Retro Styling, Twin-Turbo Engine, and A Manual

The current Nissan 370Z has been around since 2009, which is antiquated over the years of the car. But the company has finally gone back to the drawing board, and today we take our first look at the 370’s long-awaited successor – or at least, its initial version. The Nissan Z Proto may not be available to buy yet (the name “proto” means “prototype”), but it provides an early glimpse of what one expects for a production model.

Many of the details you see here – things like retro styling, modern interior and twin-turbocharged V6 – should all make their way to production when the new Nissan Z finally hits the market. We expect Nissan’s new sports car to officially go on sale next year. For now, all we can do is hold on to a very beautiful preview of the times to come.

Performance: Twin-Turbo Power

The Nissan Z Proto has a twin-turbocharged V6 engine at its heart. Since it is still a concept, however, things like displacement and actual power figures remain a mystery. But if it is the same motor of the Infiniti Red Sport model, as reported, the new Z is expected to top 400 horsepower (298 kW).

This figure would be a major upgrade over the current 370Z, which produces 332 hp (248 kW). Not only that, but it will give the Nissan Z a significant boost in the segment, making it more circumspect against rivals such as the Toyota Supra – which produces a comparable 382 hp (285 kW) – as well as the Ford Muster GT. And more powerful options like. Chevrolet Camaro SS, among others.

The Z Proto’s new twin-turbo V6 is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, and all this yet known power travels exclusively to the rear wheels. Nissan says an automatic transmission is also under development.

Exterior: Retro Chic

Nissan Z Proto Front

The look of the Nissan Z Proto honors its iconic appearance. The bright yellow Percental paint job is a subtle nod to the first gen 240, while the elongated hood, round LED headlights, and grille mix cues from other Z cars. It even has a “Fairlady Z” badge on the trunk.

The Z Proto’s backside, however, may be its most attractive angle, with a black split that hides the length of the trunklid and the horizontal LED taillights below, on the rear fenders. That particular design piece draws inspiration directly from the 90’s 300ZX.

Nissan Z Proto Rear
Nissan Z Proto Front

But it’s not all retro. Modern carbon fiber elements extend from the outer skirt to the front lower lip to the rear diffuser. The body itself sits on a set of lightweight, 19-inch alloy wheels, and has a pair of exhaust tips at the rear end.

Size-wise, the Nissan Z Proto is actually slightly larger than the current 370Z, especially in length. The new Z is 172.5 inches in length, 72.8 inches in width, and 51.6 inches long. The 370Z, meanwhile, is just 167.5 inches long, 72.6 inches wide and 51.8 inches tall.

Interior: Clean and Modern

Nissan z proto interior
Nissan z proto interior

The Nissan Z is not retro to the exterior inside the proto, but it offers a clean layout with multiple screens. In the center of the cabin is a so-called “deep dish” three-spoke steering wheel wearing the “Z” logo and sporting multiple controls on either side.

The seats have a mix of alankara and leather with yellow stitching on the steering wheel, shift knob boot and center console. And like its predecessor, the Nissan Z Proto has only two seats.

In terms of technology, there is a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster located just behind the steering wheel, which replaces the 370Z’s old analog gauges. It also has an all-new touchscreen display – if it’s the same screen from the new Rogue, it should be 9.0 inches – Nissan’s latest infotainment system and three round indicators running just above that central screen, above the dash.

Pricing and availability

The Nissan Z Proto is just a concept, but we expect the production version to appear later next year as the 2022 model, sporting many of the hints you see here – including a twin-turbocharged V6 engine is. More information about the horsepower and the starting price of the car will be revealed closer to its sale date, but it can start at around $ 40,000, to some extent, from its Japanese rival, the Toyota Supra.