Nissan Z Proto: What You Need to Know

Nissan Z Proto front 3/4 view in front of previous-generation Z cars
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Why Is the Z Proto Important?

The current 2020 Nissan 370Z has soldiered on with the same basic design since 2009. That’s an eon in automotive circles. While other models have seen multiple updates, the 370Z has spun in circles for the last several years, dropping its convertible option along the way. 

It’s definitely time for a new Z – though many are surprised it’s coming at all.

Nissan’s been in a sales slump as of late, with the COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbating its issues. Launching a new car costs tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. Doing so on a car that lives in a tiny niche of the marketplace when there’s not much cash available is risky, but Nissan’s taking the chance. 

It's not the first time they've done so. The Z Car's roots trace back to the late 1960s when it was sold in Japan as the Datsun Fairlady Z. In the U.S., Datsun (now known as Nissan) sold basic economy cars. When it arrived in the U.S. market for 1970, the Datsun 240Z was a significant step in its expansion into a full-line carmaker. 

“The Z represents the joy of driving in its purest form and has helped shape Nissan’s DNA as a passionate, innovative challenger,” says Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida. "Ever since the first generation, it has captured the hearts of car enthusiasts worldwide. That's why we're so excited today to be able to say to them: Yes, the next one is coming!"

Nissan is rolling out 10 new or redesigned models in the U.S. market in just 20 months. There’s a new Nissan Rogue on the way for 2021, and the all-new battery-electric Nissan Ariya is set to arrive in the U.S. that same year.

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