Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

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Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby AZhitman » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:13 pm

Let's hear it! Good, bad, indifferent? Share your thoughts!


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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby gmac708 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:10 pm

Better than I had expected. The 3/4 view is the best angle. Do not like the rear tail. Do not like the front from straight on. Needs a little tweeking. I like the interior. So we get a V6 with a manual. I had hoped for an inline 6. Wishful thinking on my part. Can you imagine an updated RB??!

Cannot wait to see one in person. Do they come in Orange? :chuckle:

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby AZhitman » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:14 pm

I'm with you, I can't wait to see it in some other colors!

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby MinisterofDOOM » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:30 pm

My main thought after typing out everything below is this:
In a world of cars that all look boring, hideous, or stupid, this is not only great-looking, but interesting AND tasteful. Nissan NAILED it. Especially in 2020 when everything has more swoops and flares than a 50s concept car, this thing is strikingly UNstriking. But it stands out. It's so DIFFERENT, but hilariously it's absolutely retro.
The Mustang is so ugly now. Accord roofline, goofy proportions, no real cohesiveness. The Camaro looks like a toy. BMWs all have grilles you could house the entire homeless population of Salt Lake City in. Crossovers with no cargo area are a thing.
And then here's this Z. It has modern-looking headlights, generally modern details. It's not overtly retro but it's clearly a modern take on a 240Z. And it all works.
It's SO NICE to see a nice-looking car that's still modern.

Tamura's "Dance partner" comment leaves me at least a little hopeful that the car will have some nice dynamics rather than just being a sort of box-checking slot-filler like the 370.

I like it quite a bit overall. The back is a LITTLE droopy, but that's standard for Nissan. I think the lip line coming down across the tail lights to the fender could have been done better.
I'd like to see it with a matching roof and hatch. I get the impression that color transition halfway along the deck is disguising a little flab.
The nose looks pretty good. Maybe a little long between grille and hood. The headlights are weird but they work. Better than any other current headlight style. At least they don't have stupid cutouts or tabs for no reason.
The interior is alright. Certainly not as driver centric as I would expect from a Z. That floating console looks like it belongs in the Quest. I like the way they integrated the dash vents ahead of the door releases. Recalls older Nissan and Datsun coupes.
The rocker panels are hideous and awful.
gmac708 wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:10 pm
Better than I had expected. The 3/4 view is the best angle. Do not like the rear tail.
...
I had hoped for an inline 6. Wishful thinking on my part.

Cannot wait to see one in person. Do they come in Orange? :chuckle:
Agreed all around. I6 dynamics are so much better than V6. And it's not like there's no room under that hood. Imagine something like a 2.5-3.0 liter TT I6.
But this is still a step in the right direction. The VQ is SO ANCIENT and while it was the best in its segment 25 years ago, it's so far behind the pack now.
I also agree about he back. It's droopy and lacks form. It needs to be sharpened up and drawn in a little, especially the compound curve above, around the outer sides of the tail lights. The bodywork is kinda...just there. Maybe they were going for clean, but it's a little TOO clean. It needs a little vigor.

And I definitely want to see more colors. I particularly want to see it without the black hatch/roof, which seem to be disguising a pretty broad empty swath of rear deck.

Of course, based on the statements about it being a starting point, a lot of these areas have plenty of room to flesh out with some character.

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby float_6969 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:58 pm

I'm in. I wouldn't really change much about it. The front grill seems a little odd to me, but it's growing on me. I like the rockers. I do agree that the rear seems a little off, but I love the taillights. The headlights are good too. I love the vents by the door handles. Maybe it's because they remind me of my S14, but I like them. I was disappointed by the digital dash, but I was expecting it as well. It's just the norm now. The shifter and handbrake position look good. I'm excited to get into one!!!

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby AZhitman » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:06 pm

I'm SOOO glad they did away with the chunky, awful door handles of the 350/370.

I'll take mine in gunmetal, with flat bronze LMGTs, please?

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby RicerX » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:57 pm

I have been waiting years for this, so indulge me if you will.

Overall - I dig it, but I'm looking forward to more info before I say "TAKE MY ORDER". I don't want to get too hyped in the event Nissan pulls a Subaru and they remove a lot of things I have my eye on when the car is actually in production form.

