The 400Z debuts on September 16 in prototype form

After many months of rumors and teasers, Nissan finally confirmed that it will unveil the next-generation Z car in 2020. The big unveiling will take place on September 16, but Nissan says it will reveal a "Z Proto" car, which probably means a prototype or concept version of the upcoming replacement for the 370Z.

With a little bit more than a week left until then, Nissan rolled out a new teaser video that showcases a few important details about the sports car. Nissan’s upcoming Z car is dubbed the 400Z by the automotive media, but this nameplate has yet to be confirmed.

The Nissan 400Z will borrow cues from previous generations

We already know that the new-generation Z car will be a tribute to the iconic 240Z, the first-generation model that started it all. We’ve seen the silhouette of 400Z in previous teasers and it seems to be a modern interpretation of the 240Z body with a long nose, a short rear deck, and a sloping roof line. This new teaser shows a comparison between the headlamps of the old 240Z and upcoming 400Z, which suggests a connection between the two. While the 400Z’s headlamps aren’t round like the first-gen model, the shape of the lens mimics the shape of the cutout in which the headlamp was mounted on the 240Z.

Nissan's Latest Teaser for the 400Z Hints at a Manual Transmission!
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Next up, the video moves to show the rear end of the 300ZX Z32, the fourth-gen Z car that Nissan produced from 1989 to 2000. The footage focuses on the 300ZX’s taillights with their thin horizontal lights and then switches to reveal four horizontal LED bars, likely the 400Z’s rear lights. Finally, there’s a third design comparison between the old 240Z and the 400Z, now focusing on the sleek profile. The 400Z is shown in a darkened image, so we can’t see to many details, but the visual link between the two cars is more than obvious.

The Nissan 400Z will debut a brand-new "Z" badge

Nissan's Latest Teaser for the 400Z Hints at a Manual Transmission!
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Just like it did in the past, Nissan changed the "Z" badge for the upcoming 400Z. The current 370Z features a simple Z in a circle and the teaser shows that Nissan opted for a more stylish Z with a slanting dash in the center. The "Z" badge will still feature a circle, as seen on the C-pillar of the 400Z, but it’s larger, giving the Z some room to breathe.

The Nissan 400Z will feature a manual transmission

Nissan's Latest Teaser for the 400Z Hints at a Manual Transmission!
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Just seconds before the teaser video ends, we can see the bottom of a center stack and a hand that appears to rest on a gear shifter. While we can’t see the shifter, it seems it’s bigger than the usual automatic gear selector, some I’m pretty sure it belongs to a manual gearbox.

The 370Z also comes with a manual, so it's a hint that Nissan will continue to offer one.

That’s pretty big news nowadays, when most performance cars are switching to automatics. It’s also great news for old-school gearheads who prefer the stick and the three-pedal layout. Of course, the 400Z will also be available with a quick-shifting automatic gearbox.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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