Design proportions similar to the original

Design proportions similar to the original

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Nissan has unveiled the Z Proto, which it said signals the company's intent to launch a new generation of the Z sports car.

Shown at a virtual event from the Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama, the prototype car features a new design inside and out, as well as a V-6 twin turbocharged engine with a manual transmission.

First hinted at in a video named "Nissan A-Z" in May, Nissan claims the Nissan Z Proto pays full respect to 50 years of Z heritage while also being 'a thoroughly modern sports car'.

"The Z, as a pure sports car, represents the spirit of Nissan," said Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida. "It's a key model in our Nissan NEXT transformation plan, and it's proof of our ability to do what others don't dare to do, from A to Z. As a Z fan myself, I'm excited to announce that the next Z is coming."

Combining a retro theme with one that also projected futurism was challenging, said Alfonso Albaisa, head of design at Nissan.

"Our designers made countless studies and sketches as we researched each generation and what made them a success," Albaisa said. "Ultimately, we decided the Z Proto should travel between the decades, including the future."

"The LED headlights have two half-circles that hark back to the Japan market-only 240ZG of the 70s," Albaisa said. "The ZG has clear dome lenses over the headlight buckets, which under light give off two circular reflections over each headlight. We liked that unique characteristic and discovered that it naturally fit with the Z's identity."

The Z Proto has a V-6 twin-turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

"With the launch this summer of the groundbreaking Ariya EV, we've started a new era of electrification and autonomous driving technology," said Uchida. "With the Z, we're bringing drivers the excitement of a pure sports car. For more than 50 years we have been creating the legend of Z together. I'm glad you're with us for the next exciting chapter. The new Z is on its way."

The original Datsun Z debuted in 1969. Known as the Datsun 240Z in North America, it was positioned as an affordable sports car.