The Nissan Z Proto provides an early glimpse of what to expect from a production model.
In Franklin, just south of Nashville, hundreds of Z owners and enthusiasts watched the Nissan Z Proto’s Yokohama debut on big screens from their vehicles in a socially distanced event – part of a weeklong schedule of activities during the 33rd annual International Z Convention (ZCON).
The Nissan Z Proto Concept is powered by a twin-turbo V6. It will supposedly produce 400 hp (298 kW) and 350 lb-ft (475 Nm) in the production Z-car – it’s a power boost over the outgoing model.
The engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive. An automatic transmission is also in development.
The Nissan Z Proto two-seater unites retro styling with modern carbon fiber elements. Retro cues include bright yellow pearlescent color (a nod to the first-gen 240), oval LED headlights, a squared grille, an elongated hood, a “Fairlady Z” badge.
A noticeable detail at the rear is a black partition lengthwise the trunk lid over the rear fenders. It hides horizontal LED taillights underneath and draws inspiration from the ’90s-era 300ZX.
The body itself sits on a set of 19-inch lightweight alloy wheels. The Nissan Z Proto is 172.5” long, 72.8” wide, and 51.6” high, – so, it is larger in size than the current 370Z it comes to replace.
The cabin offers a clean layout with multiple screens. You’ll find there a three-spoke steering wheel with a “Z” logo and many controls, a modern 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a brand-new infotainment touchscreen display met on the new Nissan Rogue.
The upholstery is a mix of Alcantara and leather. There is yellow stitching on the seats, the steering wheel, shift knob boot, center console.
The production version will assumedly bear the name “400Z”, though this is still uncertain. It is too early to speak about pricing now. Expect the car will cost around $40,000.
Nissan isn’t saying when the 400Z will hit the market, only mentioning “it’s not so far but not so early”. We hope it will happen sometime next year.
Due to specific regulations on emissions, the next-gen Z-car won’t be on sale in the European market. Nissan says they can’t offer a suitable business case for Europe.
In the markets where the Nissan Z will be available (the USA is among them), buyers choose from a stick shift and an optional automatic transmission.
Besides, Nissan hints at the possible arrival of a hybrid Nismo derivative, a roadster, and a drop-top variant.