Over the weekend the production Japanese-spec Nissan Fairlady Z was finally unveiled at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon. Joining it on stage at the custom car extravaganza, in addition to the standard yellow and blue, was one very orange customized version evoking thoughts of the legendary Fairlady Z432-R.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Nissan Fairlady Z Customized Proto — trying saying that three times fast — is the nose. Its very large rectangular maw has been replaced with a bisected grille with distinct upper and lower elements.
If we had to guess, it’s probably a concession to the many online criticisms about the opening. Nissan has already responded to by giving the upper grille a chrome finish between the Z Proto and production Z, but this takes it one step further. To our eyes, it instantly gives the car a more old school feel, especially from the head-on front view.
The orange paint adds to the throwback vibes as well, with its black highlights an homage to the Z432-R’s black hood. The silver “katana blade” that runs along the roof to the base of the C-pillar is body colored too. If the A-pillars were orange as well, it would probably look even more evocative of 70s-90s Z-cars.
Fender flares nestle black 19-inch aluminum wheels the evoke the classic RS-Watanabe 8-spoke. White-letter tires in front measure the same as the Performance trim’s 255/40-R19, but the rears are slightly wider at 285/35-R19 (vs P275/35-R19).
A rear spoiler also conjures strong images of the Z432, thanks to an orange topside and black underside with a Fairlady Z script emblem affixed to it. If you look closely, you’ll noticed that its exhaust finishers have a split circle design, another tribute to the Z’s twin stacked exhaust pipes.
Let’s get back to the front. Not only is the grille now comprised of two separate ducts, but the lower one is inset, removing a lot of the visual mass that exists in the production Z. The contour that divide the upper and lower sections flows nicely into the black accent stripe along the sides too. The lower section ends juts out like a classic chin spoiler as well, while two cutouts are reminiscent of the air ducts found on BRE spooks. Below them, carbon fiber spoilers finish off the look.
It’s really a beautiful design, a perfect blend of classic and modern. And after seeing it we’re kind of sad that the production Z isn’t getting this nose right from the get-go. Our source at Nissan says, “At this stage we are using the car as a study of possibilities” so unfortunately nothing is set in stone yet. However, during the presentation at the Auto Salon, representatives did say, in response to a question about purchasing the kit, “Please purchase the new Fairlady Z first, and then wait for the aftermarket parts to be released.”
Images courtesy of Nissan.
A vast improvement over the standard Z we have seen so far. this should be the standard body for all Zs.
2 thumbs up.
Love it, love it, LOVE IT!! Much better than the production Z.
Absolutely agree it is much better than the production Z. I bet Nissan adopts this at the next refresh.
Nissan… Can we just get this instead?… Please?
I’m in – when can I order the orange one?
Looks great. I’m not usually a fan of recycling too much of the past designs into the upcoming releases, but that looks super nice.
This is a great look, and in the right direction, nothing wrong with paying homage to the past but this keeps it current as well.
This is so much better than the rest-of-the world Z.
Now if only
1) the rear spoiler would be completely black and a bit less “bolt-on” (e.g. a slightly nicer integrated shape).
2) The a-pillars (or maybe the whole roof section) would be coloured too
It would probably also be worth to have a look at dark overfenders, as it was on the original HS30-H fairlady. but maybe that would be a tad too much again…
Overall, i’d buy this over the american Z anytime…
What about replacing the V6 Turbo engine on the Z with an RB26DETT? I think since the RB was a Skyline Engine and the original z432R S30Z was fitted with an engine from the C10 Skyline GTR, this would be a fitting tribute to the legendary Z432R, in the case of the Z432R-inspired Nissan Z. They got the look right, all they need was the engine, imo
This Fairlady Z gives proper respect to the Z. You see the Z immediately as you view the photos, even from a far distance, that is a Z. Great job Nissan, Keep the ‘LEGEND’ alive and well.
Ok… They fixed it.
A thousand times YES, but I still pine for old-skool horizontal door pulls.
That’s it! They got it right. The front grill change is what was needed to get the look right. Thank God someone allowed the change. Another nice touch is the body colored katana blade. It is nice to point it out on a show car but is much better body colored. I like the two tone coloring of the rear spoiler although it may need to be 1.5 inches taller with square sides more like the original BRE. The black eight spoke Watanabi looking wheels give the proper look for a Z.
I think this is an improvement, should’ve been made a standard bodykit for all of the “New Zs” variants. Now, since this is a Z432R S30Z homage,why Nissan didn’t swap the “Z34B”‘s V6 engine with an RB26DETT engine, since they are re-producing older RB26DE parts for older Skylines? Then assign guys from NISMO, Autech, STAR ROAD and Top Secret to do the RB26DETT specifically for this Z432R throwback, that would be the best thing since the original Z432R S30Z itself.