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Are We Crazy, or Is Nissan’s Z Proto Concept Really Just a Rebodied 370Z?

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/16/2020 Motor Trend Staff
a car parked in a parking lot: Nissan Z Proto vs 370Z visual comparison o © Motor Trend Staff Nissan Z Proto vs 370Z visual comparison o

The next-generation, Nissan Z sports car—likely called the 400Z—is due to arrive sometime next year at the earliest, and we've finally received our first good look at it by way of the Z Proto concept car. Abandoning the current 370Z's barbed, pointy styling in favor of a retro-inspired design that echoes the original 1970 240Z—as well as the '90s-era 300ZX—the Z Proto at first looks totally new and different from its predecessor. Or does it?

After chewing over photos of the Z Proto, we couldn't help but notice a number of subtle (and not so subtle) similarities between the concept and today's 370Z. No, we're not talking about how both are smallish, rear-wheel-drive sports coupes, because, well, duh. Peering closer at both Nissans, it's pretty clear that the Z Proto started life as a 370Z, or at least borrowed the current Z car's body shell and interior as a starting point, adding new sheetmetal, a new steering wheel, and Infiniti's twin-turbocharged V-6 engine. Reached for comment, a Nissan spokesperson told us the "Z Proto represents a development study vehicle" that isn't officially being compared to a future production Z; no details were provided regarding the production Z itself. Even so, we're fairly confident in the Z Proto/370Z connection, having spent considerable time in the latter since it was last redesigned for 2009. Join us in our dot connecting with these side-by-side comparisons of the Z Proto and 370Z:


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