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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The new Z is coming.

Nissan has unveiled the Z Proto, signalling the company's intent to launch a new generation of the legendary Z sports car. Shown at an event beamed around the world from the Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama, Japan, the prototype features new design inside and out, as well as an upgraded powertrain with a manual transmission.

In Franklin, just south of Nashville, hundreds of Z owners and enthusiasts watched the Z Proto's Yokohama debut on big screens from their vehicles in a socially distanced event– part of a weeklong schedule of activities during the 33rd annual International Z Convention (ZCON).

First hinted at in a brand teaser video, "Nissan A-Z," shown in May, the Nissan Z Proto pays full respect to 50 years of Z heritage. At the same time, it's a thoroughly modern sports car.

"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!"

Z Proto is one of 10 new vehicles that Nissan is showing for the U.S. in 20 months, along with top-sellers like Sentra and Rogue, and innovative new models like the all-electric Ariya crossover.

"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," said Mike Colleran, senior vice president, Nissan U.S. Marketing and Sales. "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."

Z Proto exterior: past meets future

Sporting a bright yellow pearlescent paint – a tribute to a popular paint scheme on both the first-generation 240Z and the 300ZX – the Z Proto boasts a fresh, attractive exterior design with a silhouette that communicates respect to the original model.

Using a theme that combines elements of previous generations while also projecting futurism was challenging, said Alfonso Albaisa, head of design at Nissan.

"Our designers made countless studies and sketches as we researched each generation and what made them a success," Albaisa said. "Ultimately, we decided the Z Proto should travel between the decades, including the future."

The shape of the hood and the canted, teardrop-shaped LED headlights are both unmistakable reminders of the original Z. The rectangular grille dimensions are similar to the current model, although the grille fins nod to the past. The form continues to exude both sportiness and elegance.

"The LED headlights have two half-circles that hark back to the Japan market-only 240ZG of the 70s," Albaisa explained. "The ZG has clear dome lenses over the headlight buckets, which under light give off two circular reflections over each headlight. We liked that unique characteristic and discovered that it naturally fit with the Z's identity."

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.

The rear takes inspiration from the 300ZX taillights, reinterpreted for the modern world. Set within a rectangular black section that runs across the rear and wraps around the outer edges, the LED taillights convey a sharp glow.

Lightweight carbon fiber treatments on the side skirts, front lower lip and rear valance ensure nimble performance. 19-inch alloy wheels and dual exhausts complete the Z Proto's striking road presence.

Z Proto interior: modern tech with a vintage touch

Designed to fit driver and passenger like a glove, the Z Proto's cabin seamlessly blends modern technology with vintage Z touches.

The interior design team sought advice from professional motorsports legends to give the Z Proto an ideal sports car cabin, both for road and track. This can be seen in the Z's instrumentation. 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.

Yellow accents are found throughout the cabin, including stitching on the instrument panel. The seats feature special accent piping and layered seat material to create depth.

Sports car joy: an exhilarating, dynamic performer

The original Z was built to bring the joy and excitement of sports car ownership to as many people as possible.

"The Z has always been a strong dynamic performer, making it easy for customers to enjoy its capabilities and feel as connected as possible to the car," said Hiroshi Tamura, chief product specialist of the Z Proto. "This has been true through all its generations, and this is what drives our passion to innovate and challenge the norm."

Each new generation had a more powerful engine, although the Z is about more than power increases.

"Z is more than just powerful and agile," Tamura continued. "It is designed to create a connection with the driver, for the car to be a 'dance partner' for their on-road adventures."

Make no mistake though, the Z Proto packs a powerful punch. Under the elongated hood is an enhanced V6 twin-turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. As a prototype, work is now underway to synchronize the power with the grace and control that has defined the Z for the past 50 years.

"Nissan is transforming its business," said Uchida. "This summer, we unveiled the ground breaking all-electric Nissan Ariya crossover, which represents the future of mobility. Even as we open this new chapter, the Z, its heritage and passion, express who we are and has been shaping our DNA for over fifty years."

About ZCON
The Z Car Club Association (ZCCA) is hosting current Datsun and Nissan Z car owners from around the world for its annual International Z Car Convention. The event runs from Sept. 14 through 19 in Franklin, home of Nissan North America headquarters. This year's ZCON is expected to draw a large number of participants as the association celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Datsun 240Z's original model year.

