A successor to the legendary Fairlady Z has been one of the top demands from hardcore Nissan fans for a while now. But most of them had lost hopes that there would be any refresh for a platform that hasn't changed in over a decade. But Nissan has answered their prayers by unveiling a new Z prototype, which was first hinted at in a brand teaser video shown in May.
Called the Z Proto, the bright yellow prototype points to the possibility of a new generation of Z sports materializing in the near future. Shown at an event beamed online from the Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama, Japan, the prototype features a brand new design inside and out, as well as an upgraded powertrain with a manual transmission.
"The Z represents the joy of driving in its purest form and has helped shape Nissan's DNA as a passionate, innovative challenger," said Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida. "Ever since the first generation, it has captured the hearts of car enthusiasts all over the world. That's why we're so excited today to be able to say to them: Yes, the next one is coming!"
The bright yellow pearlescent paint is a tribute to a popular paint scheme on both the first-generation 240Z and the 300ZX. The Z Proto’s exterior design and its silhouette hark back to the original model while managing to look thoroughly modern at the same time.
"Our designers made countless studies and sketches as we researched each generation and what made them a success," said Alfonso Albaisa, head of design at Nissan. "Ultimately, we decided the Z Proto should travel between the decades, including the future."
The Z Proto's cabin blends modern technology with vintage Z elements. It features a deep dish steering wheel that Nissan says will offer the driver quick access to controls without losing its vintage aesthetic. Yellow accents are found throughout the cabin, including stitching on the instrument panel. The seats feature special accent piping and layered material.
The prototype houses a V6 twin-turbocharged engine under its long bonnet, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.