Economy & Tech
‘Fun’ Comes Back to Driving with Nissan’s New Fairlady Z Prototype Sports Car
Nissan revealed its new Fairlady Z prototype for the first time at an online event on September 16.
The latest Fairlady Z is a modern version of previous models, such as the first-generation model, complete with V6 twin-turbo engine. In bringing the new car to market, Nissan’s plans demonstrate hope that it will help turn around flagging sales.
The new prototype inherits classic Z features, such as the gently curved rear. The headlight design comprises LEDs and is reminiscent of the first-generation S30 type headlights. The body color is yellow, while the transmission is manual.
“The Z is the soul of Nissan, and it is an important model within the company’s structural reform,” said Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida.
A Sports Car for Everyone that Fuses Tradition and Innovation
The Fairlady Z was initially launched in 1969. The name A Sports Car for Everyone that Fuses Tradition and Innovationcaptures a sense of elegant beauty, as well as something ultimate – through using the final letter of the alphabet.
After the sixth-generation model was released in 2008, the car underwent a few partial improvements. However, it took more than 10 years for a fully improved version – the seventh-generation model – to be created.
Uchida, who revealed the first car he ever bought was a Fairlady Z, commented, “As a fan, I am proud to make this announcement. Inheriting the tradition of innovation.”
The yellow vehicle body unveiled on September 16 is a prototype, the “design of which is almost complete,” explained Uchida.
Nissan engineers are currently adding a few finishing touches.
According to one Nissan representative, the design of the car is “new yet nostalgic.” The hood inherits the classic “long nose, short deck” design feature. There are also some modern touches though, such as the futuristic lights and fully digital meters.
The first-generation Z was developed based on the technology of Japan’s first-ever sports car, which was released as a limited-edition car in 1952.
Between 1969 and 1978, Nissan sold roughly 520,000 units of the Fairlady Z, mainly to the U.S. – which was the highest in the world for its genre. Uchida explains that this was because the car “broke the mold in terms of sports cars across the world.”
Specifically, the car has both the acceleration and design of a sports car. Yet it is also affordable, with its price being in the 3.5 to 4 million JPY range ($33,500 ~ $42,000 USD).
At the same time, its design is such that it can also be used for shopping and travel, prompting a Nissan representative to describe it as a “sports car for everyone, that is attractive to many.” Which is a concept that has been carried on from previous models.
Currently, Nissan is about 670 billion JPY ($6.4 billion USD) in the red following issues such as those concerning ex-CEO Carlos Ghosn. Sales have also been hit by COVID-19.
Nevertheless, Nissan is pushing ahead with next-generation technology such as electric vehicles, and the “fun” Fairlady Z, in an attempt to turn around the company’s fortunes.
(Read the related articles in Japanese here and here.)
Author: Yoshitake Imamura
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