Nissan Unveils Z Proto Concept
Nissan today unveiled the Z Proto, signaling Nissan’s intent to launch a new generation of the legendary Z sports car. Shown at a virtual event beamed around the world from the Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama, the prototype car features a new design inside and out, as well as a V-6 twin turbocharged engine with a manual transmission. A global community of fans young and old attended today’s virtual unveiling. Members of the Z Club in Japan, ZCON participants in Nashville, Tennessee, and enthusiasts in various other markets tuned in for the event.
Penned and developed by the design team in Japan, the Z Proto boasts a fresh, attractive exterior design with a silhouette that communicates respect for the original model. It sports a bright yellow pearlescent paint – a tribute to a popular paint scheme on both the first generation Z (S30) and the 300ZX (Z32) – and a black roof.
The shape of the hood and the canted, teardrop-shaped LED headlights are both unmistakable reminders of the original Z. The rectangular grille’s dimensions are similar to the current model with the addition of oval grille fins to offer an updated modern look. The form continues to exude both sportiness and elegance. The rear takes inspiration from the 300ZX (Z32) taillights, reinterpreted for the modern world. Set within a rectangular black section that runs across the rear and wraps around the outer edges, the LED taillights convey a sharp glow.
The link to the original Z is most striking when viewing the Z Proto from the side. The roofline flows from the nose to the squared-off rear to create a distinctive first-generation Z profile whose rear edge was slightly lower than the front fender height giving the Z its unique posture. The signature transition from the rear quarter glass to the low-slung position of the rear tail adds to the effect.
Lightweight carbon fiber treatments on the side skirts, front lower lip and rear valance ensure nimble performance. 19-inch alloy wheels and dual exhausts complete the Z Proto’s striking road presence. Designed to fit driver and passenger like a glove, the Z Proto’s cabin seamlessly blends modern technology with vintage Z touches.
The interior design team sought advice from professional motorsports legends to give the Z Proto an ideal sports car cabin, both for road and track. This can be seen in the Z’s instrumentation. All vital information is found in the 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. The new, deep dish steering wheel offers the driver quick access controls without losing its vintage aesthetic.
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. The original Z was built to bring the joy and excitement of sports car ownership to as many people as possible. Under the elongated hood is an enhanced V-6 twin-turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. As a prototype, work is now underway on synchronizing the power with the grace and control that has defined the Z for the past 50 years.