Supposedly slated to come to production mostly unchanged, we’ve already seen the Nissan Z Proto. However, seeing it through the lens of a Nissan press photographer is quite different from seeing it up close and personal, in the flesh. While you and I still probably have ways to wait until we can do that first-hand, a group of Japanese YouTubers recently visited the Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama with a camera and provided us with our closest, most thorough look yet at Nissan’s sports car prototype.
The video itself is, naturally, is all in Japanese, but the English subtitles are decent. On first impression, the Z Proto is apparently another one of those cars that’s nicer to look at in person than it is in pictures, which is good news considering it didn’t look bad in pictures to begin with.
Most notably, perhaps, the video gets a good peek beyond the sheet metal, somewhat audaciously climbing underneath the prototype Z and pretty much confirming our suspicions that this is mostly the old Z34 370Z under its skin.
Taking a peek deep inside that large rectangular grille has also exposed the addition of an oil cooler while “the position of the air intake has not changed.” Other highlights you may have missed the first time include the black side skirts that seem to accentuate the rear fenders, the carbon weave used for the rear diffuser, and the “Akrapovic-style” exhaust.
It’s an interesting watch that’s definitely worth the time, if only to see our knowledgeable Japanese hosts get scolded by a Nissan crony when they whipped out a measuring tape to get an idea of this thing’s wheelbase. For what it’s worth, it looks like the Z Proto measures approximately 255 cm axle to axle (100.3 inches), a figure identical to that of the 370Z’s.
We’ve discussed this before but we’re not so sure the “new” Z using the old Z’s platform is all that big of a deal. Financially, designing a new sports car from scratch was probably never on the table for Nissan, and if using an old platform means having a new Z to play with, we’ll take it. Since when were enthusiasts so opposed to using old-school tech anyway?
Plus, Nissan is far from the only car company out here recycling platforms. In that previous story, we pointed out the fact that the Lexus IS and Dodge’s muscle cars haven’t been “all-new” in years, but we forgot an example: Ferrari’s mid-engined V8 supercars. The F8 Tributo is built on the same chassis as the 488 GTB it replaced, which itself used the same chassis as the 458 Italia that came before it. If we apply the same scrutiny that’s often leveled at Nissan at Ferrari, the F8 is an 11-year-old car.
Just something to think about.
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