The Z’s exterior design pays homage to the 240Z, the original Z car that helped establish Nissan’s reputation as a global sports car manufacturer. In an interview with Road & Track, Nissan’s senior vice president for global design, Alfonso Albaisa, said that he wanted the new Z to emulate the hero-car feeling of the 240Z mixed in with the minimalism of the 300ZX. These influences can be seen in the new Z’s shape, with a classically-proportioned front end that closely resembles the 240Z when the two cars are put side-by-side. Likewise, the rear of the car features taillights that mirror the design of the Z32 300ZX.
Over 100 initial design proposals were reportedly submitted from design teams around the globe, but the final design was penned by a Japanese team led by Naoyuki Ohkoshi, a Nissan veteran who’s spent more than 20 years working for the company. Along with taking inspiration from previous Z models, the designers also worked to incorporate the golden ratio, a mathematical expression that’s considered to make things look pleasing to the eye. According to Nissan, elements of the front and rear, window height, and door panel incorporate the golden ratio to “impress a natural beauty and pleasing aesthetic to all.”