Nissan Unveils New Z

by Michael Satterfield

Nissan has finally released the long-awaited replacement for the 370Z, while this new Z, dubbed the Z Proto, is a concept it's likely very close to what the production Z will look like. The Z Proto calls back to some of the greatest Z cars of all time the original 240Z and 300ZX of the 1990s. Must to the delight of Nissan Z enthusiasts the car is powered by a twin-turbo V6 and has an actual manual transmission. 

The Z Proto is a flagship model for a complete reboot of the Nissan brand which is rolling out 10 new vehicles in the US market over the next two years.

The United States is home to one of the most devoted and enthusiastic Z communities in the world, with nearly 1.35 million total sales over the model's 50-year history. With new models like Sentra and Rogue opening new eyes to our brand, Z Proto is our loudest statement yet that Nissan will continue to bring vehicles that thrill to U.S. showrooms.
Mike Colleran, senior vice president, Nissan U.S. Marketing and Sales

According to Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's head of design, this new Z attempts to project into the future while still referencing the past, he says the team decided the new Z should "travel between decades, including the future." The headlights were inspired by the 240ZG, or G Nose, the rear is inspired by the 300ZX, while the overall shape is a call back to the original 240Z. The design has been greeted with mixed reviews online, with many pointing out that the grill looks unfinished and the rear reminding many more of a 180SX.

While I am excited that there is a new Z car, the Z Proto has big expectations to meet and tough competition with the new Supra. Hopefully, Nissan will not just simply name the new car a 400Z, but perhaps offer two versions a 240Z with a 2.4-liter turbo four-cylinder and a twin-turbo V6 400Z. No matter what the final release is, if Nissan keeps most of the Z Proto as is, they will have a home run.