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The Nissan Z Proto sports an exterior that combines a retro theme with one that also projects futurism and, yes, it has a manual transmission.

16 Sep 2020 | International News : Japan

Nissan has unveiled the Z Proto concept at a virtual event streamed around the world from the Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama.

The prototype car features a V6 twin-turbocharged engine paired to a manual transmission, and signals Nissan's intent to launch a new generation of the legendary Z sports car.

Bright yellow pearlescent paint is a tribute to the popular paint scheme on both the first generation Z (S30) and the 300ZX (Z32)
The Nissan Z Proto boasts a fresh, attractive exterior design with a silhouette that communicates respect for the early Z models. Its bright yellow pearlescent paint is a further tribute to a popular paint scheme on both the first generation Z (S30) and the 300ZX (Z32).

The shape of the hood and the canted, teardrop-shaped LED head lights 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 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's (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.

The rear of the Z Proto takes its inspiration from the 300ZX's taillights
Lightweight carbon fibre treatments on the side skirts, front lower lip and rear valance ensure nimble performance while 19-inch alloy wheels and dual exhausts complete the Z Proto's striking road presence.

The cabin of the Z Proto meanwhile, has been designed to fit driver and passenger like a glove, and seamlessly blend modern technology with vintage Z touches.

The interior design team sought advice from professional motorsports legends to give the Z Proto an ideal sports car cabin, both for road and track.

This can be seen in the Z's instrumentation. All vital information is found in the 12.3-inch digital display and arranged to help the driver grasp it at a glance, such as the redline shift point at the twelve o'clock position.

The new, deep dish steering wheel offers the driver quick access controls without losing its vintage aesthetic.

The seats feature special yellow accenting and a layered gradation stripe in their centre to create depth
Yellow accents are found throughout the cabin, including on the stitching on the instrument panel. The seats feature special yellow accenting and a layered gradation stripe in their centre to create depth.

Under the elongated hood is an enhanced V6 twin-turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

No further details have been provided on the power output of the drivetrain. However, Nissan does reveal that work is currently underway on synchronising the power with the grace and control that has defined the Z for the past 50 years.

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