It could be late in 2022 before the production Nissan Z goes on sale.
Nissan hasn’t officially confirmed when the Z Proto revealed this morning will make the jump from show car to showroom, but pointed to the Nissan GT-R Proto that preceded the R35 GT-R for inspiration.
“The Proto is just a finished, feasible study,” said Hiroshi Tamura, chief product specialist for Nissan Z and GT-R product lines.
“If I can give another extra hint, you have to check about GT-R Proto, then GT-R releasing point,” Tamura-san told media.
The GT-R Proto was revealed at the 2005 Tokyo motor show, and closely previewed the production R35 GT-R that followed in December 2007.
Based on that turnaround, we can expect to see the production-ready Z late in 2022. Development of the Proto started in March 2017, according to Tamura-san, when he first presented his vision to Nissan executives.
Nissan is keeping keeping its cards close to its chest on what the production Z will be like. Tamura-san confirmed the platform borrows from the 370Z, but didn’t confirm what is shared and what is new.
An automatic transmission will join the three-pedal, naturally, while hotter Nismo and open-topped Roadster versions are under consideration.
A hybrid powertrain was considered before Nissan settled on the twin-turbocharged V6 engine packed into the Z Proto, and the manual is likely to be offered in right-hand drive.
According to Tamura-san, more than a third of all 370Z sales are manuals, making a three-pedal version of the latest model a no-brainer.
The Z Proto might be billed a concept, but it isn’t far removed from how we expect the production car to look. Power comes from a turbocharged V6 engine, and it’s sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission.
Power outputs haven’t been confirmed yet, but the engine is believed to be a variation of the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 from the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport, where it makes 298kW and 475Nm.
That’s a big step up from the current 370Z’s naturally-aspirated 3.7-litre V6, which produces 253kW of power and 371Nm of torque.