Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Z Proto

Bit of a late post, but a month ago I got to see the Z Proto up and close at the beautiful Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama, so why not share a few photos?

First of all, the venue: simply stunning. Hats off to the production staff for showing once again why Japanese urban design is truly second to none.

Located a few blocks away from Nissan Global Headquarters, the Pavilion was a fantastic blend of futuristic and minimalistic architecture, very much reflecting the spirit of many Japanese cities.

I wrote was, because it closed the doors for good on October 23rd after a mere two moths of service. Bit of a shame to be honest, but looks like it pretty much served its purpose as the perfect backdrop for the Z Proto launch and to showcase the new Arya to the public. 

The cars on display in the outdoor area were either EVs or performance-focused. I think you can guess which ones caught my attention the most. 

As expected, the interior of the Pavilion was also remarkably well produced, quite impressive for a location that was meant to be open for such a short period of time.

A 240Z was on display just right after the entrance: a fitting choice of model as the design of new Z clearly draws inspiration from the older generations rather than the cars from the 2000s era.

The Arya was also available on the other side of the building - a gorgeous car with an unmistakable Japanese feeling to it. If the technology and performances are as good as the design, then Nissan is surely on the right path of recovery. 

And here it is, the car most people came to see: the Z Proto. Nothing new anymore at this point, but it was very cool to see it in the flesh. It brought back memories of the GT-R Proto and the older Z Concept, when they used to make the headlines years ago.

As always cars look a lot better in person rather than in photo and the new Z was no exception. Very sharp and edgy lines combined balanced by an overall smoothness to the design set the car off; and while it’s probably the same size it feels more compact and nimble than the 370Z.

Although still al prototype, at this point we know that the design is pretty much 95% final. Unfortunately I have a feeling that the gorgeous carbon rear bumper, front lip and side skirts won’t make it to the production model.

Personally I’m not a huge fan of the bright yellow color, picked (as many other details) for historic reasons, nor of the retro-inspired design, but it’s an elegant car for sure.

However, I’m not too concerned with the current look or the one of the future launch version; this is a car that will likely have a very long lifecycle and we can expect it to receive different design upgrades, trims and Nismo editions as the years go by.

Performance wise the foundation is surely promising: with 400ps, a manual transmission and Japanese reliability, what’s not to like? And yes, it’s definitely based on the 370Z platform, but would you rather have this or something like the new “Supra”?  I know my answer.

About one year ago, during the launch of yet another GT-R facelift, I wrote about how Nissan needed to break a bit with the past by launching something new and captivating as it did many times before. I doubt any of the company executives read this blog, but they did just did that with the Z Proto.

Until next time.


  1. when I was assured that a new z model is coming out one question popped immediately in my mind. Do you think nissan has the ability now to launch a new GT-R generation in 2023 with the ongoing financial situation or they are going to suspend the production ? like what happened with the r34 ?

  2. on another thought I'm really excited for the new nissan Identity to bring back the 90's nissan quality & reliabilty