Nissan has taken the covers off the Z Proto, a car that forecasts the successor to the 370Z. But as the covers were peeled back, there was no official reference to what underpins it.
In an interview with Australian media, Hiroshi Tamura, product specialist for the development of the Nissan GT-R and Nismo products, gave significant clues about the underpinnings.
Although stopping short of confirming full details of the next Z-car – expected to be called the 400Z – Tamura unveiled some key information.
While hesitant to talk about the eventual production version, Tamura focussed mainly on the Z Proto itself.
When quizzed about the platform that underpins the twin-turbo V6 prototype, Tamura suggested a “platform solution was still ongoing,” before elaborating further.
“We don’t have many platforms,” Tamura said, referring to Nissan’s global portfolio of products. “The Z platform is already existing, but we have to modify the existing platform.”
While Tamura didn’t expressly address which platform would underpin the next Z, given Nissan’s slim front engine, rear-wheel drive capable parts bin, there’s little chance of anything other than a version of the front-midship, or FM platform, being used.
That said, FM isn’t a static component set. As well as its use under the current 370Z, it also underpinned the 350Z which dates back to 2002.
Other Nissan and Infiniti vehicles with the same chassis hardware include the Infiniti Q50 sedan and Q60 coupe and their predecessors, the much larger Q70, the last Nissan Stagea wagon, and even the QX70 crossover.
Between them a variety of weights, powertrains, and ride heights go some to show what the chassis might be capable of.
Right now the naturally aspirated 245kW/363Nm 3.7-litre V6 engine in the 370Z is a long way off the most powerful application for the FM platform.
Nissan has confirmed the Z Proto is powered by a twin-turbo V6, but hasn’t released engine details. Given the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport (shown above) runs a 3.0-litre V6 rated to 298kW and 475Nm, it’s not hard to see how the current chassis might be adapted to cope.
“Power and torque is quite different, so the platform is modified,” Tamuara reassured. “It is not carry-over.”
As with the initial slow tease of Z Proto information, the 370Z’s replacement, whatever it might be called, is sure to receive a similarly long lead of product info.
Despite the production-ready looks of the Z Proto, some reports suggest a production version could arrive as late as 2023. With that long to wait you can be sure Nissan will have plenty of info to share between now and then to keep enthusiasts interested.