The Nissan Z Proto rocks a twin-turbo V6, manual transmission and retro design.


The Nissan Z Proto looks awesome. Now, let’s ballpark its performance and value.

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With everything going on, 2020 is probably not a great time to introduce a new sports car. From there Coronavirus Pandemic to The recession Seems to be continuous natural calamity, It is proving to be tough enough to launch any new model this year, let’s in a shrinking niche segment. And yet, this is the Nissan Z Proto interview. Making its debut on Tuesday, this is the seventh chapter of the brand to come 50 years old Z car History kicked off with the now iconic Datsun 240Z.

On the other hand, this Nissan 370Z proto may actually be the kind of spirited distraction – if not revelation – that many driving enthusiasts still covet. Simultaneously new, yet deeply familiar, Jade thinks of Proto as a delicacy of high-performance casual food, arriving at a time where we can all use a familiar face and something to look forward to. Huh. Whether ready or not, the world is a time to get excited.


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The Proto in Nissan 370Z Proto is short for prototype, and that means that the pale-yellow coupe seen here isn’t just a pure concept car, it’s about 98% of the production model that’s expected to debut next year before hitting dealers in 2022. 

I was actually fortunate enough to see the Z Proto briefly in person last October during a trip to Japan. I was sworn to secrecy at the time, and it’s been incredibly hard to bite my tongue and not share any impressions until now, nearly a year later. I saw a slightly earlier full-size version of the Z Proto in a courtyard full of other future wonders (which I’m still not allowed to talk about). But even then, the Z wasn’t just the center of the display’s gravity — if it weren’t an outdoor setting, the Z would’ve sucked all the air out of the room. Yes, I’ve got a weak spot for purist sports cars in general, but I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. This design has real presence.

Nissan Z Proto specs

Despite being unveiled at a ceremony in Yokohama, Japan, and paired with a simulcast celebration livestreamed from the model’s annual ZCon fan gathering in Nashville, Tennessee, there aren’t a lot of hard numbers to accompany the rollout of this new Z Proto. Right now, Nissan confirms that it’s powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 engine whose soul is stirred by a six-speed manual transmission. The company also released basic dimensions, so here’s how the Proto stacks up to the current 2020 Nissan 370Z range.

Nissan Z Proto vs. 2020 Nissan 370Z and 370Z Nismo

Nissan Z Proto 2020 Nissan 370Z 2020 Nissan 370Z Nismo
Length 172.5 in 167.5 in 170.5 in
Width 72.8 in 72.6 in 73.6 in
Height 51.6 in 51.8 in 51.8 in
Engine size TBD 3.7 liters 3.7 liters
Engine type Twin-turbo V6 NA V6 NA V6
Power TBD 332 hp 350 hp
Torque TBD 270 lb-ft 276 lb-ft
Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed manual or 7-speed auto 6-speed manual or 7-speed auto

Nissan Z Proto: A historic design

As you can see, the new Proto maintains the Z’s classic long hood and rear-wheel-drive proportions. The Z has an enviable design history, and to expect chief designer Alfonso Albaisa to sign off on something radically different would be to misunderstand how the company feels about this model. As Albaisa told Roadshow during a virtual media briefing, this car is “in the very fibers of our heart, as Nissan, and [designing the new car] There is a tremendous responsibility and respect. “With the possible exception of the 1990s Z32 which was a technological canopy envisioned during Japan’s economic bubble, the Z remains remarkably consistent in its mission and reaching its five-decade life. New. Z Proto suggests that Nissan would like to maintain that continuity.

Interestingly, at 19 inches in diameter, the prototype’s staggered-width wheels are reasonably sized and feature far more sidewalls than you might expect on a modern sports coupe, let alone a show car. Similarly, note the deliberate inclusion of a six-speed stick-shift and the retention of a manual handbreak. With these details, Nissan is telegraphing that the new Z will be less focused on generating blind performance figures than creating a bond between car and driver. As with the Japanese automaker GT-R For fans of the jaw-reducing grip and boastable stopwatch numbers, keeping the Z as a more original driver’s car seems like a smart approach.

If this pale colored PZ Proto’s style is familiar, it’s because it is a melange of cues designed from previous Z models. Booking that feels like opening up some larger and overly square grilles is a set of LED Peepers designed to spruce up the iconic Chinese-scoop headlamps of the original S30 Fairlady Z – a glass-cover exclusively after the Japanese-market 240ZG Light. Note how the roof roof hurt abnormally on its leading edge, like today’s 370Z, taping from windshield headers. At the rear, horizontal LED taillamps echo the Z32 of the 90s. This Jade Proto’s styling manages to incorporate all of these historical design cues, which seem to be simultaneously retro or cobbled, a feat in itself.

The Z Proto has a roof with unusually peaks on the windshield header like today’s 370Z.

