Nissan Teases More of Upcoming Z-car, Possible Manual Option

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By Matt Posky on September 8, 2020

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Nissan has been extremely clear that it has been focusing heavily upon its past for the formation of its upcoming 400Z. Considering how the automaker is faring in the present, casually throwing customers into a sea of nostalgia is likely a 200-IQ play. Vintage Z cars have an obsessively loyal fan base and are awarded rolling praise from practically everybody who remembers them in their heyday.

Your author has always held a soft spot for the 300ZX Twin Turbo, despite his not being the resident Nissan aficionado and the 300 being the most pig-like in the Z-car’s expansive lineage. But plenty of people recall its enthralling performance as turbo lag boost was playfully teased out to make pressing the accelerator feel less like you were about to pass a slow-moving motorist on the highway and more like you were about to launch a Grumman F-14 Tomcat off an aircraft carrier. They also undoubtedly remember its stellar design, especially the Z32, which present-day Nissan has decided to tap into for the upcoming performance model.

In its latest teaser, you can see the evolution of the Z32’s taillights for a microsecond before subtle references to several of the incoming prototype’s other ancestors. Nissan also seemed to suggest that there will be a manual variant available, as the spot ends with a hand reaching for a gear selector  rather than a hideous dial or having the driver shout “drive, please” at an uncooperative voice-command system. While we’ll admit that we’re speculating a bit on the possibility of a be-clutched automobile existing after 2020, the manufacturer seems to understand that the old ways are sometimes the best when it comes to finding the maximum amount of driving enjoyment. It seems within the realm of possibilities.

The “Z Proto” (short for prototype) will be serving as the template for the 400Z and will allegedly borrow the favored aspects of its forebears. Nissan has already shown that the car’s silhouette will be somewhere between the original 240Z and the current 370Z (both handsome). But it has also hinted that would only be the tip of the heritage-drenched iceberg. Proto drops on September 16th during Nissan’s official debut and should represent the production model rather closely. But we cannot say how that will impact the delivery timeline for those interested in buying one. Nissan has a lot of fires that need tending right now.

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[Images: Nissan]

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