It’s been 50 years since the original “Z” was first introduced by Nissan, and within that time frame, the lauded line has become one of the world’s most recognizable namesakes. To celebrate the success of each significant generation, as well as the car’s future models, the manufacturer has revealed the Z Proto — a conceptualized love letter to platforms past, and a predecessor to the upcoming 400Z.
The Z Proto adopts a handful of aesthetic traits from the manufacturer’s previous generations. After researching, studying, and isolating the distinct design preferences that have made Nissan’s progenitive platforms so unique, the team decided to straddle the line between earlier Z models — including the 240Z, 300ZX, and 350Z — and their current counterparts, the 370Z, and upcoming 400Z. In homage to Nissan’s 1970s platform, the Proto has taken on the trademark half-circle headlights of the 240ZG, a sleek, rounded rear inspired by the 300ZX, and a nose that’s reminiscent of the 370Z’s striking front fascia, without neglecting its contemporary posture. At its heart, a powerful V6 twin-turbo engine, six-speed manual transmission, and modern-vintage interior blur the lines between the past and the present. We’ve only scratched the surface of the new Z Proto, so head over to Nissan’s website for more information. The vehicle is slated to release under the 400Z monicker sometime in 2021.