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Just like its sports car brother, the next-generation Nissan Z sports car had been a long time coming. But thankfully that statement is now a past perfect tense (sort of) with the introduction of the Nissan Z Proto this week.

Finally, we've had a glimpse of what's in store for the next Z car, which is rumored to be called 400Z – at least in prototype form. But then again, Nissan's boss Makoto Uchida said that the Z Proto is "close to final," so we're basically looking at the production version, whether you like it or not.

Gallery: Nissan Z Proto

Now, the question is, why did Nissan take its time in making the next Z car? Of note, the Nissan 370Z hit the showrooms back in 2008, effectively marking a 12-year gap between Z generations. Still not as old as the current Nissan GT-R, though, but I digress.

It was a case of timing and what the market wants, according to Z, GT-R and Nismo product specialist Hiroshi Tamura, speaking to the media during the Z Proto reveal and as reported by Australia's CarsGuide. It seems so that timing is very important for the automaker, and for them, now's the right time.

But if you think that Nissan took those 12 long years to develop an all-new, built-from-the-ground-up Z car, there's a point of contention based on reports. Allegedly, it will still be underpinned by the FM architecture, albeit revamped, plus the power plant will be the existing 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 from the Infiniti Q50 and Q60.

Then again, Nissan's proud of its heritage and repurposing saves the marque a lot in development costs. If there's any silver lining, Tamura-san said that the next Z car will be a standalone model, unlike its competitors.

"Our Z is Z, Z is standalone," Tamura said. What a way to throw shade on the Z car's nearest competitor, the Toyota Supra.

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