Twelve years later Nissan has proven to its customers that they haven’t given up on sports cars just yet. Considering that they have experienced negative press in the past couple of years due to Carlos Ghosn’s malicious departure and the company’s financial struggles. The next-generation Z sports car is finally here (Virtually). Nissan revealed the long-overdue Z Proto, likely to be named the Nissan 400z. Nissan has confirmed that it will pack the same twin-turbocharged V6 engine found in the Infiniti Q60 but will be available with a manual gearbox.When you’re redesigning an icon and paying homage to past generation Z’s, you can’t please everyone and chances are you’ll be left with mixed feelings. Much of the internet wasn’t happy with certain design features such as the grille. Since it’s the prototype, perhaps Nissan can adjust some flaws. However, Nissan executed their retro homage theme with the 400Z pretty well and although it may not look eye-catching via images—MotorTrend says “the car’s creases, curves, and sculpted lines are more dynamic when viewed in person, where it looks more aggressive and imposing.” We think the color choice didn’t help either.
The Z Proto is loaded with design cues that remember its predecessors, such as a comparable window line to the 240Z, and taillights inspired by the 300ZX of the 1990s. Fairlady and Z homage badging also highlight the car’s lineage and it’s five inches longer and slightly wider than the 370Z. At a greater distance, stated by Nissan, the curved daytime running lamps hint at half-circle reflections that could be seen in the headlight covers of the long-nose 240Z.
The combination of tech and modernism kicks in and expands when it comes to the new 400Z. A fully modernized two-seat cockpit that includes a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a freshly designed steering wheel. A brand new touch screen infotainment system can be seen with lengthy oval air vents above that reflect the structure of the taillamps. Nissan kept their three-gauge binnacle above the dash while they updated their three knobs for climate control, which are also visible below the infotainment system. The two seats have a very sleek and impressive design with stitching to match the car’s exterior paint.Moving to the front and under the hood of the Z Proto, as mentioned above Nissan confirms that the 400Z will have a twin-turbocharged V6 engine coupled to a manual gearbox but that’s all they’re telling us. At the end of the day, it is a prototype so the exact technical specifications aren’t floating around out there. Putting our assumptions together we can probably guess that the 400Z will have, indeed 400 horsepower but just like everyone else we can’t really confirm that. Nissan will have an automatic option available and might also leave room for a NISMO during 2nd year of production. When production is completed and Nissan makes it available for purchase sometime in 2021, the Z Proto (or if you like to refer it to as 400Z) will rejuvenate the car’s long-established close rivalry with the Toyota Supra. After all, we look forward to putting these two Japanese sports-car icons against each other and we hope it will be worth the wait.