For more information on the 2020 Nashville ZCON, please visit www.ZCON.org.

To find out more about the Z Proto, 2020 Nissan 370Z and the rest of the Nissan lineup, please visit NissanNews.com.























More pics from Motortrend.















































 

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Not sold on the blocky grille; it looks so jarring against the rest of the design. But I love everything else.
 

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On its own I thought it looked big and fat

But if the size ratio to the original Z is accurate this thing is tiny, which would be amazing. Need to see specs and pricing. I'm not crazy about the look which is worrying a this is the prototype. But I can look past that if the specs are right.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

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Retro done right :thumbup:

I’m particularly fond of the rear light strip, it’s about time the Z32 was referenced
 

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Discussion Starter #11
https://www.motor1.com/news/444156/new-nissan-z/

Pricing And Availability
The Nissan Z Proto is just a concept, but we expect the production version to show up later next year as a 2022 model, sporting many of the cues you see here – including that twin-turbocharged V6 engine. More details like horsepower and the car’s starting price will be revealed closer to its on-sale date, but it might start around $40,000, undercutting its Japanese rival, the Toyota Supra, somewhat.
 

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Not feeling it. It looks like some retro/what the the 350z should have looked like tuner shop hack job that would have shown up at SEMA in 2005. The front, mid and rear section look like they were ctrl+c from three different cars. Hopefully the production car is more cohesive. Stick is always welcome though. :thumbup:
 

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I like everything but the grill.

And a new sports car option is always a good thing .
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Nissan Z Proto: Interview With Nissan Design Boss Alfonso Albaisa

How Nissan took inspiration from its past to create its new Z concept sports car.

Nissan is back with a fresh, conceptual take on its most iconic sports car. It is called the Nissan Z Proto, and it clearly draws inspiration from the original 1970 Datsun 240Z. (Take a look for yourself at our exclusive photos—the Proto's inspiration is clear.) Because of time zone and travel restrictions, instead of directly interviewing Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's senior vice president for global design, we submitted a list of questions to Nissan's communications team and received an audio file in return. The following transcript of that interview has been edited for clarity and length.

MotorTrend: Is there a specific design language that you want the Z Proto to communicate or to impart to people who see it?

Alfonso Albaisa: This one is definitely where the 300 comes in. Jun Shimizu was the head of design of that year [of Nissan 300ZX], and he very much had this dream that modern manufacturing was going to create this seamless, perfectly flushed, and integrated car, and it did. The 300 was so inspiring to me. It was my first trip to Japan and I walked into the studio and I saw the 300. I literally packed up my pencils and I wanted to go home crying because I couldn't believe that a car can be so dreamlike—simple and still take your breath away.

So, Tai-san [Satoru Tai, Nissan executive design director] and I really wanted to revisit this sense of seamlessness. The mood of the car, we want the audience, the buyers, the lovers, to feel this seamlessness and [say], "Wow, how did they get this car to come together so cleanly?" but still be an homage to the 240. So these ideas, they're not in opposition, but at the end, this is why this design was selected as our desire because it mixed tomorrow with our love of memory.

MT: What are a few of the elements or maybe a core element that you feel captures the Z identity in this new design?

AA: I use memory instead of retro because it's an important difference. Because when a car is 50 years old and you're designing in the modern era, I think it's more healthy to use memory than [be completely] literal. There are a few things that are very much an example of that—the posture in the centerline of the car. Yes, it's 240, to your memory. But actually the gesture, the hood, and the power is very much of the modern era. Its stance is very wide, very low, much lower feeling. The rear edge of the car is lower than the fender-which the 240, even 260 and 280, did not have. We really, really worked with engineering: How can we get this balance right?

They are lovers, like we are, of sports cars. So we worked on this balance because we want, when you see the car, for it to conjure up happy memories of the 240. And then moving around to the front of the car, of course, the actual 240 has circular lamps. But when we did it, we didn't love it as much. By chance, we got a car from the Zama museum [Nissan Heritage Collection of historic cars, located in the city of Zama, Japan] which was a special version with the clear lens covering the [headlamp] circle. In some views, the reflections of the environment obscured the circle. And we said, "Bingo! This is it!" That's where the two arcs—where the interruption between—represents the reflections of that glass lens. It allowed us a little bit more freedom to express a modern front, with again, the memory of 240.

