The new twin-turbocharged V6 engine should make this an epic sports car.
Nearly one year after the Z Proto Concept made its debut, the production 2023 Nissan Z has finally arrived. Even the cancelled New York Auto Show couldn't stop Nissan from revealing its new sports car, which has been highly-anticipated for several years. No more rumors; we finally know how much power the Z's 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine will produce.
Nissan says the engine will produce 400 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 350 lb-ft of torque from 1,600 to 5,600 rpm. These are the same power and torque figures from the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 Red Sport 400. No exact performance stats are available yet, but Nissan claims the increased power should make the new Z 15% quicker to 60 mph than the outgoing 370Z. That car could hit 60 mph in five seconds flat, so this new could should hit the mark in approximately 4.3 seconds.
The new Z retains a strong connection to the driver with a standard six-speed manual transmission sending power to the rear wheels. Nissan says the close-ratio transmission was designed to glide into gear with minimal effort using an EXEDY high-performance clutch. A launch assist control system is available for the first time on a manual-equipped Z and Nissan's SynchroRev Match technology carries over on the Performance model. Buyers can also opt for a nine-speed automatic transmission with aluminum paddle shifters from the sold-out GT-R. The nine-speed includes a Normal mode for commuting and a Sport mode for spirited driving.
Nissan enhanced the body rigidity to improve the car's handling, with a new monotube shock absorber design in the front and rear minimizing road impacts and improving stability. While the outgoing 370Z used an old-school hydraulic steering rack, the new Z gains electronic power steering with rack assist. Nissan says the new rack has a "strong mechanical feel," but we hope it feels more connected than Infiniti's over-assisted system.
Four standard ventilated disc brakes measure 12.6 inches (front) and 12.1 inches (rear) on the Sport Grade or 14 inches (front) and 13.8 inches (rear) on the Performance grade. The base Sport trim gets two-piston front and single-piston rear calipers, while the Performance model gets four-piston front and two-piston rears painted in red. The Z Sport rides on 18-inch wheels wrapped in Yokohama ADVAN Sport tires, and the Z Performance gets upgraded to forged 19-inch RAYS wheels with Bridgestone Potenza S007 rubber. The Performance grade also receives a limited-slip differential.
Nissan followed a "tradition with modern technology" approach to designing the new Z. The proportions harken back to a traditional rear-wheel-drive sports car with a long hood and low silhouette. The new Z bears inspiration from past generations, including half-circle headlights from the Japan-only 240ZG, squared rear end from the original 240Z, and rear taillights inspired by the Z32 300ZX. Buyers can order the new Z in one of three monotone colors, or six two-tone combinations with a black roof.
As with the exterior, the Z's cabin blends the old with the new. The dashboard still features three analog pod gauges (boost, turbo speed, and voltage) with a modern 8-inch touchscreen mounted in the center. A 9-inch screen with navigation and an eight-speaker Bose audio system comes standard on the Z Performance. All Z grades include a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster with customizable modes. Normal mode includes navigation and audio information, enhanced mode pushes the tachometer and speedometer to the sides to make the vehicle information more prominent, and sport mode does the opposite, prioritizing the tachometer in the center.
Black cloth seats with manual adjustment come standard on the Z Sport, with the Z Performance gaining heated leather chairs with power adjustment. Buyers can choose from black, red, or blue leather, and special yellow accents are also available. Even the base car comes well-equipped with push-button start, adaptive cruise control, automatic temperature control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and front and rear sonar sensors. The Z retains its two-seater layout with a nicely-sized hatchback trunk.
Pricing for the 2023 Nissan Z is not available yet, but rumors suggest it could start at around $35,000. We should receive more information before the car goes on sale in spring 2022. For the US market, Nissan will offer the Sport and Performance grades with either the six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic. To pay homage to the Z Proto, Nissan will build a special edition Proto Spec model, limited to only 240 units (nod to the original 240Z). This model includes several design elements from the Z Proto, including yellow brake calipers, bronze RAYS wheels, suede/cloth seats with yellow accents, yellow stitching, and an exclusive gear lever on manual models.