16 Sep Nissan Z Proto First Look: A Heritage-Rich Preview of the 400Z
The Nissan 370Z seems to be such a permanent fixture in the Nissan lineup, you’ve probably stopped wondering how long it’s been around. Well, we’re going to tell you anyway because it matters: The current-gen Z launched in 2008, and 12 years is a pretty long haul even for a sports car. In fact, there were doubts if a successor was ever going to materialize, and between the slew of negative press Nissan has received the last couple of years and the current economic climate, you would be forgiven for losing all hope.
But Nissan swore the Z was part of its very DNA, and that a new one was coming. Now the wait for what we believe will be called the 400Z is over. Almost. The Z Proto is a thinly-disguised concept version of that car, and with its world debut, squinting at underexposed silhouettes and replaying of teaser videos can cease. Indeed, what you see here is close to the production version of what will hit dealerships across America in the near future.
We had the exclusive opportunity to spend a day with the prototype at Nissan’s “Grandrive” proving ground in Oppama, just south of the company’s Yokohama, Japan, headquarters. Although Nissan is keeping a tight lip about technical information, there was a lot that we took away from our time with the car.