The current Nissan 370Z has been around since 2009, which is ancient in car years. But the company has finally gone back to the drawing board, and today we get our first look at the 370’s long-awaited successor
The prototype appears to be a thinly disguised version of the Z35-generation production model due in the next 18 months to two years, at least from a design standpoint.
The Z Proto sports a bright yellow pearlescent exterior which recalls the one used on the original sports car. The paint job isn’t the only retro touch as the hood mirrors the original, while teardrop-shaped LED headlights recall the JDM 240ZG of the 1970’s.
While the rectangular grille is reminiscent of the outgoing model, designers added fins which are a nod to the past. Likewise, the roofline and greenhouse recall those used on classic Z cars.
The rear end is a bit more modern as it draws inspiration from the 300ZX and features distinctive taillights which have been “reinterpreted for the modern world.” They’re framed by black surround and Nissan says this gives the lights a “sharp glow.”
Elsewhere, designers installed 19-inch alloy wheels and a dual exhaust system. There are also a number of carbon fiber components including the front splitter, rear valance and side skirts.
Size-wise, the Nissan Z Proto is actually a bit bigger than the current 370Z, particularly in length. The new Z stretches out to 172.5 inches in length, 72.8 inches in width, and is 51.6 inches tall. The 370Z, meanwhile, is just 167.5 inches long, 72.6 inches wide, and 51.8 inches tall.
The inside of the Nissan Z Proto isn’t as outwardly retro as the exterior, but it does offer a clean layout with multiple screens. At the heart of the cabin is a so-called “deep dish” three-spoke steering wheel wearing the “Z” logo and sporting multiple controls on either side.
The seats wear a mix of Alcantara and leather, with yellow stitching that carries over to the steering wheel, shift knob boot, and center console. And like its predecessor, the Nissan Z Proto only has two seats.
In terms of technology, located just behind the steering wheel is a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, which replaces the 370Z’s outdated analog gauges. There’s also a brand-new touchscreen display likely an 9.0-inch touchscreen, running Nissan’s latest infotainment system and three rounded indicators just above that central screen, atop the dash.
The engine is expected to be borrowed from the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 and this means we can expect an output of approximately 400 hp (298 kW / 406 PS) and 350 lb-ft (474 Nm) of torque. This would be a significant jump as the current 370Z has a 3.7-liter V6 with 332 hp (248 kW / 337 PS) and 270 lb-ft (366 Nm) of torque.
We don’t know what model year the next Z car will be, its trim levels, standard and optional equipment, available safety features, and pricing. We also don’t know when it will hit the market.