New Z Proto reveal next week
Teaser shows off classic design cues, manual gearbox?
Is the new Z car getting a manual transmission? Nissan’s latest teaser for the car says maybe it will, going against the steamrollering trend of two-pedals only even in sports cars.
The teaser shows off most of the Datsun and Nissan Z-car generations, making parade laps around an unidentified test track. It then shows off features of the old cars and hints that the new Z Proto (short for prototype) will have similar styling. Like the round sunken-in headlights of the original 240Z (except don’t expect them to actually be sunken for aero reasons), or the long, rectangular taillights of the 1990s 300ZX. And of course the long nose, sloping roofline, and short rear deck that’s been part of the car’s design profile since the original.
It’s the last couple of frames, though, that caught our attention. A driver’s right hand reaches down and clutches the gearshift. What kind of shifter is hiding underneath that hand? Sure there’s yellow dash stitching, but we don’t care about that right now. What we want to know is if that driver is clutching the wide shift lever of an automatic transmission, or if they’re holding onto the control panel of a three-pedal, mechanical linkage, traditional manual transmission.
We’re really hoping for the latter, though this definitely isn’t a confirmation. The new Z, expected to be badged 400Z, will be shown on September 16th, and maybe then Nissan will be ready to tell us all the technical details. Like are enthusiasts going to be happy with the gearbox choices, or will the automaker be bombarded with angry cries on social media?