Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Company has just unveiled a prototype version of what would essentially become the seventh generation of its iconic Z sports. The vehicle, called the Nissan Z Proto sports car, was officially unveiled on Tuesday.
The new Z Proto gives fans a glimpse into the latest version of the iconic model, which began with the original Datsun 240Z that was released more than 50 years ago. It also comes as a breath of fresh air for car buyers, given how Nissan has been pushing its sixth generation 370Z for over a decade now.
The timing of the company's plan to release a new sports car model is arguably bad, given the current economic situation and the pandemic. Most companies have held off releasing new models or concepts this year, as consumption and car sales continue to linger at all-time lows. However, Nissan likely believes that the economic rut may be the perfect time to tease its news model to at least give automotive enthusiasts a much-needed distraction.
.@Nissan Z Proto revealed with twin-turbo 3.0L V-6, six-speed manual! https://t.co/ygb2dA7hWc #SaveTheManuals pic.twitter.com/lJc4LtJN3T — Car and Driver (@CARandDRIVER) September 16, 2020
According to Nissan, about 98 percent of the Z Proto will be coming to the actual production model in 2022. The new version, which will be called the 2020 Nissan 400Z, will be competing directly against the 2022 versions of the Toyota Supra and the BMW M2.
On the outside, the Z Proto sports the same curves as the original 240Z car from the 70s. This includes a significantly long and low bonnet when compared to the previous generation Z sports car. Under the hood, the 400Z will be sporting a twin-turbo V6 engine. Nissan did not specify the exact power figures of the 2022 mode, but some have estimated that the turbocharged 3.0-liter engine could be putting out more power than the current model's 328 horsepower powertrain.
Similar to its predecessors, the upcoming 400Z will be coming with a manual gearbox, which is somewhat becoming a rare feature on vehicles these days. However, Nissan is expecting to be coming out with an automatic version for those who don't like to drive stick.
Inside, the 400Z will be coming with all the bells and whistles befitting a 2020s vehicle. The new model will sport a 12.3-inch display, which will replace the previous model's analog dials. A second touch screen display is also found on the dashboard.