Welcome to the Z Proto. “The Z, as a pure sports car, represents the spirit of Nissan,” explains Nissan boss Makoto Uchida. “It’s a key model in our transformation plan, and it’s proof of our ability to do what others don’t dare to do.” Under the long hood is a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, which GT-R guru and chief product specialist Hiroshi Tamura says is a modified version of the VR30DDTT unit available in both 300- and 400-hp states of tune in the Infiniti Q50 and Q60. The 400Z should hew closer to the high end of that scale, although Nissan might leave room for a NISMO version. A six-speed manual is standard, and an automatic will be optional, likely the seven-speed torque-converter unit found in the Infinitis.

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