So far, Nissan has kept most of the next Z sports car's key specs a secret, but now, thanks to the Proto version's recent inclusion in a video game, we may now know what to expect from the Japanese automaker's long-awaited coupe.
As part of its "Power Pack" DLC released last week, Project Cars 3 now features the 2021 Nissan Z Proto, and y'know how racing games like to show a car's stats so you can make an informed decision before a race? As posted to the NewNissanZ.com forums, the virtual Z Proto is good for 444 horsepower and weighs 3,252 pounds.
This would make it more powerful and lighter than both the 370Z it replaces as well as its natural rival, the Toyota Supra. The former produces 332 hp while weighing 3,333 pounds and the latter currently pumps out 382 hp and weighs 3,400 pounds—all specs that are accurately reflected in Project Cars 3's car list, for what it's worth. Nissan has previously confirmed that the next Z will come with an "enhanced" twin-turbo V6 paired to a standard six-speed manual.
Granted, a video game listing for what is technically still a prototype is in no way a confirmation that these are the numbers one should expect from the eventual, production-ready Z. On the other hand, the Project Cars series does pride itself on authenticity and one of its development team recently revealed that the way the car drives in-game was indeed made to mimic the real Proto as closely as possible.
"That’s a tradition at SMS — I’ve test-driven every new car in our sims for a decade now, and it’s always a special feeling," Slight Mad Studios lead vehicle artist Jan Frischkorn wrote for Xbox Wire. "Knowing the car is basically as close to the real-thing as current simulation technology allows and knowing the only people in the world who’ve driven it (and who will ever drive it) are Nissan’s small group of real-world test drivers—well, you know, it’s pretty cool!"
Nissan declined to comment on the validity of this claim, saying that it does not comment on future products.
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