The New Nissan Z Is Good Retro

April 1 Feature Photo: The new Z design is no joke.

Precious few have had the chance to see the new Nissan Z Proto up close, and I got the chance at GRIDLIFE west just recently. It always has done pretty well in photos, even if the front end is a little bit unresolved. Seeing it person? I am pleasantly surprised by the proportions of it. It manages to look much smaller than it actually it, short and stout, while being similar in dimensions to the old 370Z. The back three-quarter is the best angle the car has, really showcasing its visual shortness.

Picture Details:

  • Car(s): Nissan Z Proto
  • Location: Willow Springs Raceway, Rosamond, CA
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (IG + Twitter: @chrishasacamera)
  • Camera: Sony A7R II w/ Canon 135mm f/2L

It is a refreshing car to look at. I wouldn’t call it beautiful by any means, but it’s certainly an improvement over the smeared pen ink look of the 370Z. It has a palette cleansing lack of excessive surfacing, and no insanely curvaceous lines or detailing. A single character line strakes down from near the top of the front fender down to the upper radius of the rear wheel arch. A complimenting line and pocket on the rocker create some visual shrinkage of the cars midsection, with a carbon upkink on the sideskirt continues the trend.

Matched with the black roof and hatch, the Z seems low and rigid. The jury is still out on the single silver trim that highlights the rear portion of the roofline; I think it’s distracting. The heritage lighting treatments are well done, with the Z32-style tail lights being a nice detail.

Overall, I’m a fan! I suspect that this is extremely close to production ready, as the Proto was complete and driving. Perhaps it didn’t have the twin-turbo engine, but the interior was complete enough to showcase.

As big as we could get it:

The New Nissan Z Is Good Retro
Chris Rosales

Chris RosalesChris has owned 12 cars of questionable quality, is an experienced motorsports photographer, and a good all-around wrench. When he isn’t tinkering with his car in his home garage, you can catch Chris in the canyons around SoCal. He also hopelessly hankers for Euros, but he honestly knows he should get something Japanese, eventually. Contact the author here.