We’re still left in a daze following the Nissan Z-Proto‘s reveal. It’s not often we see a brand new, rear-wheel drive sports car launched, which makes Nissan barring it from the European market all the more painful for us petrolheads living in the continent.
But we must soldier on as we quietly sob onto our keyboards since prolific Internet car renderer X-Tomi Design has been busy on Photoshop dreaming up derivatives of the Z-Proto for us to examine. We may well see a couple of these become reality for the ‘400Z’ production version.
Both the 350Z and 370Z were available in Roadster form, so we wouldn’t bet against a drop-top version of the 400Z appearing at some point. The convertible 370Z was culled from the range here in the UK a long time ago, but elsewhere in the world, it was sold until very recently - in the USA wasn’t discontinued until the end of the 2019 model year. The car doesn’t look as distinctive sans roof, since you lose the 370Z-like silhouette, but it’s still an eye-catching sports car.
The more powerful, more focused ‘Nismo’ version of the 370Z is still sold in markets around the world (the UK included), so this seems like another likely derivative. Plus, since the Nissan’s in-house performance and motorsports brand is still a big deal for the Japanese company - especially in its home country - we don’t see why there wouldn’t be a ‘400Z Nismo’.
There’s plenty of headroom in the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 we’re expecting the production Z-Proto to use, so Nissan won’t have any trouble extracting more power. Previously a 475bhp Nismo version of the car has been rumoured. We’re not sure it’d get a GT-R Nismo-like rear wing as depicted here, but the two-tone bodywork, chunky splitter, lower side skirts and red accents are bang on the money.
It’s an unwritten rule of the Internet that a new coupe must be rendered as a shooting brake, and sure enough, X-Tomi has delivered the goods. With a low, sloping roofline that ends with a cheeky boot-spoiler, the improbable Z-Proto derivative look smashing. We can’t see Nissan making anything like this, but who knows - perhaps there’s a coachbuilder out there who’ll give it a try.
Which of these digitally imagined Z-Proto derivatives do you like best?