Making a smashing debut on Tuesday, treading on path no other carmaker would have dared to venture on this year, the Nissan Z is the seventh sports model in the brand’s 50-year Z Car history.
A much-needed breath of fresh air for car lovers who were pining for some sports car action, the Nissan 370Z Proto is set for a 2021 production, packed with a twin-turbo V6 engine, a manual transmission, and spunky retro design. Featuring a long bonnet, stubby boot, and a swooping coupé roofline, the design takes inspiration from various Z cars of the past, following the lineage of 240Z and 350Z Nismo.
A prototype of the actual car that is slated to go on floors next year, the rear design showcases a black trim that runs across the width, with the tail-lights inset into it, much like the 300ZX. The company has given the car a modern touch, using ample carbon-fiber on the front lip and rear diffuser. The car was unveiled at a ceremony in Yokohama, Japan, and paired with a simulcast celebration that was live-streamed from the model’s annual ZCon fan gathering in Nashville, Tennessee.
Moving to the interiors of the car, Nissan Z Proto’s cabin is a stark contrast from the vintage exterior. The concept car sports a pair of screens, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 9-inch infotainment screen, adept will modern gizmos. Typical to any Z car, the steering wheel is chunky and gets the large Z logo in the center while the rest of the cabin sports a healthy mix of leather and Alcantara with a bright, bumble-bee like yellow stitching.
As reported by Auto Car, the Z Proto also sports three dashboard-mounted gauges similar to the ones on the 350Z, one of which is the boost gauge that shows turbo pressure. Under the bonnet, the Nissan Z Proto will get a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine, which will be mated to a manual gearbox.
While official specifications aren’t out yet, car geeks are stipulating that the model will make it up to about a roaring 400hp, drawing parallels to competitors like the Toyota Supra.
The production of 400Z is expected to be revealed sometime next year, but an actual on-sale time frame isn’t clear and neither is the official pricing. Experts have estimated that it will likely be 2022 before new Z Cars hit the street, so it’s still very early in the process.