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    Thread: New Nissan Z Proto looks to the future, inspired by its past

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    1. Member vb22's Avatar
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      09-15-2020 08:46 PM #1
      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.















































      Last edited by vb22; 09-15-2020 at 09:21 PM.

    2. Member vb22's Avatar
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      09-15-2020 08:54 PM #2






      Last edited by vb22; 09-15-2020 at 09:23 PM.

    3. Senior Member Mazda 3s's Avatar
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      09-15-2020 08:54 PM #3
      Not sold on the blocky grille; it looks so jarring against the rest of the design. But I love everything else.
      "Of course that's just my opinion; I could be wrong."

      Quote Originally Posted by The Igneous Faction
      Have you ever popped the hood on a powerstroke E350?
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      09-15-2020 09:16 PM #4
      I'm not sold on the square grille or the lower eyelid bags.
      Everything else looks great!

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      09-15-2020 09:20 PM #5
      Oof


      I like the rest though.

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      09-15-2020 09:22 PM #6
      I dig it. Nice looking cockpit also
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      09-15-2020 09:31 PM #7
      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.

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      09-16-2020 07:33 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by SWeetie View Post
      I dig it. Nice looking cockpit also
      Really? The interior looks a hell of a lot like the current 370Z interior, but with all of the dials and switches replaced with screens.





      I'm not really liking this new Z at all. I hate the blacked out roof. I hate the chrome strip below the blacked out roof. The front grille is hideous. The rear end is bland.

      I'd take the current 370Z Nismo over this any day.

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      09-15-2020 09:26 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by TheCool View Post
      Oof
      Looking forward to someone fixing the front in photoshop.

    10. Member vb22's Avatar
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      09-15-2020 09:27 PM #10
      IMO, it looks better inside and out compared to the Supra.

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      09-15-2020 09:32 PM #11
      I like everything but the grill.

      And a new sports car option is always a good thing .
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      09-15-2020 09:41 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by TheCool View Post
      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?

    13. Member Minority5's Avatar
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      09-15-2020 09:46 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Sporin View Post
      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?
      On non-Nismo versions? Zero.

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      09-15-2020 09:42 PM #14
      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

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

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      09-16-2020 09:54 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by whitejeep1989 View Post
      I'm not sold on the square grille or the lower eyelid bags.
      Everything else looks great!
      yep
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    16. Member vb22's Avatar
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      09-16-2020 09:56 PM #16
      What Japanese car mag Bestcar thinks the final front will look like.


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      09-16-2020 11:38 PM #17
      Seriously, does anyone give a damn that the original had that shield shape on the hood or a rectangular opening(Bisected by a bumper BTW) on its nose? Ooh it had a curve over the rear wheel?!?!?! How about instead of giving us a laundry list of call backs to the original just make a beautiful, refined sports car? You know, like the original. If they had spent a few more hours on refining the shapes, curves and details maybe it would be a more complete design instead of just a collection of parts.
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      Mercedes typically makes awful manual transmissions and fantastic auto transmissions. Choosing the stick would be like saying, "Y'know, that Natalie Portman is pretty hot, but if she grew some hair on her legs and had a dong, she'd be just right."
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      Was it parked on the curb on garbage day?

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      09-15-2020 09:23 PM #18
      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.

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      Quote Originally Posted by QUIRKiT View Post
      I spent my entire season budget during the off-season on go fast parts, so now I'm wishing I hadn't and had saved a little so I could buy a sim rig.

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      09-15-2020 09:27 PM #19
      Retro done right

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

    20. Member vb22's Avatar
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      09-15-2020 09:30 PM #20
      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.

    21. 09-15-2020 09:32 PM #21
      If they are able to massage this further; man it is already a looker in my books. Is it perfect, no, but its pretty damn close.

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      09-15-2020 11:08 PM #22
      The internet (Jon Sibal) works fast.


    23. Member vb22's Avatar
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      09-15-2020 11:39 PM #23
      Nissan Z Proto
      Length: 172.5 in
      Width: 72.8 in
      Height: 51.6 in

      Toyota Supra
      Length: 172.5 in
      Width: 73 in
      Height: 51.1 in

      https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a3...roto-revealed/

    24. Member vb22's Avatar
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      09-16-2020 12:08 AM #24
      https://www.newnissanz.com/threads/b...ign-chief.152/

      Nissan design chief on how the prototype car came to life, honors more than 50 years of Z heritage
      The Z nameplate has been cherished worldwide for more than 50 years. The Nissan Z Proto, unveiled on Sept. 16, signals a renewal for the legendary sports car at a time when Nissan is also transforming itself as a company. As both the Z and Nissan embark on a new chapter, the model is a key ingredient in maintaining Nissan’s heritage of passion, excitement and innovation.

      In this interview, Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan's senior vice president of global design, talks about what the Z Proto means for Nissan. He also tells the story of how his design team brought the Z Proto to life, and discusses the delicate balance of paying homage to past Z cars while modernizing design and performance.

      Q: What's the purpose of the Z Proto?

      Albaisa: Above all, we want to tell the world that the next Z is coming! The Z is a key model for Nissan. It represents how we democratize technology, such as with the Nissan LEAF, which was the world's first mass-market electric vehicle. The Z is the democratization of a true sports car.

      Q: What was your approach to designing the Z Proto?

