The Nissan 400Z Prototype Will Be Revealed on September 15th

Following the rumor that the Nissan 400Z wasn’t scheduled to hit the market until 2023, and the appropriate questions as to why Nissan has revealed that it will showcase a “Z Proto” on September 15, 2020. Obviously, Nissan is still withholding the name, and this is only a prototype, but it’ll be the best look we’ve gotten on the next-gen Z car since Nissan confirmed it was coming with an intriguing video back in May.

The Nissan Z Proto Should Be Near Production Ready

Nissan’s press release announcing the reveal of the "Z Proto" was extremely short and gave us next to nothing outside of a date.

"We're reawakening the Power of Z with the new Nissan Z Proto, combining 50 years of passion and heritage with modern technology. Please join us at for the Z Proto Digital Unveil on Tuesday, September 15th, at 7:30 p.m. CST."
Nissan Is About to Reveal The 400Z Prototype
- image 931774

But it did include the cool throwback video that you see above. At the end, however, there is a darkened image that I took the liberty of screenshotting and manipulating to see just what we can make of it. Unfortunately, you can’t see much, but the lightened image that you see above does show that the silhouette that we saw in the original confirmation video was an accurate representation of what’s coming.

This still raises an important question, though. If Nissan has the retro design nailed down, which seems apparent given the teasers, why is this just a prototype, and why do we have to wait until 2023 for it to hit the market?

Nissan Has Finally Confirmed the 400Z - Here's Your First Look
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Back in July, I personally told you that you might not like the 400Z because it will ride on the 370Z’s platform. In that same report, I also told you that Nissan was probably avoiding electrification altogether. This wasn’t just speculation, but word from Nissan’s VP of Global Product Strategy, Ivan Espinosa:

"What I can tell you is I still see space for two different things. Probably in the short term, you can still see ... a bit more conventional technology coming. By conventional, I mean (an internal combustion engine)."

A big part of that statement included the fact that electric and even hybrid tech just wasn’t ready for Nissan’s sports cars. "The technology of (electric cars) is very well advanced, but it’s not at the level you can deliver the performance expected in a sports car."

Nissan Has Finally Confirmed the 400Z - Here's Your First Look
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So, with this in mind, Espinosa admitted that the company was learning a lot from its Formula E team, and now I’m wondering if the company has a prototype now and is delaying the 400Z so that it can take the time to develop some kind of small mild-hybrid system to go with suspected 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V-6 that is believed to offer up to 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque – a considerable improvement by itself over the 370Z’s 332 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque or the 370Z Nismo’s 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet.

Either way, when the prototype debuts on September 15th, we’ll hopefully we’ll learn more about what we can expect from the production model. If we’re lucky, we’ll even learn more about the powertrain and why we have to wait so long for it. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert -
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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