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Nissan Z Proto Chassis and Turbo Power

As beneath that bodywork, Nissan is not saying, but sources say that the platform is actually a close relative to the unibody chassis of the current car. The 370Z has always been a strong and entertaining handler, but it has never been refined, especially in terms of noise, vibration and harshness. If the new Z is actually similar to the one below the old Z, it would be interesting to find out what kind of renovations, if any, may be necessary to bring the underlying standards up to modern standards, including crash test provisions. There is also the possibility that the production Z’s electrical system may need to be updated, not only to cope with the increased cabin technologies, but for whatever advanced driver-assistance system Nissan decides to provide. To jib with.

While the original S30 Fairlady Z had straight-six power, Nissan does not currently have a suitable modern inline-six engine in its portfolio, so it makes sense that the new car would be the V6 Inspire. The current 370Z relies on the naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V6, but for the next-generation model, the car is widely expected to displace in a scosh, a version of Nissan’s corporate 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 Adopting as found Infiniti Q60 Coupe. As the production will align with the model’s rumored 400Z name, the engine is expected to aim for 400 horsepower – the same output that the engine uses today. Q60 Red Sport.

If true, it will be a heap of 332 hp of the 2020 Nissan 370Z and even more oomph than the high-performance 370Z Nismo, which offers 350 hp. What’s more, forced induction will undoubtedly bring significantly more torque with it in significantly less torque. (The Q60 Red Sport accelerates from 1,600 rpm to 350 pound-feet, while the 370Z’s 270-pound-feet peak doesn’t show up to 5,200 rpm.)

Expect a manual gearbox with a conventional paddle-shift automatic gearbox (like the seven-speed unit found in the Red Sport).

The driver-centered cabin keeps it simple, but modern touches like a fully digital gauge cluster keep it contemporary.

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Nissan Z Proto Interior Familiar with Better Technology

On the inside, the Proto’s cabin is more modern than the candy-coated shell, but is largely a function of the screen’s appearance. Not only does the redesigned dashboard feature a larger touchscreen infotainment display, there is also a 12.3-inch fully digital gauge cluster.

In addition, there is a lot that will be loyal to the Z, from a trio of analog gauges, to simple, round climate control and a dash of musel-shell-shaped door handles on top of the dashboard. (If these make it to production, I hope they feel better than today’s Jade.) Adding new features and conveniences, it seems that Nissan’s designers are telegraphing that production The Z will still be a driver’s car first and foremost, and that’s good news.

Nissan Z Proto’s rear lights were recalled for the powerful Z32 generation of the 1990s.

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Nissan Z Pricing and Availability

The production 400Z is expected to come out sometime next year, but according to official pricing an actual sale deadline has been dull. It will likely be 2022 before the new Z Cars will hit the road, so it is still very early in the process.

It is worth remembering that today’s sports car landscape has changed a lot since the 370Z was unveiled in 2008 – the same year Jay Z and Beyoncé tied the knot and President Obama was elected to his first term . After this, you can still buy a new one. Honda S2000, a Pontiac solstice Or even one of the previous Chrysler crossfires. The most natural rival of the next Z will be Toyota GR Supra, Perhaps after the V6 versions of Detroit’s pony cars. If Nissan produces a low-power, low-cost iteration of the seventh-generation Z, it could possibly rub shoulders with higher-end versions of the next. Subaru BRZ And Toyota 86 Twins, which are also due to the same time.

Based on roadshow sources, it is safe for the ballpark that the base price of Z will start at number 3, undercuts the Toyota GR Supra. Today’s surprisingly affordable base 370Z ($ 31,000 delivery) will almost certainly be unimportant to reflect the new model’s added power and equipment. That said, expect Nissan’s Nemo Z to start just shy of the eye-watering $ 46,715 window sticker (including the $ 925 delivery fee). A starting price in the neighborhood of $ 38,000 to $ 39,000 seems about right, given the Z sports some value for the Automatic-GR Supra ($ 20,000 for the 2021 2.0-liter model, $ 52,000, and the more-comparable 3.0 Will give $ 52,000 for)).

What is old is new again.

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Nissan 400Z Nismo or Roadster Variants?

Some slim rumors have surfaced about the final high-performance Nismo version of the 400Z, and such a model would be a predictable development for a car that would likely take a longer normal lifecycle. As for the future Jade roadster Ironically, ironically, there is an open question. This is also probably something I will not bet to hear more about anytime soon. After all, if today’s coupe market is thin, the convertible market is absolutely eroded.

While Nissan certainly won’t have the new Z at the dealership to end the golden anniversary of the model line, this Z Proto is a promising, delicious teaser at a moment when we can all use the brakes. He also goes for Nissan. Remember, in addition to eliminating all the crises as all of us, the automaker has been embroiled in a villainous CEO-international-fugitive saga, as well Significant financial upheaval.

A new Z cannot fix Nissan because it can fix the world’s problems. If nothing else, however, as a purist’s bauble and a statement of intent for a new sports car, this Nissan Z Proto is a welcome diversion.