Future classic: Nissan whips the covers off the retro-inspired Z Proto
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It's been a long time coming, Nissan's current 370Z has been around since 2009, so the 50th anniversary of the very first Fairlady is a good time to pull the covers off the newest one.
Over the past few months, Nissan has hinted at this new sports car without revealing any details. But that changes today, as the Japanese brand has finally unveiled what it is calling the 'Z Proto'.
First and foremost, this new Z Proto is powered by a twin-turbo V6 engine that's mated to a manual transmission, which already gives it an edge over Toyota's revived Supra in the enthusiast market.
Like every Z that has come before it, power will be sent exclusively to the rear wheels. It's unclear as to whether it will come with an automatic option or not, as nothing was mentioned in the official release.
You'll also notice that this new Z has taken inspiration from the original 240Z, and integrates elements of the Z32 300ZX across the roof and rear end. “Ultimately, we decided the Z Proto should travel between the decades, including the future," said Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's head of design.
At the front, the Z Proto obviously takes inspiration from the very first 240Z, with its round headlights and angular nose. This inspiration carries through the side profile where it looks almost identical to the original.
Carbon fibre pieces can be found across the side skirts, front splitter, and rear valance. Brake details still remain a mystery, but a set a 19-inch wheels sit in front of the yellow calipers, wrapped in 'NISSAN' (Dunlop) tyres.
The interior follows this same retro theme, but makes use of modern tech. You'll still find the iconic triple gauges on top of the dash, and a 12.3-inch digital display handles all the important driver information.
Rumours have hinted at the V6 engine being the same 3.0-litre unit used in the Infiniti Q50, but Nissan hasn't revealed any details about that just yet. It is also thought to make 400hp (298kW) hence the name, but that hasn't been confirmed either.
As this is just a prototype of what's to come, international pricing and availability is still a while away, and we can imagine that it will be coming with the announcement of the actual car.