A dealership employee is to blame.
Whenever there is an "it car" there is a natural progression of news. It starts with rumors, concepts, test mules, prototypes, and then inches toward production, deliveries, and then the first crash. Yes, the new 2023 Nissan Z has crashed, and pretty severely, not by the new owner but by the dealership responsible for selling the car.
The incident happened in the US territory of Puerto Rico. Reports suggest that a dealer employee was pushing the Rosewood Metallic car too hard in a parking lot and slid out, colliding with a Ram 2500 pickup truck. As you can see from the video and screen grabs, all of the airbags have deployed, and many panels are banged up, meaning this is probably a total loss for a desirable sports car that Nissan dealers are asking over double the MSRP for.
The Facebook video clip posted by user Rubert is sparse on details but simply says, "Well first one to bite the dust…" The video posted this past Sunday, August 21, has been circulating but has also been taken down in a few locations too. We imagine that is because the dealership is not pleased with the negative media attention and that the publisher may be employed in some capacity.
It's not difficult to understand how the driver may have lost the back end of the car. Given the wet conditions displayed in the video, the 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque could easily have overwhelmed the rear tires. The red brake calipers and wheel design indicate that this variant was the Performance derivative, which has a limited-slip differential at the rear to provide more control. Clearly, however, the driver was unable to regain control within the tight confines of a parking lot.
The net result of the crash is that the entire left side of the Z is mangled, airbags popped, and the hood appears to be bent too. Considering this is a brand new sports car with likely not a load of replacement parts yet, it may just be a total insurance write-off.
Since this is a 2023 Nissan Z Performance, the owner will certainly be wanting compensation for this mess. Even if they only paid MSRP - $49,990 for the Z Performance - the delay alone in waiting for a new one will be highly frustrating. Aside from the negative impacts for the dealership, we're not sure if this Z was a vehicle that has been marked up as we have seen lofty markups in other US territories and even crazier ones on the mainland.
The 2023 Nissan Z has been hard to obtain, and we have even heard reports of dealers hoarding them for themselves. A Z being crashed just made them all that more rare and desirable, so markups will likely continue to soar. We reached out to Nissan about the current markup debacle and were supplied with the following:
"We are aware of the strong demand for the limited-edition Nissan Z Proto Spec. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) are determined after extensive research to provide the right value proposition for the customer, however, the final price of a vehicle is determined by the selling dealer."
We're glad no one was hurt and trust the dealer will give the buyer proper compensation. But with all the sketchy dealer activity surrounding the new Z, Nissan dealers aren't looking very professional as of late.