The stylish Nissan Proto Z is a celebration of the brand’s storied nameplate. The very first Z car was launched in 1969 and it quickly became one of the most successful sports car brands in the world. Its long hood, short rear end and impressive performance won many loyal fans. The Z proved to be an integral part of the Nissan brand with its popularity and strong sales that accounted for a significant part of its success. The design changed over the decades, but Nissan always delivered a stylish and performance-oriented Z.
The latest model maintains that trendy Z character and fun-to-drive factor. Although decades ahead of its S30 ancestor in engineering and design, the Z34 chassis has aged and become outdated. Its rivals are both more advanced and quicker. The car was introduced in 2008 and is surprisingly still in production. However, people questioned whether the car would continue to be part of the lineup. Well, twelve years after launching its current Z, Nissan has answered that question with the announcement of its successor, the Nissan Z Proto.
The Proto Z will use a twin-turbo V-6 that is based on the same powerplant in the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 models. Although official specs have not been released yet, Nissan mentioned that it will have more power than the current Z. Considering the 370Z produces 332 horsepower and the Q60 Red Sport generates 400 horsepower, we suspect its power to be somewhere in that range. Power will be sent through a 6-speed manual transmission. Nissan might also produce two versions and reserve the higher horsepower powerplant for the NISMO model. The car will most likely be rear-wheel drive and have an optional automatic transmission.
The new Z incorporates many styling cues that allude to several of its predecessors. The long hood, abruptly short rear end and oval-shaped headlights conjure attributes from the original 240Z. The first generation car shares the same ‘Z’ emblem on the Z Proto’s C-pillar. The elongated oval (Nissan calls them “floating Tylenol pill”) taillights surrounded by black trim are reminiscent of the 300ZX. The 350Z has inspired the design of its rectangular front grille. All these design elements come together in modern form to create a spectacularly bona fide Z. We’ll have to wait to find out how well it competes against its old rival, the Toyota Supra.