Photo: Nissan Motor Corp

Nissan unveils prototype of new generation Z sports car


Nissan Motor Corp on Wednesday unveiled the Z Proto, signaling the company'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.

The Nissan Z Proto pays full respect to 50 years of Z heritage. At the same time, it's a thoroughly modern sports car.

"The Z, as a pure sports car, represents the spirit of Nissan," said Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida. "It's a key model in our Nissan NEXT transformation plan, and it's proof of our ability to do what others don't dare to do, from A to Z. As a Z fan myself, I'm excited to announce that the next Z is coming."

A global community of fans young and old attended the virtual unveiling.

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.

Combining a retro theme with one that also projected futurism was challenging, said Alfonso Albaisa, head of design at Nissan.

"Our designers made countless studies and sketches as we researched each generation and what made them a success," Albaisa said. "Ultimately, we decided the Z Proto should travel between the decades, including the future."

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 LED headlights have two half-circles that hark back to the Japan market-only 240ZG of the 70s," Albaisa explained. "The ZG has clear dome lenses over the headlight buckets, which under light give off two circular reflections over each headlight. We liked that unique characteristic and discovered that it naturally fit with the Z's identity."

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.

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.

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.

Source: Nissan Motor Corp

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Very nice. Looks like there may be some life in Nissan after all.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

after launching nissan kicks,

then using kimutaku as their new face,

then launching nissan ariya,

and now this.

way to go Nissan!

will get a nissan ariya once available

as shinchuko, cant go wrong with an electric suv.

still one of the car maker that produces the best cars in Japan.

yacchae Nissan!

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Whoops! What comes after Z?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Looks nice but too posh. I personally like the Nissan Silvia (also called 200SX). They were common on the roads here in Australia. Turbo charged engine sounds so awesome. It is very rare to see one now.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Looks awesome! Not many sports cars come in MT now, so this will be popular. Nissan is coming back!

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

From the side it looks beautiful.

Then I saw the grille. Oh, Nissan, why? You were so close to perfection.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Then I saw the grille. Oh, Nissan, why?

My guess is that it is a nod to the GT-R.

The big brother.


-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Looks like a large electric shaver.

I'll pass.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

If I was going to buy a Japanese sports car it would have to be the Mazda Roadstar

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The front headlights remind me of an MX-5 Miata, the rest of the car looks very similar to the previous gen. It will be interesting to see what the next gen GT-R will look like. Don't matter, I'm looking to buy a Jimny.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That's a bad-ass looking car. I'd like to get it. Does anybody want to lend me some yen?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

very nice and love the thought thats gone into its design, 1990's Fairlylady Z rear lights and original Fairlady 240z front grill, V6 twin turbo MANUAL...Give me one please

0 ( +3 / -3 )

View from the front fails. If Nissan wanted to emphasize the Z's roots, they should have come out with the original Z's orange color.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Looks like a shrunken Mach 1, and the front looks boring. But nothing can touch the Mach 5, the Bat mobile comes close.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I'm looking to buy a Jimny.

I do like those little 4x4s but they float like butterflies on the highway in strong winds, plus it’s a K car. Never!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

FizzBit, I don't know about the prototype, but the current FairladyZ has a 3.7 L V6 engine, hardly what you can call a K car.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Goku's car..

DragonCar Z..


0 ( +1 / -1 )

So ugly. Japanese car makers can never make an elegant looking car. What is this? Matchbox??? Look at the original Z, it was such a classic and beauty.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The new generation Zzzzz sports car

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I miss my my baby Lotus!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This Z400 makes me appreciate the Miata more.

This Z400 looks big and heavy, and is basically a shortened Infiniti Q60 coupe, not a dedicated sports car like the Miata is.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

would not buy any nissan products after the way they treated ghosn and greg kelly.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I'm looking to buy a Jimny.

> I do like those little 4x4s but they float like butterflies on the highway in strong winds, plus it’s a K car. Never!

We're I'm going, I don't need a highway.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It looks good from the sides and rear, but that square grille is terrible. The 240Z's is much smaller and part of a more balanced front end.

The press release waffles on about the shape with scant mention of the V6 (it's three litre), which may place it in a good value spot between the (underpowered?) BRZ/86 and the three litre Supras.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Agreed, that grille really compromises an otherwise clean design, although the lines are basically a Porsche knockoff.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I will never, ever buy a product from such a conniving company.....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

no man.not for me.what a...booring one...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Whoops! What comes after Z?


0 ( +0 / -0 )

I miss my old 4th gen 300ZX, that was a proper 80's sports car and it broke my heart when I parked it into the back of a truck.

This new one looks good though I must admit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looks nice but too posh. I personally like the Nissan Silvia (also called 200SX). They were common on the roads here in Australia. Turbo charged engine sounds so awesome. It is very rare to see one now.

They all rusted away. One never sees a 240SX in the US either unless someone tarted one up as a Silvia Spec R or Spec S replica. Considering the expense not too many of those conversions were done (well, plenty of lame low budget attempts with cheesy wings, white plastic "ground effect skirts" and big front bumpers, lol)

18 ( +18 / -0 )

So ugly. Japanese car makers can never make an elegant looking car.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata doesn't qualify? How about the original RX-7? I have a personal fondness for the 6th generation Mazda Familia (323 or Protoge in other markets). Understated looks, well laid out and in some versions the same engine used in the Miata ( in Japan it was the Familia Infini with the BP-ZE engine and 5 spd manual, in the US it was the Miata LX, also sold as the Ford Escort LX). I saw 130 mph in one once and they cornered almost as good as a Miata. What a fun car! I'll agree that too many modern Japanese cars look like they were styled by bored sixth graders doodling during an algebra class.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Desert Tortoise

It's the Jalapagos affecting Japan's auto designs.

While Korean cars are styled by European or Europe-trained Korean designers, Japanese cars are styled by Japanese designers, who were trained in Japan and who never worked outside of Japan.

Hence this is why current staple of Japanese designs look weird to non-Japanese, including the 400Z Proto.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's the Jalapagos affecting Japan's auto designs.

That's funny. I noticed that after about 2004 or so BMW started to sell some pretty ugly cars like the infamous 7 Series that looked like a Camry that had been keyed down each side and then rear-ended or the Dame Edna front end on Chris Bangle's 5-Series design. Fugly! Audis started to look funky about that time too. I chalked it up to fallout from Chernobyl. When Japanese car styling also started get goofy recently I chalked that up to Fukushima. 1990s Toyotas and Hondas were good looking cars.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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