Nissan Z Proto goes retro, comes with a V6 and 6-speed MT
MANILA: The seventh-generation of Nissan’s Z sports car made its world reveal yesterday straight from the Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama, Japan.
Called the Z Proto, it takes inspiration from the very first Z car, the Nissan Fairlady 240Z, but with a more modern twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine from the automaker’s VR family of engines that power the Infiniti Q50 and Q60. It will be offered with a six-speed manual transmission.
"The Z, as a pure sports car, represents the spirit of Nissan. 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," said Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida.
Its body has a bright yellow pearlescent paint, plus a hood and the canted, teardrop-shaped LED headlights, and roofline that take after the first-generation Z. It also has a rectangular grille, a black roof, and seamlessly combines a retro theme with projected futurism.
"Our designers made countless studies and sketches as we researched each generation and what made (it) a success. Ultimately, we decided the Z Proto should travel between the decades, including the future. The LED headlights have two half-circles that hark back to the Japan market-only 240ZG of the '70s. 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,” said Nissan Head of Design Alfonso Albaisa.
The rear takes inspiration from the more contemporary 300ZX (Z32), with LED taillights set within a rectangular black section that runs across the rear and wraps around the outer edges.
It uses lightweight carbon fiber treatments on the side skirts, front lower lip and rear valance ensure nimble performance. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels and dual exhausts complete the Z Proto's striking road presence.
"The Z has always been a strong dynamic performer, making it easy for customers to enjoy its capabilities and feel as connected as possible to the car. This has been true through all its generations, and this is what drives our passion to innovate and challenge the norm. Z is a balance of power and agility. 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," said Z Proto Chief Product Specialist Hiroshi Tamura.
To give off true sports car vibe, the cabin comes with a 12.3-inch digital meter display and arranged to help the driver grasp it at a glance, such as the redline shift point at the twelve-o-clock position. Yellow accents are found throughout the cabin, including stitching on the instrument panel. The seats feature special yellow accenting and a layered gradation stripe in the center of the seats to create depth.
"With the launch this summer of the groundbreaking Ariya EV, we've started a new era of electrification and autonomous driving technology. With the Z, we're bringing drivers the excitement of a pure sports car. For more than 50 years we have been creating the legend of Z together. I'm glad you're with us for the next exciting chapter. The new Z is on its way," added Uchida.
Photos from Nissan