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Z-car Goes Again

This is the Nissan Z Proto and it proves that old-school sports cars are not dead in the 21st century.

The original 240Z tracks back to 1969 and the same basic formula – front engine, manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive, two seats – is being continued in the upcoming seventh-generation Z.

The power-plant will be a twin-turbo V6, feeding to a six-speed manual shift, and there is no hint of any electrification.

The unveiling of the all-new Z is the final stage before full-scale production, although Nissan is not yet ready to share details on timing, pricing, or the car’s arrival in Australia. It confirms the car is 4382 millimetres long, 1850 wide and 1310 tall, with 255×40 R19 front tyres and 285×35 rubber on the rear.

Crucially, the reveal of the car includes footage of it driving at a Nissan test track, often accompanied by cars from the sixth previous generations of Z-Car.

“The Z Proto you see here is not a concept. The look is close to final,” says Nissan’s CEO, Makoto Uchida, as he unveils the car at Nissan’s design headquarters at Yokohama in Japan.

“Now we are taking the Z to the next level. I’m excited to announce that the new Z is coming.”

He has plenty of upbeat talk around the car, which stars with bright yellow bodywork and a black roof, as well as the traditional bank of three gauges in he centre of the dashboard.

“We want your drive to be powerful, exciting and engaging. It’s proof that we can do what others don’t dare to do,” Uchida says.

“With the Z we are bringing drivers that excitement of a pure sports car. The Z is our DNA. The Z shows our passion for emotional design and the joy of driving.”

The big question, now, is what is happening to the Nissan GT-R. With the long-running Z-car heading for a complete overhaul it should mean that the GT-R will be next, but perhaps with more of an electric input than the straightforward Z Proto.

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