Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins / Photos by Garvin St. Villier
It was a beautiful fall day in Maryland blitzing around town in Automotive Rhythms 400-horsepower Nissan Z Proto Spec coupe. Our model, painted in a vibrant and specialized Ikazuchi Yellow Pearl, came equipped with the 6-speed manual with SynchroRev Match, a mechanical Limited Slip Diff, and of course the 3-liter Twin Turbo V6 borrowed from INFINITI’s Red Sport. We stopped by a few car meets to show it off since many still had not seen the Japanese coupe in the flesh.
On the road the new Z is quick, agile, light on its feet, and well-balanced. Launch Control is featured, and a Limited Slip Differential is available on the Z Performance grades. Sport mode can be engaged, but we didn’t feel much difference. Our ride was outfitted with Proto Spec Exclusive 19″ RAYS forged alloy rims in bronz and staggered 275/35 R19 rear and 255/40 R19 front Bridgestone Potenza rubber with confident grip. Nissan performance brakes are equally impressive. But brake dust accumulates precipitously, thus rendering it difficult keeping the Proto Spec Exclusive yellow calipers pristine.
The interior formula includes leather-appointed power seats, aluminum sport pedals, a handbrake, a triple gauge cluster atop the dash, an 8-speaker Bose audio system, and a 9″ touchscreen. The Proto Spec Exclusive yellow and black two-tone cockpit was captivating as well.
Context on the Z Proto Spec Special Edition
Featured in an Ikazuchi Yellow Pearl hue, the special edition Z Proto Spec model, of which 240 will be produced, was my ichiban choice. Of course, the figure pays homage to the revered 240Z and the original yellow pays respect to past Zs. This vibrant hue was chosen by Yutaka Katayama (Mr. K) to contrast with Mother Earth’s blue skies. Respectively known as the father of the Datsun Z, Katayama was the brain behind Nissan’s U.S. operations in the 70s. The Z Proto Spec highlights bronze 19” RAYS super-lightweight forged aluminum-alloy rims with spokes reminiscent of the Japanese katana (samurai sword), yellow-colored brake calipers with Z logo, exclusive shift lever knob, exclusive Proto Spec leather-appointed seats with yellow accents, and exclusive Proto Spec suede + cloth door trim with yellow stitching.
Our model topped out at $56,210. Let’s ride!