• A Custom Nissan Z Prototype That’s Even More Retro-Inspired Than The Production Model

A Mysterious Custom Nissan Fairlady Z Proto arrives at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Show. It harkens back to a special performance version of the 240Z

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The 2022 Tokyo Auto Show, which started January 14, 2022, unveils some of the latest products from Japanese carmakers for the Japanese domestic market (JDM) and Nissan brings a few interesting cars, along for the weekend. Among them are three versions of the Nissan Z, called the Fairlady Z, in Japan, just like its predecessors. One of them is a custom version of the Nissan Z Proto, which takes the Z’s retro-futuristic design and makes it even more retro-tastic.

A Custom Nissan Z Prototype That's Even More Retro-Inspired Than The Production Model
- image 1046290

The Nissan (Fairlady) Z’s JDM production version made an appearance, alongside the Nissan Z GT500 race car, which is going to enter the 2022 Super GT season, starting on April 16, 2022. The custom Nissan Z is the most interesting one, however, since we don’t yet know what to make of it. Does it hint at a NISMO version or will the Japanese market get an optional aero package? The custom Z Proto features a few cues that may give us an answer.

The car Nissan brings at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Show (2022 TAS) is simply called the Nissan Fairlady Z Customized Proto. It comes with a noticeably sportier design, compared to the production Z, but more importantly, it features a striking orange exterior finish. Some Japanese cars have rare versions and, in this case, the bright orange paint is reminiscent of the Nissan 240Z’s hardcore, performance version, the Z432R, which shared an engine with the 1969 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R, and is one of the most hardcore versions on Nissan Z’s history.

A Custom Nissan Z Prototype That's Even More Retro-Inspired Than The Production Model
- image 1046289

The “432” in the car’s name came from “four” valves per cylinder, “three” carburetors”, and “two” camshafts”, which is what the S20 engine has. Think of it this way, the Z432R is for the Nissan Fairlady Z as the GT3 RS is for the Porsche 911. In fact, a few years ago, a Nissan Z432R sold for a whopping $800,000.

As for the mysterious orange prototype, it features a tapered front end with additional air inlets and a grille separated by a body-colored strip
. The few available images also show the iconic hood bulge, which is further accentuated by a black paint finish. We see more black accents on the side mirrors, wheels, and racing stripes on the side, right above the new side skirts. The Japanese coupe also has a taller rear spoiler and different exhaust tips.

A Custom Nissan Z Prototype That's Even More Retro-Inspired Than The Production Model
- image 1046291

We can see how this may be the perfect Fairlady Z, in terms of aesthetics. So far, the Nissan Fairlady Z Custom Proto seems to be a one-off exercise in enhancing the looks of the car. Another theory is that Nissan may take a page from Porsche’s book and make a spiritual successor to the Z432R, just like Porsche has done with models like the 911 Sport Classic, Speedster, and other classic 911s.

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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