The new Z-car could've been wildly different if it ignored its heritage.
A Z-car is coming, a Z-car is coming! At long last after 11 years on sale, the Nissan 370Z is set to be replaced, although the Nissan 400Z won't be arriving until 2022 at the earliest. To whet our appetites in the meantime, Nissan unveiled the Z Proto concept as a sign of what's to come in the seventh-generation of the famous Z-car. The internet has, of course, gone wild. Contrary to the Toyota GR Supra, which revived the nameplate with BMW assistance and has shunned enthusiasts by offering only an automatic gearbox, Nissan is going the journey alone, building the next Z in-house, and giving it a good old fashioned row-your-own-gears six-speed manual transmission. But not everyone has been a fan of how the new car looks. Slyly, Nissan has let slip images of what the Z Proto might have looked like if it hadn't been inspired by Z cars of old.
In a new video from the brand to celebrate the launch of the Z Proto, we get a behind the scenes analysis of what went into designing the car. We already knew that the previous six generations influenced the design heavily, but what if they hadn't? What if Nissan had gone for a full clean-slate design. Well, sketches in the video give us a glimpse of just that.
The red car seen at the beginning of the video showcases a modern Z-car. It's easily discernible as a Nissan product with a pronounced V-Motion grille matched to the brand's other offerings, while the headlights look not dissimilar to those found on the Nissan Juke or even the forthcoming Nissan Ariya.
While the side profile might look very similar to the final product, the pronounced dual roof spoiler is an aggressive, but ultimately messy touch. The rear, however, is very different from the final product, with angular lines and an aggressive design that is a substantial departure from the finished Z Proto design.
While we can all debate the looks of the next Z, the one thing we can all unanimously celebrate is the powertrain. It's clear that from the outset the Z was meant to be a driver's car, and with a twin-turbo V6 generating a rumored 400 horsepower, sending power to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, the Z Proto lives up to the expectations everyone had.