The global reveal of the prototype Nissan 400Z garnered huge media traction but a few South Africans recently had a chance to see the ‘Proto’ in the flesh.
“The newly designed Nissan 400Z continues to offer sports car lovers high-performance excitement and a true sports car at heart” says Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice president of global design, adding the look and feel was inspired by a bold sense of homage tone, with a futuristic feeling that travels between the decades; from the first iteration of the model to the highly desired futuristic appeal.
“Although the 400Z is a global prototype sports car, we finally see that Nissan’s ambition to pioneer and refine the S30 to represent past references of Z,” says Kabelo Rabotho, marketing director at Nissan South Africa.
The sports car segment of the South African passenger car market is small (it represents around 1% of the total passenger car market) but significant, with competing models playing an important role in not only catering to the growing number of sports car enthusiasts but also representing and building the brand.
“Nissan has delivered a sports car that is the spirit of the organisation,” says Rabotho.
Speaking at the Club23 Garage with Z and GT-R club members, Nissan’s Public Relationsr, Veralda Schmidt gave attention to the 400Z Proto being praised by true petrol heads who reminisced on the characteristics of the Z-badge.
Club23 Garage is a ‘home’ for Z and GT-R owners where the bond between driver and car is reignited through professional fine-tuning workmanship delivered by Janus Janse van Rensburg and Jacques van Onsellen, as co-founders of the business.
“We love to share the spirit of Z, in particular, we look forward to seeing the 400Z take the roads of South Africa for enjoyable and relaxing cruises on open roads,” outgoing product manager for sportscars at Nissan, Van Rensburg said.
The Club23 Garage has its retro-fitted workstations and racing gear to attract even the newest of drivers who appreciate high performance and technical advice.
Following the global reveal on September 16, Rabotho asserts that “the Z Proto represents our commitment to the soul of Nissan, imparting a deep sense of loyalty to fans, to our heritage.”
With the 400Z, Nissan is reminded that passion for the future is born out of a momentous past that customers emotionally connect with.
“It is too early to tell when the 400Z will be available in South Africa when the information is shared, it will be communicated at the appropriate time,” Schmidt commented.