20200916

Nissan previews next-gen Z sports car with this prototype

It’s official. A new Z is on the way! 

And the Z Proto - unveiled today by Nissan virtually - is a thinly-veiled preview of what’s headed our way in the not-so-distant future. 

With 50 years of heritage and legions of fans globally, the Z is not just an important model in Nissan’s glorious history but also has a key role to play in the brand’s NEXT transformation plan announced earlier this year. Yes, the next-generation Z – rumored to be called the 400Z - could just be the image catalyst the Japanese brand desperately needs right now!

In this day and age when unnecessary creases and cuts are becoming a norm, the Z prototype is clean and simple. Refreshingly so, if I may add! 

A part of that could be due to the fact the new Z pays homage to the Z cars of the past, old and new. The silhouette is where the influence is most obvious – the way in which the A-pillars rise and the roof starts tapering down immediately afterwards until it reaches the low-slung rear end. Likewise, the teardrop-shaped headlights are an ode to the original 240Z while the horizontal taillight bars set into a full-width black panel are a modern interpretation of the ones found on the 300ZX. Adding further oomph are carbon-fiber accents on the front lip, side skirts and rear valance, dual exhaust tips and striking 19-inch wheels. The large, rectangular grille up front - reminiscent of the current 370Z - is the only design element that doesn't look convincing enough.

The interiors follow the same ‘retro homage’ theme with modern niceties like a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and the obvious touchscreen infotainment system. A trio of auxiliary gauges on the dash – a Z trait – remain, angled towards the driver. Bright yellow accents are found throughout the cabin, matching the lovely pearlescent yellow shade the car comes painted with. 

Packing a punch under the hood is a twin turbo V6 engine paired with a 6-speed manual transmission that channels the power to the rear wheels. While no other specifications have been released, Nissan did drop a hint in its press release with the statement “Each new generation had a more powerful engine”. That ties up nicely to the 400Z rumors floating around!

Whatever that is, the mere fact that an all-new Z is on the way is good news. From the looks of it, the new Z is everything we enthusiasts wanted. The wait begins!

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