Summary List Placement
At long last, Nissan has given us a look at the next car in its beloved and iconic Z lineup. This is the new Nissan Z Proto — for now, a prototype of what will replace the aging (but brilliant) 370Z.
Unveiled on Tuesday evening from Yokohama, Japan, the Z prototype wears a shade of pearlescent yellow paint and, to the relief of enthusiasts and Z fans everywhere, maintains the classical, sloped fastback Z design.
Nissan’s Z cars have always represented driver-focused sportiness, but the current Z car, the 370Z, came onto the market in 2009 and has been long criticized for its age. Still, throughout its lifetime, the car has always offered enthusiasts a rewarding driving experience.
The new Z has big shoes to fill, since the car-enthusiast niche is famously a picky and nostalgia-filled one. Nissan was mum on many of the Z Proto’s stats but did mention that it has a manual transmission mated to a twin-turbocharged V6 engine.
Read on to see more of the Nissan Z Proto.SEE ALSO: The Nissan 370Z is barebones and old — but the 50th Anniversary edition of this sports-car legend is among the best cars I’ve driven all year
On Tuesday evening, Nissan unveiled the Nissan Proto Z — a prototype of what we can expect as the next Z sports car.
The eventual production version of the Z Proto will replace the aged Nissan 370Z.
The Z Proto represents the next chapter in the Nissan Z story, which began with the Datsun 240Z in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The prototype wears a pearlescent coat of yellow paint as a tribute to a popular paint available with the first-generation 240Z and 300ZX.
Nissan also says the rear of the prototype is inspired by 300ZX tail lights.
From the front, it looks similar to the 350Z from the 2000s.
Like this guy right here.
Here’s a closer look at the front grille.
There will be a powerful, twin-turbocharged V6 beneath the new Z’s long hood.
Since each generation of Z is more powerful than the last, it’ll probably have at least 332 horsepower, since that’s what the 370Z makes.
There will also be a manual (!) transmission (!!).
Nissan did not announce stats or performance figures, however.
Nissan does currently make a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 in the form of the GT-R’s VR38DETT engine. It would be interesting if the new Z used a version of that engine, though nothing has been confirmed.
When viewed in profile, the similarities to the rest of the Z cars are most striking.
The Z Proto keeps the classically sloped fastback design and long hood silhouette.
It wears the Z badge along its B-pillar.
The hood shape is inspired directly from the original 240Z.
As are the teardrop-shaped LED headlights.
The prototype wears 19-inch alloy wheels.
There are also carbon-fiber trims on the side skirts, front lower lip, and rear valance.
The prototype is 172.5 inches long (14.4 feet), 72.8 inches wide (6 feet), and 51.6 inches tall (4.3 feet).
Judging from those dimensions, it sounds low-slung and wide, as a sports car should be.
The Fairlady badge is a nod to the name Nissan gave to a sports car it exported to the US in the early ’60s — named after the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady.”
Inside, Nissan said it aimed to blend modern technology with vintage Z aspects.
There’s a 12.3-inch digital information cluster for the driver, along with yellow accents all throughout the cabin.
The new steering wheel is described as “deep dish” and offering a driver “quick access controls without losing its vintage aesthetic.”
Keep in mind that the Nissan Z Proto is still just a prototype, though it looks very close to production.
It’s not immediately clear when we’ll see the production version, but if it’s the same as this prototype, then there’s a lot to look forward to.