The "Keynote"

I caught them calling the car "300ZX" several times. I even saw the title of the design sessions in the videos posted on the homepage titled "300ZX". I'm totally great with it if that's the name. 400Z is stupid unless it's a 4.0L version of the VR motor from the Infiniti Q cars. At this point, based on the keynote, they've gone to too great of lengths to preserve the legacy of the Z car, so I can't see it being called a 400Z unless it matches the displacement of the motor. And based on how much of this car is a compromise to keep the Z alive, they're not building a brand new 4.0L motor, so it's not going to be called 400Z. I'm sticking to that.

One thing that gave me pause is the fact that this presentation seemed so cobbled together at the last minute and as cheap as they could possibly make it (hey man, game recognizes game - I have given presentations before that were literally thrown together 15 minutes beforehand... not my finest work, but some things are necessary to get the job done). I hope this doesn't foreshadow their final approach to the car where the pull a 2010s era Nissan and cut the quality and follow-through off at the knees like they did with the Titan until its 2020 refresh, but I digress.

Despite the overall cringe Q&A session, I loved their emphasis on the driving experience. I really hope it translates well. The 370Z is not a bad car in this regard, and as the competition around it has changed, parts of it have almost become more desirable despite its lack of evolution over 10 years.

The Design

This car is a 370Z with a million dollar makeover taking cues from the two best Z cars before it in the 240Z and Z32 300ZX. If their goal was to make a "greatest hits" album, this is undoubtedly it and they nailed it. They listened to the Z fans (the only people that will probably buy this car) and they made it happen. They brought back turbos. They kept the manual transmission. They gave it styling touches that are modern interpretations of past great works. This car really does it all so far. The side profile looks very Z, but also sort of Aston Martin DBS superleggera in its overall shape and profile. Modern and retro. The new DBS superleggera is one of the most beautiful production cars today, IMHO, and not a bad place to draw inspiration from (even though that probably wasn't at all the case - maybe it's just the kink in the lower side skirt that takes me there with the "floating roof" look.

I'm going to make a piano black vinyl template for that "katana" and retire off the earnings. Book it.

The door handles are so great. They're finally not a design "feature".

Now the bad - I have spent a good bit of time around Audi's "Digital Cockpit" in its 2020 Q7 in the last several weeks, and after looking at that and seeing Nissan's "my first digital instrument panel" sourced from Fisher Price, I'd be ok with killing that element of the design with fire, or sending your UX designers into the sun and poaching someone from Audi. I had an OBDII app on my android in 2012 that used the same gauges we're seeing on that gauge cluster. That UI design in 2020 is atrocious and the only thing I hated about the car. Please take a look at what other people are doing with this, Nissan. Neither you nor Infiniti are even remotely average at this in any segment you compete in.

I spy with my OCD eye...

This car is as far along as they're alluding to. I'd say damn close to a lock. It's not a concept at all - this is a couple small revisions away from the real thing. But they also did that to me with the Q50 Eau Rouge (Nissan's last "parts bin" dream ride teased to us), so I'm still reserving much of my optimism. Here are some things I noticed about it that indicated to me this thing is dialed in around 90%.

OUTSIDE
  • The brakes are the GT-R 6 pot/4 pot configuration, painted to match the car with the retro Z logo added. The rotors look like the carbon ceramic setup from the 2020 Nismo GT-R as well, but I can't quite make it out.
  • The intelligent key button for the door handles looks like it's missing... until you zoom in on the black B pillar card and see a dime-sized button hidden against the rear quarter glass. Not something you see on a concept car, but something you'll see on something that's damn close to production ready.
  • The exhaust tips are the exact exhaust tips from the Infiniti Q Red Sport cars. That's an interesting selection that probably indicates what they're ultimately connected to.
  • The closeup shot of the front grill reveals just enough to make me think the heat exchanger setup in the front matches what's in the Red Sport version of the VR30DDTT.
  • We even ditched the Bridgestone Potenzas that have been a staple on the 370Zs for 10 years for the GT-R's Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tires for the prototype.
  • The lower rear bumper and sides skirts as well as the front chin appear to be carbon fiber. Looks awesome, but probably won't make production. However, Infiniti made quite a few CF bits available on the Q60 so I can't say I'd discount it at least being a dealer accessory.
INSIDE
  • There's a wireless charging mat in front of the shifter below the A/C controls. This mat is the same mat you'll find in the 2020 Rogue.
  • The A/C dials, lower center console and armrest, e-brake handle, lower and upper door cards (middle is tweaked to match the dash), A/C vents, speaker grilles, and the seat bases are straight off of the 370Z.
  • Elements of the dash are still from the foundation of the 370Z's design. The triple gauge pod, intelligent key holder, traction control button, and glove box are the same. The floor mats look to be the same shape. The pedals down to the dead pedal are off of the touring trim of the 370Z. Power seat controls are unchanged down to the cutout of the seat base.
  • The side airbag tags are revised to a stitched Z logo, which looks nice. The seatback has a familiar shape to it, almost as if they tweaked the Recaros from the Nismo 370Z and separated the headrest for the touring seat we're seeing in the photos.
  • The 9-inch display itself (not the enclosure) is what's in the 2020 Titans right now, which gets surface scratches if you blink at it.
Anyway - I'm psyched. I hope the mechanics of it are just as promising.

