We have all been across the Nissan 370Z in the past – one way or the other. You see, Nissan’s sports car carries more than 50 years of racing heritage with itself. And while some of us might have come across it in the flesh, most of the audience will agree that this was one of their favourite racing cars in former racing games.
In fact, I personally preferred the 370Z as my go-to machine in most of the racing games I’ve played. suppose I was not the only one. Last year, the 370Z completed 50 years and Nissan had released a final 50th-anniversary version to celebrate its racing heritage. It was unveiled at the 2019 New York motor show and it was finished in a paint scheme inspired from John Morton’s SCCA-winning BRE 240Z from the 1970s.
The anniversary edition of the 370Z continued with the same powertrain as the standard model, which means it was also powered by a 3.7-litre, V6 petrol engine producing 323bhp and 366Nm of torque. The engine was paired to a close-ratio 6-speed manual gearbox as standard, but a 7-speed automatic, which boasts a target shift time of under 0.5 seconds, can be added as an optional extra.
the 370Z special edition, on the inside, had an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel with a motorsport-inspired centre stripe, 50th Anniversary-embossed backrests and kick plates, along with plush suede door panel inserts. There were also dark chrome trim accents on the inside, along with four-way power seats, high-intensity xenon headlights and the Bose sound system as opposed to the standard car on offer.
And that was the special 50th-anniversary edition of the Nissan 370Z. For those of you who may not be aware, that was also the last edition of the 370Z to go on sale. It was a limited run model and it marked the discontinuation of the popular sports car.
That was all the way back in 2019 – it almost feels like 2019 was two-three years ago, doesn’t it? Now Nissan cars has officially unveiled its successor, dubbing it as the Z Proto. Well, as the name implies, the Z Proto is a concept and it previews the design direction that the upcoming replacement of the 370Z and the next-generation Z car from Nissan will take.
It is, after all, correctly implied as the design language of the Z Proto is a bit too retro as opposed to its predecessor. Doing so makes it pay homage to the original Nissan Z GT sports car (the S30/Nissan Fairlady Z/Datsun 240Z) and to some other preceding generations as well.
Take the long bonnet for instance, which looks straight out of the erstwhile 240Z’s playbook. The same can be said for the chunky headlamp units. And while the bumper design – with its simple and large rectangular intake and smoothened off edges – certainly reminds of the 350Z Nismo, the coupe profile and the way the C-pillar is designed is reminiscent of the 240Z. Just like a typical sports car should be – and so was its predecessor – the Z Proto is strictly a two-seater.Read more:Father’s Day Gifts for the guys who love their cars
Next comes the interior. While it has some cues and design highlights that match with t he retro exterior look, it certainly is as modern as it gets. This is thanks to the use of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 9-inch infotainment screen in the cockpit. The overall layout of the cabin is driver-focussed and is very pleasing to the eye. Moreover, the liberal use of leather and Alcantara with contrasting yellow stitching translates to a richer experience from behind the wheel. It also gets dashboard-mounted gauges in the middle, which we’ve already seen on the 370Z.
Powering the Z Proto will be a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo V6 engine, which will be further paired to a manual gearbox. Nissan has kept its lips sealed on the official output figures of this engine, so we’ll have to wait a bit more to see just how powerful or torquey it is.
As of now, there’s no official timeline on when the car will make it to production. Given Nissan’s previous naming schemes, it will be most likely called the 400Z. Expect a global launch towards the end of 2021.Also, grab the latest info on the new cars, only at autoX.