Nissan Z Proto sports car heard for first time ahead of September reveal

Nissan has stepped up its teaser campaign for the upcoming Z sports car, with a new video previewing its engine note – and confirming it will arrive with a manual transmission.

The 33-second video seemingly confirms the presence of a V6 powertrain, likely a twin-turbocharged unit expected to produce around 400bhp. 

The clip also revealed several other small details about the long-awaited successor to the 370Z, including the redesigned ‘Z’ logo, LED headlights and distinctive alloy wheels, which are shod in ‘Nissan Z’-branded rubber.

Little else of the Z Proto, which is set to be officially revealed on the 16th of September, has been made official. 

The Japanese firm previously announced on Twitter that the Z Proto will preview the new model that’s due in 2021. Autocar understands the production version of the car is set to use the 400Z title.

To date Nissan has revealed few other details of the car, set to become the latest addition to its Z sports car lineage which began with the 1969 Datsun 240Z. The Twitter post confirming the imminent arrival of the Z Proto read: “50 years of passion. Innovation at its core. Modern technology, with a vintage touch.’

The post also featured a short video that highlighted the 50-year lineage of the Z brand and finished with a teaser silhouette of the new car.

That video is the latest official hint at the shape of the future model, following a brief glimpse in a previous Nissan video highlights its future model line-up. That video shows that it could have styling evolved from the current 370Z coupé.

The preview came following Nissan’s announcement that it’s to embark on a wide-reaching cost-cutting strategy under the Nissan Next banner. As well as closing its commercial vehicles plant in Barcelona, Spain, the company will reduce production capacity by 20% over the next three years and streamline its ageing product portfolio. 

The 370Z is the oldest car in Nissan’s current line-up, having been launched in 2008. The company’s product planning boss, Ivan Espinosa, told Autocar at last year’s Tokyo motor show that the sports car – along with the GT-R flagship – was “at the heart of Nissan” and that the company was “actively looking at and working on” a successor. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiqOLRJi7nU

Autocar understands that the new Z car will be called the 400Z and take its power from a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 with more power than the current car. It’s unlikely to sit on a bespoke platform, given its relatively low sales volumes, and could instead make use of the rear-driven underpinnings from Nissan sibling brand Infiniti’s Q50 and Q60 models. 

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