Design photos show Nissan 400Z remains true to Z Proto concept

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Nissan Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha

A rendering of the production version of Nissan’s upcoming 400Z has leaked via patent filings, and it looks like the upcoming two-seat sports car is going to be a faithful rendition of the recent Z Proto. That’s a good thing. The images come from an Australian intellectual property site, and they stack up nicely against the Z Proto which we got to see in person just a couple of months ago.

Most notably, the squared-off grille, which seems to be polarizing (we love it), has now been fitted with a sensor for adaptive cruise control. Rounded slots, used throughout the Z Proto’s exterior and interior, still make up the top portion of the grille opening in seemingly identical shape, size, and number. The subtle center crease from the fascia into the hood remains, as does the pointed hood bulge that’s a throwback to the original S30 Z-cars.

Profile views of the two cars show that the signature “katana” trim will make it into production. The silver accent starts at the roofline at the top of the A-pillar and stretches down the C-pillar. One small deviation is the addition of a reflector to the production version. It’s at the junction of the rear bumper cover and the quarter panel, just aft of the wheel opening and ahead of the taillight. Although the stripped-down patent drawing doesn’t show the lovely “Z” emblem on the C-pillar, we hope that makes the move to production as well.

A peek at the rear three-quarter view tells a similar story with matching dual-exhaust cutouts at the bottom of the rear fascia. The shape of the taillights is also a perfect match, but the shape of the actual elements is a question mark. We hope the rounded slots stay and there’s no reason why they couldn’t. Eagle-eyed sleuths noted the addition of keyholes both between the taillights and in the trim that surrounds the door handles to provide a mechanical backup to the remote.

In all, these patent drawings reinforce the good vibes we got from the Z Proto. Even if there is plenty of the old 370Z chassis in Nissan’s next Z, this major overhaul seems to add plenty of new life to one of the few remaining affordable two-seaters that offer a manual. If the production interior remains as close to the Z Proto as these renderings suggest, enthusiasts should consider themselves lucky.

Nissan Z Proto Interior
Brandan Gillogly
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