      Albaisa: We explored two directions – one with a strong homage tone, and one with a futuristic feeling throughout. Our designers made countless studies and sketches, researching each generation to better understand what made it such a success with generations of fans and owners. Ultimately, we agreed that this new Z Proto should travel between the decades, including the future.

      Q: How important was it to include references to the original Z?

      Albaisa: Making a car with such an iconic history is a big challenge. Roughly 1.8 million Z cars have been sold around the world, including more than 1.3 million in North America. That means there are millions of past and current owners with their own unique history and stories with the Z. People remember the first time they saw one. We wanted to take a different journey than a purely retro look with the car, to see what fond memories would surface, and tap into them with a sincerity that builds on those memories and brings a smile to everyone's face.

      I remember seeing the first-generation Z when I was a six-year-old boy growing up in Miami. It made a big impression on me. Somehow, it always looked fast, even when parked. Since first laying eyes on it, I always followed the Z through the generations – from a pure precision machine to the 300ZX of the '80s and '90s with the latest in tech. Eventually, my own hands would help bring the 350Z to a new generation of wide-eyed wonderers, sharing the same aspirations and intrigue that I felt.

      Q: Did any other Z models besides the first generation (S30) inspire your team?

      Albaisa: We took inspiration from all generations during the initial design phase, with a strong homage to the first-generation Z but also with nods to the 300ZX. The 300ZX represented a technological breakthrough for Z and Nissan. The seamless surfaces and absence of bodylines gave it a river stone-like, smooth quality. The extremely slanted projector headlamps communicated a sleek, advanced look. You can see that in the Z Proto. The smooth exterior surfaces give it a dream-like, clean aerodynamic shape.

      Q: Besides the profile silhouette, where else can we see references to past Zs?

      Albaisa: There are nods to the past throughout, some more apparent than others. One key exterior design element we wanted to get right was the height of the hood. Just like the first generation Z (S30), the hood is higher than the tail. This was quite difficult for our designers to achieve, but we knew we wanted to keep that iconic silhouette.

      Also, the LED headlights have two half-circles that owners of the first-generation ZG "G-nose" model may recognize. The ZG features a clear dome lens over the headlight bucket. Under light, that dome shape gives off two circular reflections. We liked that unique characteristic and discovered it naturally fit with the Z Proto's identity.

      The rear taillights were inspired by the 300ZX's illuminated pill-shaped taillights design. Just as that 300ZX was a symbol of a technological leap for Z, we applied the latest design methods on the Z Proto's taillights to create a clean, sharp edge illumination that beams bright, day or night.

      Q: What are the standout characteristics of the Z Proto?

      Albaisa: Even with elements of the first Z, this car has a different attitude. The "aggressively low" center of gravity gives the Z Proto a completely new posture. The exterior sculpting gives it a natural, alluring look while also maintaining muscular dynamism. The low, rear-fender haunches push the wheels outward, giving the impression of a cat ready to pounce.
      The first-generation Z was lighter and more agile. This Z Proto has a muscularity that builds on that. It hints at the "hair raising" power within, ready to release on a cool morning run, blipping between gears while carving around terra firma.

      Q: The Z Proto has a striking yellow paint job. Is this another hint at the past?

      Albaisa: Yes, we chose a pearlescent yellow as a nod to the original Z and 300ZX yellow color option. We added the pearlescent quality to add a brilliant, shimmering look under the sun. The 300ZX had a color in this range but due to technologies of the day was not able to maintain the level of chroma of the Z Proto.

      Q: What approach did you take with the interior design?

      Albaisa: It was important to us that stepping into the cabin should be a transformative experience. The interior needed to fit like a glove, creating a direct physical bond with the driver's body and quick visual access to drive information. Of course, the cockpit is also an enjoyable space both visually and physically during relaxing cruises on open roads.

      We put a heavy focus on ensuring that vehicle information could be understood at a glance, to allow the driving experience to be pure and uninterrupted. This is why the digital instrument gauges have a uniform readout. The steering wheel puts infotainment and vehicle controls at the driver's fingertips while still maintaining a classic sports car look.

      That said, the interior has a strong modern feeling, with digital elements in just the right places to match the needs of today's drivers without distracting or adding complexity.

      Q: What message do you want to send with the Z Proto?

      Albaisa: The Z Proto represents a commitment to our fans, to our heritage, and staying true to Nissan's DNA. This is not a concept or study of a potential model. The Z Proto is a statement that a new Z is coming, period.

      Some may wonder why we are continuing to develop the Z. To me, that's like asking why humans breathe – it's an integral part of life for Nissan. Nissan is a creative community with a diverse product lineup and history. We hope people feel our passion for the past as much as for the future. We love creating automobiles that our customers emotionally connect with. The Z Proto is a homage, but it also speaks of the technology of today, with advanced touches inside and out.

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      09-16-2020 07:40 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by vb22 View Post
      Nissan Z Proto
      Length: 172.5 in
      Width: 72.8 in
      Height: 51.6 in

      Toyota Supra
      Length: 172.5 in
      Width: 73 in
      Height: 51.1 in

      https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a3...roto-revealed/
      370Z is about 6 inches shorter

      Like I said if this thing gains a ton of weight I'm gonna be really disappointed.

      Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
      Quote Originally Posted by QUIRKiT View Post
      I spent my entire season budget during the off-season on go fast parts, so now I'm wishing I hadn't and had saved a little so I could buy a sim rig.

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