Nissan Proto Z unveiled

Nissan unveil proto Z with Z inspired styling and a real sports car drivetrain

Reuben Van Niekerk
Z car
Proto Z

Nissan have unveiled the Z Proto, signalling the company’s intent to launch a new generation of the legendary Z sports car.


Paying respect

The Nissan Z Proto pays full respect to 50 years of Z heritage, but at the same time it is a thoroughly modern sports car featuring a twin turbocharged V6 with a manual transmission.


Designed in Japan, the Z Proto boasts a fresh, attractive exterior design with a silhouette that communicates a respect for the original model, the shape of the bonnet and the canted, teardrop-shaped LED headlights are both unmistakable reminders of the original Z while the rectangular grille’s dimensions are similar to the current model with the addition of oval grille fins to offer and updated modern look.


The link to the original Z is most striking when viewing the Z Proto from the side. The roofline flows from the nose to the squared-off rear to create a distinctive first generation Z profile whose rear edge was slightly lower than the front fender height giving the Z its unique posture. The signature transition from the rear quarter glass to the low-slung position of the rear tail adds to the effect while the rear takes inspiration from the 300ZX with taillights reinterpreted for the modern world.


The interior

The interior design team sought advice from professional motorsports legends to give the Z Proto an ideal sports car cabin, for road and track. All vital information is found in the 12.3-inch digital meter display and arranged to help the driver grasp it at a glance, such as the redline shift point at the twelve o’clock position. The new deep-dish steering wheel offers the driver quick access controls without losing its vintage aesthetic.


What is under the bonnet?

Under the elongated bonnet is an enhanced twin-turbocharged V6 engine producing around 300kW and 475Nm mated to a six speed manual gearbox but electrification options have not been ruled out.



A car like this is exactly what Nissan needs to reinstate itself as a maker of exciting cars so the production version cannot come soon enough.