Nissan has a new Z sports car on the way at last, and you may be glad to know you’ve pretty much already seen its final form. Granted, this “new” Z isn’t a completely fresh car; Nissan’s in a tight spot budget-wise, so like the Frontier pickup truck, the Z is being aggressively refreshed using an enhanced version of its old platform, just as rumors suggested. Something these rumors also claimed, though, was that the Z would get the engine from Infiniti’s flagship Q60 coupe, and we’ve just gotten a look under the Z Proto’s hood that suggests that too to be true.
Sneaky photos of the Z Proto’s engine bay made their way to Instagram via user @layersworks, who photographed the concept car as it was being prepared for a display case at Nissan Crossing, a sort of flagship super-dealer in Tokyo. One of the detailers tidying up the car popped its hood, allowing bystanders to snap photos like the ones seen here, which have spread far and wide via NewNissanZ.com.
Though the Z Proto definitely has a unique engine cover, a handful of technical details out the motor as Infiniti’s 3.0-liter, twin-turbo VR30DDTT V6. Both the engine in the Q60 and the Z Proto have three closely spaced coolant caps, plus at least three visible coolant or refrigerant lines routed identically through the engine bay. These dead ringers suggest the base 400Z, as some call it, could have the performance to match the Q60 Red Sport—400 horsepower, 350 pound-feet of torque, and a zero-to-60 time of 4.5 seconds.
Better yet, those rumors that outlined the return of the Nissan FM platform and reuse of the Q60’s motor also alleged the development of a Nismo version, one with up to 475 horsepower and all-wheel drive. Mind you, that’s almost the exact power output of the R35 GT-R when it was new in 2007. Sure, performance cars have come a long way since then, the GT-R included, but it’s tantalizing to imagine that there could be a Z capable of going toe to toe with supercars of a decade ago.
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