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby RicerX » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:28 pm

ALSO of very important note -

A close up of the triple gauge pod reveals something fun - a turbo impeller speed gauge. Why is that fancy?

The Red Sport trims of the VR30DDTT have a turbine speed sensor mounted onto the turbos, while the 300hp variants do not. This indicates to me that the non-Nismo version of the car probably has the 400hp version of the engine. It's also possible that it's getting all the hardware, but a detuned version of that for the base model and a cranked up variant for the Nismo car.

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby PalmerWMD » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:07 am

All the other comments here hit it pretty well..
So I have little to add except my enthusiasm for this car ... :whistle:

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby float_6969 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:00 am

Oh, yeah, I forgot about the 400Z name that's been floating around. I absolutely hate it if it's not a 4L. Going to all this work to pay homage to the great Z's of the past, and then change the naming structure would be asinine. No Z/Nissan fan is going to care if we get a 3rd 300Z/300ZX. The only thing I can think for why to change it is because the new car would have a smaller number? Still doesn't make sense to me.

I'm also glad I'm not the only one that isn't looking forward to a digital primary gauge cluster. I'd pay extra to get analog gauges.

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby Bubba1 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:32 pm

Overall, I like it. Very pleasant looking. The many visual cues from previous gen Z's give it a more evolutionary than revolutionary look, which I think many of us Z fans will appreciate. I also like the lack of excessive creases, scoops and tacky touches that infest the new Supra. This Z has a more simple elegant look, which I find refreshing. The combination of RWD,V6, manpedal and continued ability to turn off the nannies with one button would quickly put it on my short list. That said, I see a few very minor gripes, including: 1. the black top. A single color top would not only look better (imho), as the rest of the car appears to follow K.I.S.S styling (as in "keep it simple, stupid".) I say let the kids ruin the looks with aftermarket body kits, but leave the nice stock shape alone. 2. The rear is okay, but I think they could've done better had they invested a bit more time.

As far as the name, if they put in a smaller V6 (and add forced induction), I can understand purists arguing that "400"Z would not be technically correct. I personally don't care, but Nissan could probably solve the problem by calling it simply...."the Z".

Looks promising :bigthumb:

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby float_6969 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:01 pm

I really like the idea of just calling it a "Z". That would future proof it as well... Though, they could bring the Japanese "Fairlady" ever here and solve it that way as well. I'd be gone with either of those. I know it's not very logical, but emotionally, I don't like moving away from the displacement based nomenclature that all of the other manufacturers have done. If they can break the styling trends, I'm hopeful they'll do the same work the name as well.

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby AZhitman » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:04 pm

I'm almost positive it's not a 4-litre architecture, so the rumored "400Z" name is simply that, a rumor. Although an updated VQ40 with a pair of snails would be super-sweet!

It still works for the car, but I prefer a displacement-based nomenclature as well.

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby PalmerWMD » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:35 am

It seems like Nissan itself has not decided whether to call it a 400Z (there actually a formula from displacement multiplied by a factor to make it a "fair" comparison to N/A and this car meets it unlike some others) or a 300Z, which would be displacement based.

All the Leaders" in such things have transitioned to a turbo adds displacement in nomenclature.. (BMW, MB, )

I wont get annoyed either way.

