“The Z represents the joy of driving in its purest form and has helped shape Nissan’s DNA as a passionate, innovative challenger,” said Makoto Uchida, Nissan CEO. “Ever since the first generation, it has captured the hearts of car enthusiasts all over the world. That’s why we’re so excited today to be able to say to them: Yes, the next one is coming!”
The bright yellow pearlescent paint is a tribute to a popular paint colour from the first-generation 1970s 240Z and the 300ZX from the 1980s. Styling cues are also taken from both cars.
“Our designers made countless studies and sketches as we researched each generation and what made them a success,” said Alfonso Albaisa, head of design at Nissan. “Ultimately, we decided the Z Proto should travel between the decades, including the future.”
The shape of the hood and the canted, teardrop-shaped LED headlights are both reminiscent of the original Z. The rectangular grille dimensions are similar to the current 370Z, although the grille fins nod to the past.
The rear takes inspiration from the 300ZX tail lights. Set within a rectangular black section that runs across the rear and wraps around the outer edges, the LED taillights convey a sharp glow. Lightweight carbon fibre treatments on the side skirts, front lower lip and rear valance ensure nimble performance. 19-inch alloy wheels and dual exhausts complete the Z Proto’s striking road presence.
The interior blends modern technology with vintage Z touches. The design team worked with professional race car drivers to give the Z Proto an ideal sports car cabin, both for use on the road and track. This can be seen in the Z’s instrumentation. All vital information is found in the 12.3-inch digital meter display and arranged to help the driver see it at a glance, including the redline shift point at the twelve o-clock position. Yellow accents are found throughout the interior, including stitching on the instrument panel. The seats feature special accent piping and layered seat material.
Each new generation had a more powerful engine, although the Z is about more than power increases. Under the elongated hood is an enhanced V6 twin-turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. As a prototype, work is now underway to synchronize the power with the grace and control that has defined the Z for the past 50 years.
“Nissan is transforming its business,” said Uchida. “This summer, we unveiled the ground breaking all-electric Nissan Ariya crossover, which represents the future of mobility. 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.”