Nissan fans have been anxiously awaiting a next-generation Z sports car and the Japanese automaker has now rewarded them for their patience with the stunning new Z Proto concept.
While the retro-looking sports car pictured here is only a concept, Nissan says it signals its “intent to launch a new generation of the legendary Z sports car” in the near future. The Z Proto pulls heavy inspiration from the first-ever Z-badged product, the 240Z, and features a similar silhouette, lookalike “teardrop” style headlights, and an old-school rectangular grille. The taillights, meanwhile, are inspired by the Nissan 300ZX’s and are connected by a rectangular black section that runs across the rear and wraps around the outer edges.
Nissan didn’t provide in-depth powertrain details for the Z Proto, only saying the sports coupe will feature a twin-turbocharged V6. We don’t know the output of this engine, but the automaker promises the two-door “packs a powerful punch,” and is quick to point out that every Z car introduced thus far has been more powerful than the last. As a reminder, the 3.7L V6 engine found in the current Nissan 370Z produces 332 horsepower. This prototype is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, though the automaker says an automatic is in development, too.
Inside, the Z Proto has a driver-focused cabin that “seamlessly blends modern technology with vintage Z touches,” Nissan says. A 12.3-inch digital driver’s display sits behind the steering wheel, while an additional central infotainment display occupies the centre stack. There's also a new deep-dish steering wheel with vintage yellow accents, which is joined by matching yellow instrument panel stitching and seat piping. These features match the pearlescent yellow exterior paint, as well, which serves as a nod to the popular yellow paint scheme offered on both the 240Z and the 300ZX.
Canadian Z fans may be apprehensive to let themselves get too excited over a concept. The automaker promises that when the production version of the vintage-look Z Proto finally does arrive, though, it will be available to order from Canadian Nissan dealerships.
“North America is home to one of the most devoted and enthusiastic Z communities in the world, with nearly 1.35 million total sales over the model’s 50-year history,” said Adam Paterson, director of marketing at Nissan Canada. “With new models like Sentra and Rogue opening new eyes to our brand, Z Proto is our loudest statement yet that Nissan will continue to bring vehicles that thrill to Canadian showrooms.”