If you loved the Z Proto, you'll love this.
The Nissan Z Proto was unveiled in September last year as a long-overdue replacement for the aging 370Z. As a prototype of the production sports coupe which is expected to be called the 400Z, the Z Proto's design didn't look like it needed much changing.
Nissan's chief product specialist, Hiroshi Tamura, later confirmed that the Z Proto's design won't be altered for the production car. As further evidence of this, we've gotten hold of new patent images filed by Nissan for the production 400Z. Although lacking some detail, these images prove that the Z Proto's design will make it into showrooms.
The gray images show that the production 400Z shares the prototype's blocky front grille, teardrop-shaped headlights, dual cutaways for the tailpipes, and the same sleek silhouette with a tapering roof. Look more closely, however, and there are some additions that would be required for the production version such as a radar sensor lower down within the front grille, side reflectors, and parking sensors. That front sensor will be necessary for safety systems such as adaptive cruise control.
Overall, this is great news for those who loved the Z Proto but will displease some fans who believed that Nissan should have come up with a bolder overall look. Similarly, not everyone is a fan of that gaping grille.
Not visible in the latest patent images is the interior, but based on the minimal changes to the exterior, we expect the production 400Z's cabin to closely mirror that of the prototype. The Z Proto's interior features a sporty layout with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a large central touchscreen display.
Some technical details of the 400Z remain unconfirmed, but we expect a twin-turbo V6 with around 400 horsepower to be paired with either a six-speed manual gearbox or an optional automatic. When it arrives, the 400Z will directly take on the Toyota GR Supra in a battle that'll conjure up fond memories of classic JDM sports cars of the 1990s.