The new Nissan Z Proto concept previews the next-generation of the Japanese automaker’s long-running Z sports car lineup and will serve as a direct rival to the Chevrolet Camaro.
This retro-look sports car pulls inspiration from the Nissan 240Z and 300ZX and features a twin-turbocharged V6 engine, six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel-drive. While horsepower and torque figures are not being shared at this time, Nissan already has a 3.0L twin-turbocharged V6 engine in its portfolio, which produces 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The engine, currently offered in the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport, would give the next-generation Z sports car a sizable power jump from the current Nissan 370Z, which makes 332 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque from its naturally aspirated 3.7L V6.
Inside, the Nissan Z Proto features “an ideal sports car cabin,” the automaker says, which was designed using input from unnamed “professional motorsports legends.” In place of a traditional tachometer and speedometer is a 12.3-inch digital cluster display, which clearly displays all relevant performance information including RPM, ideal shift point and more. The Z Proto also debuts Nissan’s new “deep dish” multifunction steering wheel, which is joined by bolstered sport seats, a spherical shift knob and contrasting yellow piping and stitching.
It’s not clear when the actual next-gen Z sports car will arrive, but the Nissan Z Proto concept looks pretty much production-ready, so we can’t imagine it will be a very long wait. When the production model finally does go on sale, it will likely serve as a direct rival to the 6.2L LT2 V8 Chevrolet Camaro models, occupying a similar price point and performance bracket. The Nissan Z Proto’s turbocharged V6 may not have the power and torque of Chevy’s naturally aspirated LT2 V8 engine, but with two fewer seats, it will probably have less weight to lug around.
We’ll get the full details on the production Nissan Z once they become available, but for now, be sure to subscribe to GM Authority for more GM competition news, Chevrolet Camaro news, Chevrolet news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.