Nissan Z cars is the new Nissan Z Proto which was revealed today.
Revealed virtually today, the Nissan Z Proto (prototype) looks pretty close to the real deal, we reckon. Nissan hinted at the return of a new Z car back in May with Nissan saying today the Z Proto “pays full respect to 50 years of Z heritage”.
“The Z, as a pure sports car, represents the spirit of Nissan,” said Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida in the online presentation. “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.”
Nissan’s design team said the design of the Z Proto was difficult as it had to respect the past but hint at the future of Nissan design. “Our designers made countless studies and sketches as we researched each generation and what made them a success,” Nissan’s head of design, Alfonso Albaisa said. “Ultimately, we decided the Z Proto should travel between the decades, including the future.”
The silhouette hints at old Z cars and the paint colour does too, with the bright yellow paintwork harking back to one of the original colours on the first-generation Z car as well as the 300ZX and, of course, the black roof.
“The LED headlights have two half-circles that hark back to the Japan market-only 240ZG of the 70s,” Albaisa explained. “The ZG has clear dome lenses over the headlight buckets, which under light give off two circular reflections over each headlight. We liked that unique characteristic and discovered that it naturally fit with the Z’s identity.”
On the inside, Nissan reckons it’s designed an ideal cabin for both road and track. There’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a number of vintage Z touches like circular gauges on the dashboard and the use of body colour on the interior.
Nissan reckons that the Z car has always been about blending grace with power but recent generations, in our opinion, were more muscle car than sports car, as such. The Z Proto suggests we’ll get more of the same but with better balance. Under the bonnet is an “enhanced V-6 twin-turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. 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,” Nissan said.
“Z is a balance of power and agility,” Hiroshi Tamura, chief product specialist of the Z Proto. “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.”
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