How about some news on Nissan's new sports car for this Friday? Today, patent application images show what's more than likely the new Nissan Z's final design, and if you fell in love with the concept car, you'll adore the production car.
Nissan filed the patent application images last month with the Australian Government Intellectual Property system, and it shows a car nearly identical to the Z Proto, which debuted last year. If you know how Nissan uses the "Proto" name, you know it signifies a concept car that closely resembles a final production vehicle. Thus, the similarities aren't shocking.
The only major change looks to come in the form of a revised grille, and by major we mean minor. At least in the patent image, the grille still has pronounced, long rectangles filling the upper space, but the lower section has new square vanes and a sensor for adaptive cruise control. The Z Proto's grille was a source of criticism for some who thought the giant square in the front clip was a tad off putting, so those people may be disappointed that it wasn't tweaked more. It's super retro, and I personally like that, but I also understand the critique.
The car looks to have lost the retro Z badges on the C-pillars, which is a shame, and there are now reflectors in the rear bumper. But again, overall, this car looks just like the Z Proto. Speaking personally, that's a win for Nissan: The design reminds me of a greatest hits of Z cars past.
We don't get a look at what's presumably the production interior, but the Z Proto carried over a lot of elements from today's 370Z. That's somewhat disappointing since the feels really old, but if the new Z drives well, I think we'll be able to forgive it. The production car will sport a twin-turbo V6 engine and a manual transmission (thank god), and power will flow to the rear wheels.
Fans have some time before we see the final car reach dealers, which will likely wear the 400Z name. Right now, it sounds like a 2022 launch is in the cards, or perhaps in a best-case-scenario, the new sports car will land in late 2021. I'm just glad the Z will live on in general.