More than a decade after the first Nissan 370Z debuted – an eternity in sports car years – its replacement has finally arrived. Meet the 2023 Nissan Z coupe. The highly anticipated sports car debuted today in New York City on the heels of what would have been the New York Auto Show (thanks, Covid), sporting a new twin-turbocharged V6 engine, an upgraded interior, and styling nearly identical to the Z Proto concept we saw less than a year ago. And it will all cost "around $40,000," according to Nissan.
The Nissan Z comes in two flavors at launch: Sport and Performance, with a special Proto Spec option on the top-end model that draws inspiration from last year's well-received concept. On all models, the Z Proto’s pointed nose, squared-off grille, and retro LED light fixtures carry over, as do the details on the rear end. A black partition extends the length of the bumper, housing the horizontal LED taillights underneath, and a gloss black diffuser surrounds dual exhaust tips. Performance models feature a subtle rear spoiler as well.
The base Sport model wears 18-inch wheels and the Performance trim borrows its 19-inch rims from the Z Proto, while Nissan offers nine exterior color options at launch. Buyers can select from six two-tone paints, each with a contrasting black roof: Brilliant Silver, Boulder Gray, Seiran Blue, Ikazuchi Yellow, Passion Red, and Everest White. Or, Nissan offers three single-tone paint options: Black Diamond, Gun Metallic, and Rosewood Metallic.
The cabin blends modern technology and comfort with classic cues. The bucket seats mimic those found in the GT-R supercar, with standard black cloth or leather available on the Performance trim. The center stack features a dash-mounted cluster of analog gauges inspired by the 240Z, with readouts for turbocharger boost, turbocharger turbine speed, and a voltmeter. And front and center sits a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen display, while a larger 9.0-inch touchscreen with navigation and Wi-Fi is available on the Performance trim.
The Proto Spec, meanwhile, features a few unique elements on the exterior to tie it visually to the concept, like yellow-colored brake calipers and bronze 19-inch RAYS wheels, while the cabin dons a Proto Spec leather with yellow accents and suede inserts. Nissan is limiting the Z Proto Spec to just 240 examples (we see what you did there) in the US, and it's available exclusively as an option on the Performance trim.
Along with all that performance, Nissan added some necessary safety equipment to the mix. The Z offers standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a blind-spot warning, a lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Nissan hasn’t announced things like pricing or availability, but we expect the new Z to start somewhere around the $40,000 mark. The new sports car will go on sale sometime early in 2022, and we can’t wait.
Speaking of performance – a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 powers the new Z, and is good for a mighty 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts) and 350 pound-feet (475 newton-meters) of torque sent exclusively to the rear wheels. Those numbers represent an improvement of 68 hp (51 kW) and 80 lb-ft (108 nm) over the outgoing 370Z. And while Nissan doesn’t list an exact 0-60 time, the company says this new version should be 15 percent quicker to 60 than the car it replaces. By our math, that puts it in the high four-second mark.
A six-speed manual is the standard transmission, and it pairs with a high-performance clutch, baked-in rev-matching, and even a launch control system on the Performance model. Launch control and rev-matching also carry over to the optional nine-speed automatic transmission, as does a limited-slip differential. The Performance model also gets aluminum paddle shifters inspired by the GT-R.
Although the new Z’s platform itself is essentially a carryover from the current 370, Nissan improved its structural rigidity, tweaked the suspension, added an electronic power steering with what the company promises is a “strong mechanical feel,” and fitted both trims with wider front tires. The base 18-inch wheel wears Yokohama Advan Sport tires measuring in at 248/45 all around, while the 19-inch wheel on the Performance model features Bridgestone Potenza S007 tires at 255/40 front and 275/35 rear. The increase in grip improves cornering Gs by up to 13 percent.
• Manufacturer: Nissan
• Country: Japan
• Year: 2023
• Type: Street car
• Division: N400
• Engine: VR30DDTT 60º V6
• Power: 400 HP / 6400 rpm
• Torque: 475 Nm / 1600 - 5600 rpm
• Engine location: Front
• Displacement: 3042 cc
• Construction: Aluminium alloy block and head
• Compression: 10.3:1
• Valvetrain: 4 valves / cylinder, DOHC
• Aspiration: Twin Turbo (T)
• Lubrication: Dry sump
• 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) Time: Unknown
• Top Speed: Unknown
• Power-to-weight ratio: --- hp/kg
• Layout: FR
• Drive: Rear wheel drive
• Body: Aluminium doors, engine cover and rear hatch
• Chassis: Unitary steel
• Gearbox: 6 speed Manual
• Steering: Electric power steering
• Front brakes: Ventilated discs, 320mm (12.6 in), 2-pot caliper, ABS
• Rear brakes: Ventilated discs, 307mm (12.1 in), 1-pot caliper, ABS
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
• Lenght: 4379 mm
• Width: 1844 mm
• Height: 1316 mm
• Weight: --- kg