VIDEO: Nissan Z Proto designers talk about what inspired them

The Nissan Z Proto’s design leads, Executive Design Director Satoru Tai and Senior VP of Global Design Alfonso Albaisa, both have a strong love for Z-cars and worked on past Z generations. Tai said he in fact wanted to be a car designer because of the original S30 Fairlady Z. Eventually, he landed a job at Nissan and was part of the design team that created the Z32. The S30 also inspired Albaisa’s career choice, and on a trip to Japan as a young designer at Nissan on a trip to  actually saw Tai working on the Z32. He went on to contribute to the Z33’s design.

In watching the video, though, Z fans will undoubtedly notice the distinct lack of a Z31 in the 1:5 scale model lineup. We’re not saying the Z Proto has to have design cues from the Z31, but why not have it in the lineup? Without it, the leap from S130 to Z32 seems a bit too great. In any case, it’s good to see the Z Proto alongside the cars that inspired it, even if they’re not life-sized. The designers’ intertwining histories and how those journeys led to the Z Proto make for a good story.

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9 Responses to VIDEO: Nissan Z Proto designers talk about what inspired them

  1. Lee L says:

    Nissan really likes to leave out the Z31. At least put a 50th AE or a Shiro up there!

  2. CycoPablo says:

    Z31: Don’t blame them TBH.
    Work colleague had an 85 auto. His ex-wife was dating a guy with an RX7, and the Z31 owner had the gall to say it wasn’t a sports car!

    • Lee L says:

      Z31 is a very unique car. On paper it’s not all that impressive, especially an N/A Auto, but the Turbo cars were pretty fast for the day.

      It’s one of those unexplainable things, but the Z31 has a personality and there’s something about driving a digi-dash Z31 late at night on quiet streets during winter, t-tops off and the heat blasting. It’s an experience.

  3. Socarboy says:

    What will save Nissan is to get back to their roots…and to follow Toyota’s business model

  4. DesignerD says:

    I still think they missed the opportunity to create a modern Z for the EV era. This rebodied 370 just seems so old now. Nissan led the industry with rolling out the Leaf but couldn’t do this? SO now you have a car that can’t be sold in Europe or places with high fleet restrictions due to emissions.

    • Mr. K says:

      Totally agree. I had a 350z and really wanted something more fresh. I see barely any difference to the 370z which people already say looks dated. I would have rather seen something lighter in weight with a smaller displacement engine. Of course something electric would be even more cool.

  5. F31Roger says:

    I do love this type of history, that insider perspective.

    I like how he says balance “Z-ness, nissan-ness”

    Kinda sad that they didn’t have the Z31 there.

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