MT: When you look at the production-spec car versus the Z Proto, how much is production engineering pushing back on you? How would you describe the relationship between the Proto and the production car?

AA: I think the word Proto is a wonderful word because it kind of explains where we are, right? The designers and engineers have fallen in love with the intention. Now the baton is handed off and they're going to make a world-class performance car. They'll be tweaking and doing things and putting in their love, the final bits of love, because they've been involved in all the aero and all of this. They've set the architecture, they develop the engine and all of these things. But a car, especially a high-performance car, is really about the drive and the connection between you and the experience. So they have it now, and they're running full speed.

MT: In terms of the project itself, was Z a competition among all of the global studios, or was it assigned?

AA: If it was not a competition, that would have been a coup d'état. From the beginning, to avoid insurrection, we opened it up to all members of design in the world. We have many, many studios. Everyone took part. This is where the spectrum of Z really was fully explored. Interestingly enough, the London one and the Japan one were both playing with this kind of modern 240. There was a California one that was a fully modern reinterpretation. As things develop, the energy started around this 240 memory and 300, and this is how it is. So yes, we were all in the pool. I'm not sure if that was a [water] polo match or synchronized swimming. I'm not sure, but we were all in the water.

MT: Which element of the design was the most difficult to achieve?

AA: Probably the part I'm most proud of, and the part that required our eyes on the model at all times, was the centerline, the silhouette. Two elements really helped this: The katana—the silver element on the glass line really helped emphasize the low-slung rear end. Then this character line through the body side, which is at a slight angle. You might ask, well, what is the meaning of that line? When you're walking around the car, that angled line, as it moves forward, jumps over the fender in a pointy kind of shape, which represents from the 240. That little opening on the hood. Even from that element, we were able to bring a little bit of the memory of the car to help transform this car into what we wanted, which was a very low-slung, low center of gravity, pure performance car. This is not a retro car, this is pure modern performance.

MT: A lot of design teams now work little Easter eggs, or hidden gems, into their designs. Are there any on this car that you want to tell people about?

AA: That's a good one. I like to think the whole car was an Easter egg because it's, at a glance, a modern car. But when it pulls up anywhere, people are going to have the sense of, "Oh my god." At the same time for many of us, memories will come flying in. Little Easter eggs are everywhere, especially when you get up close to it. The headlamps; the signature circle-but-it's-not-a-circle. The Z logo on the body side looks, at a glance, like a new interpretation, but it's not. It's really almost exactly the graphic of the first one, but a little bit modern in the circle around it. We played between analog and digital on the interior, with the three dials. The graphic on it, which is analog, a physical dial. But when the car starts up, you will see a digital version of the meter. The way we play with constantly jumping back and forth between modern-era technologies and the memories that you hold dear to your heart, it's a bit of the Easter bunny and the Easter egg.

MT: What's the thing you're most proud of in the design of Z Proto?

AA: I think that it all came to me when the Z Proto pulled out of the truck— the sense of memory. Because the car, when it finally pulled out and drove out and I saw it in its full working condition, it's so seamless and so pure. The car that I love so, so dearly, and especially the growth that I had after seeing a clay model, was in that car. But at the same time, it was the 6-year-old's memory of the 240. I am proud of the team for being able to make two—or three—cars in one car. It's not a blending of things. It's a pure expression of at least two cars. I know when I step in it, on a track, I'm going to be proud of my brothers and sisters in engineering for sure.
https://www.motortrend.com/news/nissan-z-proto-interview-designer-alfonso-albaisa/
 

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Oof


I like the rest though.
Yeah, the more I look at this face the more I dislike it.

The rest of the car is so good, the nose has a TBD look right now.

What are the chances this gets more refined before production?
 

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Headlights could be better but i dont hate them

Would expect bespoke tires on a concept I cant tell Nissan is on a budget using tires stickers:laugh:

Overall thought id hate it and Im digging it :thumbup:Good job nissan now they should do a retro 1st gen influenced square pathfinder
 

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Interesting... This is what it feels like to be repulsed and intrigued at the same time. Interesting...
 

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I dunno, I think I need to see more photos.

:p I agree with other comments here...some angles are great, but that front looks like a last minute rush job.
 
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