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Nissan Z Proto Is Here as V6 Design Study Eyeing Both Past and Future

A Japanese automaker with a seemingly natural ability to discover new roads and usher in unknown automotive segments, Nissan seems to have had an easier job coming up with a concept evolution of its well-known Z sports car. Still, we can bet a few sleepless nights have passed in between the decision to develop a new generation Z car and the actual reveal of the Nissan Z Proto concept.
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Dubbed as a prototype for the time being, the Z Proto has been unveiled during an event streamed around the globe from the newly opened Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama, Japan.

Judging by the all-new appearance of the concept, as well as counting on the few technical specifications that have been released so far, we can safely place a bet on the new generation Z sports car (nicknamed 400Z by the rumor mill) being as close as possible to it in the end.

But we still need to take all this with a grain of salt, as the Japanese automaker has mentioned that its “Z Proto is a development study vehicle and does not confirm or reflect production model specifications.” So, for now, we better take up what’s in front of us – namely this stylish vintage-modern concept.

The design is firmly rooted in the half of century of Z tradition, but we can still make out a host of modern traits. For example, the bright yellow pearlescent exterior is a direct homage to a successful shade used on the original 240Z and the 300ZX successor. The side profile is also a clear tribute to the first-generation’s bespoke posture, while the LED headlights feature a couple of half-circles that are used as a nod to the Japanese-exclusive 240ZG of the 1970s.

On the other hand, the backside has taken its inspiration from the 300ZX directly into a modern near future, as shown by the tech-savvy treatment bestowed upon the LED stoplights. The Z Proto is also spiced up with lots of carbon fiber – the lightweight material is found on the front lower lip, side skirts, as well as the rear diffuser. The sports car attitude is completed with 19-inch alloy wheels and dual exhausts.

While it looks decidedly compact via the composed stance, the Z Proto has outgrown the current 370Z and now stands at 172.5 inches (4,381.5 mm) long, 72.8 in. (1,849 mm) wide, and 51.6 in. (1,311 mm) tall, while the latter, in its Nismo guise is just 170.47 inches (4,330 mm) long.

The interior is the main giveaway that Nissan’s upcoming Z car 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.

More importantly, the company is also previewing interesting technical developments, such as the previously teased V6 engine featuring twin turbocharging technology, or the standard availability of a six-speed manual transmission (with auto option currently in development).

No pricing or availability details have been advanced yet, but the carmaker promises the Z Proto is part of a 10-vehicle introduction roster for the U.S. market scheduled to arrive during the next 20 months, next to popular best-sellers such as the Sentra or Rogue, and innovative new additions like the Ariya electric crossover.



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