Whether you like it or not, Nissan said its upcoming sports car, rumoured to be called the 400Z, will look nearly identical to the Z Proto concept, CarExpert reports.
Company design chief Alfonso Albaisa said: “The selection of the name Proto is quite deliberate. We didn’t call it a concept car because it’s not really a concept car. This is a car that we’ve been developing with our engineers, the chassis, the structure. This is a real car, it’s just not finished.”
“R&D is in the final, they have it now, they own it, I won’t touch it anymore,” he said, adding that “what you see basically has gone through the process and it’s something that we love and it feels right.” If there are changes to be made, the engineers will only make very small ones, he added.
In terms of its styling, it’s clear that the designers took inspiration from the original 240Z and 300ZX. There were actually half a dozen design proposals created by Nissan’s studios in the UK, China, and the US, all of which had some form of homage to past Zs.
“Very quickly, the 300ZX and 240Z seemed to be where we wanted to be,” Albaisa said. Size-wise, the upcoming 400Z is tipped to be similar in size as the outgoing 370Z. It is 117 mm shorter and 5 mm lower, but width remains unchanged. It will, however, pack more power under the bonnet.
The new Z car is expected to ride on a modified version of Nissan’s front-midship FM platform, with power coming from a VR30DETT 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 that’s currently found in the Infiniti Q60. Output figures will reportedly be in the range of 400 PS and 500 Nm of torque, with drive sent to the rear wheels as standard.
Nissan has also confirmed that an automatic gearbox will be deployed alongside a six-speed manual unit, the latter featuring the same rev-matching function as the 370Z. There will be no form of electrification on the Z, despite Nissan’s aggressive electromobility push.
The new Z sports car is expected to be launched sometime in 2022. Currently, Nissan is considering to add a convertible version to the line-up, stating that the droptop Z is also part of the lineage. Expect a Nismo-tuned variant not too long after its launch, too.