The pandemic, a divided country, insane weather, things kind of suck right now.
We could all use a break.
So say hello to the Nissan's the Proto.
Think of it as high performance comfort food.
No, a car can't make the world right.
But we could all use a friendly, familiar face, and an entertaining distraction, if just for a moment.
This Nissan Z reincarnation is those things, one with six cylinder power and smoothness summoned by an honest to God manual transmission, all rolled up in a look that's at once fresh and deeply familiar.
Better still this Nissan new Proto is a very thinly disguised version of what's headed to dealers.
For the moment Nissan isn't offering many details but we like what we see.
The Pro styling is a rolling Greatest Hits catalogue of these past.
LED eyes echo the first generation fair ladies famed sugar scoop headlights, in particular the rare Japanese market 240ZG The roofline peaks unusually right at the windshield header, just like the Z's more recent generations.
It also incorporates a riff on those cards weirdly upright door handles, horizontal led taillamps evoke the legendary fourth Gen Z 32 of the 90s.
Frankly, if this is all beginning to sound like a pastiche Well, it kind of is but that doesn't mean it doesn't work.
Heck, even that pearlescent yellow paint is a welcome throwback.
The new pro maintains disease classic long hood rear wheel drive dimensions.
It's 172 and a half inches long, five inches longer than the ancient 370 z you can still find in showrooms today.
its width span 72.8 inches, a whisker more than the current model.
It hunkers low over it's reasonably sized 19 inch staggered with tires and subtle carbon fiber body kit standing just 51.6 inches tall, imperceptibly shorter than the 2020 model.
Nissan remains tight lipped when it comes to powertrain specifics.
beyond saying the Z Pro features some sort of twin turbocharged six cylinder backed by a six speed stick.
We're hearing it'll generate 400 horsepower and production trim That would not only handily best today's 370 xe which puts out 332 ponies it had out to the 350 horse Nismo model.
If accurate that'd be more than Toyota's straight six gr Supra, a car that sized within millimeters and the Z's most obvious competition.
That interior is familiar as well.
Yes, there's modern stuff like a 12.3 inch fully digital cluster and a large display audio system.
But there's also a trio of analog hooded gauges, Nestle top dead center on the dashboard, just like the O Gz.
There are three simple rotary temperature control knobs and what's this a manual handbrake in a new car.
Yeah, apparently Nissan understands, you still want to pretend you know how to drift.
If anything, the Z protests interior might be a little too familiar.
It looks like there's a bunch of older parts been switched here, especially on the doors.
This isn't the production car though.
So let's hope that the cheap feeling hoop door handles from today's II don't actually make it into the seventh Gen model.
As far as performance goes, without more information like power output and curb weight, it's impossible to know what the next z will do.
Today's range topping Nismo hit 60 miles an hour in just under 5 seconds.
With the new cars twin turbo setup, it's not only expected to have more power than the Nismo it should hit a substantially higher peak torque figure a lot sooner on the 2 kilometer.
So count on the next c being a chunk quicker.
Given the Toyota Supra does the deed in a factory estimated 4.1 seconds, it's going to need to be.
So when will we see the new production z?
And how much is it going to cost?
The answer is sometime next year and it's hard to know.
It's probably safe to ballpark a starting price.
Beginning with a three To undercut the BMW or Toyota Supra by a fair bit, but don't count on it for it to be as cheap as today z, which starts at 31 grand delivered next year.
That's not actually that long from now, but these days, it seems like a lifetime away.
We'll have to forgive Nissan for being a bit distracted.
Like everybody else the automaker has been struggling lately too.
In fact, in some ways it's been worse, making more headlines for its tough finances.
And the recent Houdini like disappearing act of its celebrity CEO turned fugitive than it has for its cars.
Suffice it to say, the company is hard at work on the new z After all, it isn't just driving enthusiasts who could use some high performance comfort food.
It's Nissan too.