Check out these photos of the new 400Z/Z in the flesh and questions about it answered.
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It's been a few months since we first laid eyes on the new Z Proto but we finally know when to expect the production version. As such, Nissan's been trotting a yellow show car all around the country and we got a chance to check it out in person. It looks pretty good and, more importantly, it's reportedly very aesthetically similar to the final production car we'll see in August.

I asked you last week what you wanted to know about the new Z Proto while I was at this Nissan event. I've got some photos and I have some answers to your questions. Mostly photos, though. That's because soon after arriving, Nissan's reps said they couldn't share any more details of the car other than what's been released currently. But the good news is it leaves you and me free to speculate wildly here until more concrete details come out.



First off, the car looks much better in person than it does in photos, especially the front and rear fascias. Standing in front of it, the nose sits lower than it appears in most photos and overall, it's a small car—probably not much larger than the current 370Z, if at all.

This particular prototype is likely built on a largely unmodified 370Z platform. Emphasis on "this particular prototype." The car I walked around is a show vehicle with limited functionality. The Nissan representative told me the doors don't open and the hood can't be popped. Or, at least, neither of those things could be done for me at the event. So the car is a prototype through and through: questionably representative of a future production model, though it'd be strange for Nissan to change any of that majorly since it's already shown everyone this thing.

Looking Underneath
You can tell it's a prototype as soon as you look under it, which I did. The entire underside is quite clearly a 370Z—comparing photos of the two cars' undercarriages will reveal that pretty quickly—and the exhaust system is routed around existing parts with room to spare, just to get everything working together.


Few other technical details are discernable, except for the tire sizes. They are 255/40/R19 in the front and 285/35/R19 in the rear. That's a tad wider in the back than the similar, outgoing 370Z Nismo and Infiniti Q60 Red Sport I reviewed a few weeks ago, despite the two cars potentially having the same engine.

From the Outside
Both the headlights and taillights have a fair amount of depth, as does the grille which actually tilts inward quite a bit and steps down as it gets lower, as you can see from the fifth image in the set. Also interesting is a distinctive hood, reminiscent of previous Z cars, and a really nice body line that travels the length of the vehicle. The front and rear fenders, likewise, flare out aggressively and the rocker panels feature a carbon fiber lip to contrast the styling lower down on the profile.








The rear end is really the best part, though.

The design—which takes serious inspiration from the old 300ZX—rejects the squared-off form that's popular on other sports cars like the BMW M4 in favor of softer bodywork that tightens around the rear tires as it gets lower, making the whole body fit nicely over its wheels. Likewise, the cutout for the exhausts extends up higher than on many other vehicles. It fills the negative space that may otherwise make the rear look bulbous and contrasts the bright yellow paint very nicely as well.

The taillights are also pushed all of the way out to the corners of the body, making it appear wider. At the same time, the negative space between them is filled with a wide sheet of black plastic to pull it all together. Attractively done if you ask me, and especially good in person.