So, Nissan just revealed the Z Proto, giving us a peek at the future of the Z car. TBH, I am not impressed. Clearly, the design has remnants of Nissan 350Z in it and that’s not a good thing.
Try as the designers might, I see no spirit of the S30 or S130 in it. Not even the Z31 or my personal favorite, Z32. It looks like a life-size toy car. Though, obviously, a toy car wouldn’t have a V6 twin-turbo engine. The Z will remain dead so long there is no inline six engine. Period.
The Z Proto appears to be wide and short, like the 350Z – again not fan. Traditionally, Z car has been long, narrow and has low roofline. Did you see any of those in the Z Proto? Nope. Flared arches are overrated, btw.
To be clear, I am not saying that it is not pretty, or ugly even. It is pretty as sports car, but just don’t say it is has the spirit of the icon. It does not.
Nissan claims that the Z Proto as having a “modern design with classic proportion”. I simply can’t agree. Sorry, I just can’t. If you watch the video below, the scene in which both the old Fairlady and the Z Proto driving alongside each other makes those association even more detached.
The automaker further said that the Z Proto has “distinctive profile and roofline”. Can’t argue with that, but still no spirit of its forebear. The car further features modern teardrop-shaped LED headlights and rectangular LED taillights. OK. Maybe I can agree with the tail design. But not the rest of it.
The so-called “teardrop headlights” feel like a teardrop if there’s a glitch in the matrix. There. I said it.
This prototype is rocking a bright yellow pearlescent paint as a tribute to a popular color for the S30 and Z32. It’s a tribute car and so, I guess color matters?
Other features listed include dual exhausts, 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in custom tires, matching yellow lacquered brake calipers, and a “modern sports car cockpit” (read: driver-centric cockpit with digital stuff) featuring bespoke yellow accents and a Z must-have, a trio of gauges that stood out on the dash’s top. The only thing worth celebrating is, it has a six-speed gearbox.
Long live to stick shift!
All images courtesy of Nissan Motor Corporation.