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Nissan Z Proto missing something big for a 21st century project

Last night, Z fans around the world waited with baited breath to see the new Nissan Z Proto. After browsing social media this morning, it seems like most people are satisfied with the concept. But it’s missing something.

Is it wrong to bring up the lack of any alternative powertrain options on a new sports car? No, I don’t think so. Additionally, the last Z was introduced in 2009, meaning this new Z will live with us for awhile. In fact, if it follows the same pattern, it’ll be potentially 2030 before we see an updated car.

That’s just too long to wait.

Yes, Nissan could in a mid-cycle refresh add a hybrid or plug-in hybrid option. They could take the tech they’re putting in future EVs like the Ariya and bring it over to the Z. What’s a bit disappointing, however, is that it’s not in the prototype.

While most of what we see with the new Nissan Z will make production, it’s still a concept. It’s a chance to go a little bit wild. Remember the IDx? I do. They ultimately didn’t put it in production, according to The Drive, for a variety of reasons that makes sense. But it was a crazy concept at the time. A return to form.

The new Nissan Z will likely be a hoot to drive. Even though the current generation is up there in age, the current generation is fun to drive. Nissan can make cars that are fun to drive.

It’s also hard to argue a twin-turbo 6-cylinder engine and a 6-speed manual transmission with rear-wheel drive. It’s the recipe for sports car fun.

If this new Z would only live for a few model years before a refresh, I could understand. But with a product that might have to last a decade, there needs to be something under the hood that’s electrified.

Maybe something like that will actually make the production version? We’ll have to wait and see.

Written by Chad Kirchner
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