The Nissan Z Proto has excited enthusiasts with its skillful reimagining of the Z-car idea that at the same time references the best of the model’s past. Nissan now has released a video giving the design backstory of the sports car concept.
The video features Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan senior vice president of global design, and Saturo Tai, executive design director. Tai says the original Datsun Z is the car that as a kid made him want to be a car designer. Once he got to Nissan Design, he was part of the team that did the 1990 300ZX. Albaisa says that he, too, was spurred to become a car designer by the original Z. Early in his career, he was involved in shaping the 350Z.
Tai claims that he initially wanted to create something all-new for the latest Z car, but “gradually I was kind of persuaded [that] maybe we should go back to the original one.” He identifies the grille shape as one of the elements of the Z Proto that was inspired by the original 240Z, and the first-generation Z’s scooped-out headlamps are referenced in the rounded, double-arch light graphic of the Z Proto. The taillamps, meanwhile, echo the theme of those on the 1990 300ZX but execute the idea with more modern technology.
Overall, Tai asserts that the Z Proto has what he characterizes as a balance between modernness, Z-ness, and Nissan-ness. Check out the video to learn more about the thought process behind the new sports car.