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All-new Z exterior designer Naoyuki Ohkoshi and interior designer Takuya Yamashita
We journey further into the design story of the all-new Nissan Z by sitting down with exterior designer Naoyuki Ohkoshi and interior designer Takuya Yamashita, to gather their personal insights on the Z’s fresh look.
Ohkoshi joined the Nissan design team in 1997. Notable past projects in his portfolio include the 2009 INFINITI QX60 and the 2012 QX80, as well as projects with Daimler and supplier Magna. Yamashita is a newer member of the Nissan global design team, coming on board just four years ago. He’s already raising eyebrows and exceeding expectations with his interior design touches.
Q: How did you feel when you were chosen for the team to design the all-new Z?
Ohkoshi: I was really happy. It’s a great opportunity to design such an iconic car. Of course, it was not just me, it was a team effort as with all our vehicle designs. Actually, I didn’t feel worried or nervous with the design because I was having so much fun. Of course, I felt a lot of pressure to get it right for fans around the world.
Yamashita: To be chosen to design the Z, a car that I admired and loved since my childhood, was an honor and it made me very happy. I definitely felt a high level of responsibility, as the Z is considered a Nissan icon. By showing the utmost respect to the history of the car and to those who helped build the Z into what it is today, I wanted to create the best design yet.
Q: Was the Z designed exclusively by Nissan’s Japanese design team or was there an opportunity for global teams to participate? And which design came first, the exterior or interior?
Ohkoshi: There was a global design competition where various design teams from Japan, China, the U.S. and the UK submitted sketches. About 100 were submitted, with the round of selections rendered as 3-D data models. From those, three finalists were chosen and made into full-size clay models. Once these were completed, our executives studied each design carefully and chose a winner, which turned out to be the entry from the Japan team.
Yamashita: After the exterior shape and key proportions were worked out, the interior design process began. Initially, the interior of the Z was meant to be a simple evolution of the current Z’s interior. However, we decided to go in a different direction after some input from our executives: They were Z fans and wanted the model to be equally great inside and out. The original interior design would have been a simpler task, but they did not want to compromise anything with this car. This made me very happy.
Further information in the press release to download
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