The new Nissan Z Proto is exactly what I wanted: the old school

An illustration of an article titled The New Nissan Z Proto is pretty much exactly what I wanted: old school

A screen shot: April

The Nissan Z Proto, the official flagship of the tentatively promised next-generation car, has bowed and includes some features that I love. It is an impressive, tall-looking body built around two support seats and a three-pedal manual transmission. So far, so good.

I imagine what you want to do most is take a look at it, so, here:

Virtual tour of Nissan Z Proto

Nissan Z Proto

Photo: April

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Photo: April

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Photo: April

I think it’s pretty clear that the original 240Z was a strong inspiration. The new car is not entirely old, but it does look like a 2006 Mustang in the sense that it looks old school inspired but is definitely new.

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Photo: April

The black plastic and rear tail section vaguely reminds us of the Z32 300ZX, as previous teasers suggested.

Nissan designers definitely got the silhouette right. I’m on the boat with the Z side emblem going from fender to column as well. The open mouth front end though, I’m not sure how I feel about it. Sure, it sounds like the original car’s loud voice response but I can’t pinpoint my finger on how to improve it. A little optimization will go a long way, which is why I’m happy that this “Proto” is still being tagged as a work in progress.

I can’t say I was blown away by this car on the current 370Z, which still looks great after a long time in service. But I love the main design elements in the lighting and the body.

Nissan Z Proto interior

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Photo: April

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Photo: April

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Photo: April

Triple gauge pod on the dashboard, fine, and the tachometer appears to be still centered even though the main instrument cluster has gone digital. Nice steering wheel, too. Well I am generally satisfied with the look of the cockpit based on what we can see here.

The main shapes, right down to the door cards, are very similar to the 370Z.

Nissan with preliminary specifications

While it has fallen short of making any production promises, Nissan has released some specs for the Z Proto that you can study here.

  • Engine: V6 twin turbo
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual (automatic will be ‘under development’)
  • Height: 172.5 inches (370Z is 167.5)
  • Width: 72.8 inches (370Z 72.6)
  • Height: 51.6 inches (370Z 51.8)
  • Wheel and Tire Size: 255 / 40R19 front; 285 / 35R19 rear

There are no electric cars or hybrid technology, which I don’t mind applying myself to, although I am sure others will feel differently.

Nissan’s closest official writing to describe the power is: “A twin-turbocharged V6 engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.” Most commentators think this means the upcoming Zs will power Nissan’s VR series engines, which are currently used in Infiniti cars and produce up to 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque.

There are also lower production versions, so I think it’s reasonable to guess that if there was a new Z, it might have multiple power options for different price points.

Since Nissan hedges very carefully, and guarantees us nothing, there is not much to discuss in terms of driving dynamics or performance. Although, of course, if he was really using the old VR drive, the people who had been hoping for a hot new one would have something to complain about.

I am more sure that if the technology was there it would be cheaper and easier to operate it to survive. And 400 hp is a lot.

But, again, we don’t really know what this car will be like when you drive it or if it will ever be built and sold en masse.

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Photo: April

Having said that, I should have imagined that the automaker would not bother developing a design this totally and dreading with it if it were not at least somewhat committed to creating a successor to the 370Z today.

that happens One of my favorite cars At the moment, what bothers me about it is pretty much the same reason for writing off the car: It’s old.

The current Z, the “Z34” as it’s sometimes known, looks primitive compared to many of the other current generation cars. The asymmetric gauges look like an old calculator, there aren’t a lot of driver assistance features, and the drivetrain is a very common non-turbo V6 with rear wheel drive and an optional manual transmission.

In other words, it is a simple and mechanically functional sports car. A strain of compounds is getting rarer every year. I love these things. The Z is nice too, which I wouldn’t say about the FR-S / BRZ / GT86 or the ND Miata. Cars are both good looking, but not … pretty.

There’s definitely an elegance to the Z Proto too, even in the extreme hot yellow they decided to spray this one.

With that said, my article said about this styling exercise so I’m now looking forward to reading comments overnight. I’ll leave you with the rest of the official gallery photos, tucked into a small slideshow so you don’t have to load a wall of JPEGs if you don’t want to.

More pictures of Nissan Z Proto

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