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Nissan’s hotly-anticipated next-generation Z car, as previewed by the just revealed Z Proto, has been conceived with aftermarket tuners and modifications in mind, according its designer.
Speaking to journalists after Z Proto unveiling, Nissan senior vice-president of global design Alfonso Albaisa said him and his team are acutely aware of the extensive individualisation of Z sports cars from their owners.
“One of the things that we completely understand, especially as social media reminds us, is how people modify cars immediately when they own Z cars,” he said.
“These are things we welcome and I have, personally, a sense of curiosity.”
However, that doesn’t mean Mr Albaisa and the Nissan design team didn’t have their work cut out to pen the Z Proto that harkens back to the likes of the 240Z, 300ZX and 370Z of the past, as well as looking modern for a 2020 audience.
The teardrop-headlights and rectangular front air intake are homages to those cars of the past, while the rear tail-light design and black shroud are lifted straight from the 300ZX, albeit with some modern touches.
Other parts such as the semi-hidden door handles, steeply-raked roofline and muscular rear haunches will also be carried despite owner customisation.
However, Mr Albaisa said he looks forward to how creative people will get with the latest Z car once it is in their hands.
“I’m not saying this is a blank canvas, it’s not. It’s complete and its intentionally beautiful,” he said.
“These things are the things we really wanted to express, and then I easily imagine the hood gets blacked out in carbon by suppliers and outside people.
“This is stuff that we love to see because that’s why people buy a Z – they buy a Z and make it their Z.”
Being a Japanese sports car, the next Z car – rumoured to be called 400Z – will no doubt get the support from the aftermarket like its forebears, so expect Rays Volk TE37s, big rear spoilers and coilover suspension before long.
But as a car enthusiast working amongst others steeped in car modification culture, Mr Albaisa said customisation was running through his mind during each development stage of the Z Proto.
“I do watch Z Con and all of these events, and when you’re designing a parting line and stuff like that, you imagine “I think this would be great if it was blacked out” … you have it in your consciousness because you might do it yourself for your own private car,” he said.
“You know, we have some GT-Rs and Zs in our parking lot that are not stock.”
While the vehicle’s exterior components are easily modified, it remains unclear if the engine will also be as flexible.
If the rumours prove true, the engine will be a 3.0-litre VR30DDETT six-cylinder from the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport, which outputs up to 298kW/475Nm.