But when looking at the interior with thankfully no tacked on computer on the dash a only (!) manual powertrain for starters.. well, it almost seems like the car is getting designed by actual enthusiasts who put driving first.. :dblthumb:

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby NolimitZ32 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:36 am

An FI Z car makes me very happy. An I6 would likely give it a more Classic Z-car feel but perhaps developing a new I6 would have meant that this car would have never made it so I welcome the V. The fact that a manual is an absolute "yes" is a huge plus for the new Z. My hope is that when my kids are old enough to drive that they will have the opportunity to daily drive something manual and this car helps keep that dream alive. The interior seems to be on par with the level of car it is, it doesn't appear pretensions and doesn't try to be something its not while recognizing that it is a legacy, a flagship in its own way, and deserves better treatment than the previous plastic clad generation of Nissans. There are two parts of the car that look unfinished. The first is the square hole on the front which breaks up (in a bad way) the otherwise gorgeous lines of the car. I understand the design direction here trying to pay homage to the s30 chassis but it looks unfinished on the modernized shell. The second is the rear, specifically the hard termination of the fender bulges, the cut-off of the rear windscreen at the hatch deck and the rear tail light panel. As with the front bumper the hard lines and angles don't fit, its too much rocket bunny and not enough Aston Martin.

Overall I think that this rendering addresses those "problem" areas very well.

Image

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby float_6969 » Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:40 am

NolimitZ32 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:36 am
An FI Z car makes me very happy. An I6 would likely give it a more Classic Z-car feel but perhaps developing a new I6 would have meant that this car would have never made it so I welcome the V. The fact that a manual is an absolute "yes" is a huge plus for the new Z. My hope is that when my kids are old enough to drive that they will have the opportunity to daily drive something manual and this car helps keep that dream alive. The interior seems to be on par with the level of car it is, it doesn't appear pretensions and doesn't try to be something its not while recognizing that it is a legacy, a flagship in its own way, and deserves better treatment than the previous plastic clad generation of Nissans. There are two parts of the car that look unfinished. The first is the square hole on the front which breaks up (in a bad way) the otherwise gorgeous lines of the car. I understand the design direction here trying to pay homage to the s30 chassis but it looks unfinished on the modernized shell. The second is the rear, specifically the hard termination of the fender bulges, the cut-off of the rear windscreen at the hatch deck and the rear tail light panel. As with the front bumper the hard lines and angles don't fit, its too much rocket bunny and not enough Aston Martin.

Overall I think that this rendering addresses those "problem" areas very well.

Image
The V6 doesn't really bother me. Especially a TT V6. But the first Z car I was ever exposed to was the Z32, so I'm probably coming from a different place than others... That funny that you mention your kids being able to drive a stick and I was having the same thought the other day. I have every intention of still having a vehicle with a manual when my kids are old enough to drive and I really want them to learn how to do it and the Z35 would for sure help with that.

I agree with the air opening on the front. It just kind of looks like a big hole cut in the bumper. I'm not sure I like the render version you shared either, but I'm hoping it changes a little before production. That being said, it's not so bad that I wouldn't buy it.

As for the rear, I mostly like it. The size of the black portion on the lower part of the bumper I don't love, but I DO like the body colored render on that part of it. If it does go to production with the black part, I could see the aftermarket quickly having a solution. Hell, I might pay to get it painted like that.

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Re: Impressions? What do you think of the Proto Z?

Postby SirNibbles » Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:51 am

I love the design overall, especially the lack of random vents and ugly plastic trim that serves no purpose.

The grille is a bit large for my taste, and I agree with what others have said about preferring manual gauges. Electronic gauges are one of the worst inventions I can think of- they just make it harder for your eyes to see at night so your headlights have to be brighter, blinding everyone else.

For the rear, I like the borrowed look from the Z32 but I think it'd be better if combined with the layout of the turn signals from the earlier Zs. Brake lights/taillights with a combined turn signal are another terrible idea. Separate, amber-coloured or clear turn signals are so much better for letting people know what you're trying to do.

Pardon my terrible paint editing skills here:
Image

The reverse light I drew on there is probably unnecessary. Either way, putting that turn signal there would serve to make the rear end look a bit slimmer; compare the proportions of lights to bumper on the 240 vs the Proto. If they could move the whole taillight assembly down a few inches that would help as well. I'm sure Nissan are restricted by nonsensical and arbitrary regulations that prevent them from doing so.

I could go either way on the black roof. I'd personally prefer a solid colour.


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