The Nissan Z Proto Is In America And It Looks Amazing

Illustration for article titled The Nissan Z Proto Is In America And It Looks Amazing
Photo: Chris Forsberg Racing (used with permission

The Nissan Z Proto, 400Z, the 370Z update with the 400-horsepower twin-turbo 3.0-liter VR30...whatever you want to call it, it’s here in America and it looks so much better out of the confines of Nissan’s Japanese press tour. It helps that it visited Chris Forsberg Racing, probably the best modern Z shop in the country.

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Forsberg has run a Z in Formula drift since 2003 and has done the job with all kinds of engine configurations, from a little turbo SR20 to Nissan’s giant 5.6-liter V8 out of an abandoned truck racing series entry to a twin-turbo VQ that actually sounded good to its current R35 GT-R engine setup. The guy knows Zs, and his 280Z shows it. No better place to bring the new Z Proto, then.

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The car looks so much more real out in the wild than in Nissan’s museum (it’s in this video here) or in its well-curated press photos. It looks like a Z car, and you can really appreciate the retro touches put on the car, a mix of the first-gen S30 to the Bubble Era Z32 300ZX.

Forsberg spends some time talking with photo ace Larry Chen about the color of the car, how the yellow looks different under different lighting conditions. What interests me more is how jazzed he and Larry seem about the thing, and how quickly they start nerding out on various design touches. They look comfortable with the car, which is all Nissan could hope for, I’m sure.

Now I just have to go hunt down Rob Fuller at the legendary Z Car Garage and find out what he thinks.

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Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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