The much-anticipated glimpse at the future Nissan Z car has finally dropped. Tonight Nissan took the [virtual] cover off the Nissan Z Proto; a thinly veiled concept car that provides us a clear look at the upcoming production Nissan 400Z. This next Z car is not simply a redesigned 370Z; it’s a completely new look that borrows a host of cues from Z cars of the past.
While the Z Proto shares most of its underlying architecture with the current 370Z, it doesn’t show when it comes to design. The Z Proto is wider, lower and a bit shorter than the current 370Z, enabling an entirely different proportion that’s sexier and retro. Speaking of retro, there’s a ton of design cues within the Z Proto, from the original 240Z to the 300ZX.
The overall proportion and shaping of the Z Proto is heavily inspired by the original 240Z. This throwback is fairly noticeable when looking at the car’s overall shape and the circular headlights up front. However, the retro cues are merged with inspiration from the 370Z in the form of the rectangular grille and bulging fender flares. Meanwhile additional Z cues are pulled in around back, namely from the 300ZX with a black horizontal housing for its taillights.
Nissan throws in an additional heritage cue with a “Fairlady Z” throwback moniker on the decklid.
Inside, the Z Proto is less retro-inspired. It retains its driver-focused cockpit feel–expected of a sports coupe–but adds in a substantial dose of modernity with a large infotainment display, simply switchgear layout and 12.3-inch screen acting as the gauge cluster. Nissan is giving a nod at the Z’s past with tree analog gauges resting at the top of the instrument panel.
Given the Z Proto is a concept vehicle, Nissan is unsurprisingly being vague about the mechanics. They have confirmed the Z Proto is powered by a twin-turbo V-6 and, as the photos confirm, a manual gearbox. The specifics of the powertrain are unknown, though we expect the production 400Z to utilize a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 found under the hood of a couple Infiniti models. This engine should be good for north of 400 horsepower, vindicating the 400Z badge.