Nissan Z Proto to preview production 400Z sports car due in 2021
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UPDATE, September 11: A third new teaser video for the upcoming Nissan Z Proto 'concept' has been released overnight, confirming what many had suspected from the previous video: the 'new' Z car will retain a manual transmission option.

With the expectation that the so-called '400Z' will launch with the 'VR30' 298kW/475Nm 3.0-litre twin-turbo six that drives Infiniti's Red Sport models, fans had feared its seven-speed automatic would be the only transmission on offer.

This new video puts those fears to rest – although it remains to be seen if the Z will be offered in only the potentially pricey 298kW turbo form, or if a naturally-aspirated engine will continue to feature at a more affordable price point below that variant.

If the latter comes about, it may be that only that model will be offered in manual form. Of course, 2018's 370Z Project Clubsport 23 SEMA concept proved a manual option with the VR30 is certainly not impossible.

Whatever the case may be, this latest video also confirms we can expect a redesigned centre console, with the large boot ring of the 370Z notably absent in this clip.

For more coverage on the upcoming Z Proto concept, see our existing story below.

UPDATE, September 7: A second Nissan Z Proto teaser video has been released today, this time splicing in more detailed elements of the so-called concept car's design.

For the very first time, we have a clear and tightly cropped look at the new Z car's modernised 'sugar scoop' headlights, revealing exactly what we can expect from their shape and from the vaguely Z-shaped daytime lighting signature.

Moments later, we get a look at the Z32 300ZX-inspired tail lamps, followed closely by another zoomed-in look at the iconic early-generation Z shield badge that will sit proud behind the rear quarter window.

Finally, the video ends on a brief look at what is likely to be – and what needs to be – a redesigned interior. Of course, with only a glimpse at the centre console and the bottom edge of the dash, it remains to be seen just how significant the cabin changes will be.

Check out the video below, and our earlier unchanged story further down.

September 1: Nissan has teased a prototype version of its next-generation Z sports car, ahead of its reveal on September 16.

A short video was released by the Japanese carmaker overnight showcasing on the Z car’s rich 50-year history, from the original 240Z of the 1960s to the current 370Z that’s been in production since 2008.

The final 10 seconds of the clip turn the focus to the new car – which will be unveiled in ‘Z Proto’ prototype form in two weeks’ time – and provides a shadowy look at its styling.

Turning up the video’s exposure reveals the Z Proto’s – and, by extension, the production 400Z, as it’s expected to be called – exterior design will hark back to that of the original 240Z, featuring sleek body lines, elliptical headlights with split, semi-circular daytime-running lights and a wide, inset front grille mounted above a subtle lower lip spoiler.

Similar design cues were teased in a separate teaser video at the end of an earnings presentation back in May.

No official images of the rear have been released, however it’s believed the car will adopt a pair of horizontal tail-lights mounted within a full-width black panel inspired by the 300ZX of the 1990s.

While no mechanical details were released with the teaser, a glimpse late in the video at the Z Proto’s exhaust note lends weight to rumours suggesting the next-gen Z will feature a version of the 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine currently under the bonnet of the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport coupe, where it produces 298kW of power and 475Nm of torque.

Drive in the Infiniti is routed to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission – the Z is expected to build on the auto with the option of an enthusiast-friendly six-speed manual gearbox.

The wraps will officially come off the Nissan Z Proto on September 15, with the showroom-bound 400Z likely to make its public debut around 12 months later. The release of the teaser and confirmation of the prototype's reveal seems to debunk a recent report from the UK's Auto Express, which suggested the new Z could be delayed until 2023 to make way for SUV and electric vehicle development.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for the Z Proto's full reveal.

Below: the teaser video (Z Proto teaser begins at 0:38)