Nissan Quietly Reveals Aggressive Z Proto Left On Cutting Room Floor

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 16, 2020

Design references past Z cars like 240Z, 300ZX and 350Z Nismo. Instead, they're previewing the next-generation model with the retro-inspired Z Proto.

The interior is the main giveaway that Nissan's upcoming Z auto could pretty much be identical to the Z Proto - with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a new (but inspired by classic Zs) steering wheel, and a central touchscreen command center that sits beneath a trio of analogue gauges. This is a nod to the original 240Z (or more specifically, the circular reflections on the 240Z's headlights), and between them is an upright, rectangular radiator grille with oval fins, the dimensions of which are apparently similar to the outgoing 370Z.

The rear end is a bit more modern as it draws inspiration from the 300ZX and features distinctive taillights which have been "reinterpreted for the modern world".

Elsewhere, designers installed 19-inch alloy wheels and a dual exhaust system. There are also a number of carbon fiber components including the front splitter, rear valance and side skirts.

According to Nissan's head of design, Alfonso Albaisa, "Our designers made countless studies and sketches as we researched each generation and what made them a success. Ultimately, we decided the Z Proto should travel between the decades, including the future".

At 4382mm long, 1850mm wide and 1310mm tall, the Z Proto is 117mm longer, 5mm wider and 5mm lower than the 370Z it replaces. The lithe silhouette effectively conveys the added 5 inches (12.7 cm) of length the Proto enjoys over the 2020 370Z. There's a 12,3-inch digital instrument cluster (complete with a redline shift point at the twelve o-clock position), a deep-dish steering wheel and plenty of yellow accents.

As a work in progress, exact specifications aren't yet being offered, but Nissan said it is powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 and confirmed that a six-speed manual transmission is being developed, even as many other sports cars are only available with automatics. As part of this effort, the team made key controls and information readily accessible to drivers.

The automaker has yet to reveal technical details of the vehicle, but reports suggest that it will be built on the front-engine, rear-drive FM chassis, with power derived exclusively from a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine with no electrification whatsoever.

Spin the Z Proto around to profile view, and Nissan has thinned away the bulbous design of the current Z by crisping up the edges, belt line and roofline.

While it's exciting that Nissan is committed to offering a powerful, rear-wheel drive, manual gearbox-equipped sports auto, reports suggest that it won't hit showrooms until 2023.

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