Nissan unveils prototype of 7th generation Fairlady Z

©Kyodo News

Nissan Motor Co. unveiled Wednesday the prototype of the seventh generation of its iconic sports car the Fairlady Z, the first update since 2008.

The struggling Japanese automaker showcased at an online event the yellow-painted vehicle with its legendary sleek silhouette body and V-6 twin turbocharged engine with six-speed manual transmission.

Nissan said in May that it plans to introduce 12 new models, including the revamped Fairlady Z, by the end of the next year as part of efforts to turn around its business.

"It's a key model in our transformation plan and it's proof of our ability to do what others do not dare to do," Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida said at the virtual event.

But the automaker did not disclose when it will start selling the new Fairlady Z.

Making its debut in 1969, Nissan has globally sold about 1.8 million units of Fairlady Z, also known abroad as the Datsun Z. The sports car contributed to the automaker getting a firm footing in the U.S. market in the 1970s.