It's a mix of old and new that is simply brilliant.
We're all feverishly awaiting the launch of the Nissan 400Z, and Nissan has been doing a lot to maintain our interest. We recently saw it being taken for a spin by Nissan's boss, but while we have no doubt that it will be plenty of fun to drive, a lot of the appeal of this new sports car comes from the way it looks. It may be similar to the 370Z in many ways but the new Z manages to create its own style that also pays tribute to its ancestry. In the below video, Nissan's design bigwigs go through the process of how the Z Proto's design came about.
If you've already read our history lesson on the Nissan Z car, the design influences behind the Z Proto are pretty clear, but the little details that the designers point out above - like the shape of the grille and the way it flows from the hood - are very interesting. The subtle accent lines along the profile and the modern integration of a classic taillight design are also very pleasing. Basically, this is more than just a retro throwback to the 280Z, and getting to this design was a long process that involved many sketches and points of view.
Nissan still hasn't confirmed what power we'll get under that pretty hood, but we do know that it'll come from a twin-turbo V6 that we expect should make around 400 horsepower. A six-speed manual should be the default option, while an automatic is in development. These attributes should make the 400Z highly popular, but as always, we want even more, despite not having sampled the regular car yet. Nissan wants to give us more too, and a Nismo version is reportedly in the works with more power, better handling, and angrier styling. Things are shaping up well for the most exciting Nissan in years.