Nissan's 2023 Z drops the prefix but adds extra power
Nissan has unveiled the seventh generation of the Z car, which drops the numerical prefix in the US for the first time to be simply known as the “Z.” The Nissan Z packs a twin-turbo V6 providing an increase in power output, and will hit US showrooms in spring.
With the last-minute cancellation of the North American International Auto Show in New York, several automakers like Nissan had to scramble to find a new plan for their unveils. For Nissan, the solution was to hold a small, private event, and globally transmit it live online. Several Z car enthusiasts from around the US were brought to New York City with their favorite, personal Z cars, to see the new Z and give it their stamp of approval. That paved the way for the presentation of Nissan’s new sports coupe.
The new Z, which will be sold globally, rolled onto the stage in New York and it became immediately apparent that the Z Prototype we’d seen previously was very close to the production version of this car. The lines, silhouette, and rear portion of the car are nearly identical, and the door handles are recessed and made palm-shaped to meld with the rear portion of the door.
Proportionally, the new Z is very much like the current 370Z, but its design hallmarks are from the 240Z and 300Z that came before. The hatchback, in particular, is much more fastback in design compared to the current 370Z. The long-hooded, rear-powered, saloon appeal of the new Z is striking, with the unique half-circle headlamps inspired by the original 240ZG sold in Japan in the 1970s. It’s clear that the Sport (standard) model of the Z will have simpler lines and a less aggressive look, while the Performance model will have a more robust rear spoiler and flashier trim details.
Under the hood is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that outputs 400 horsepower (298 kW) at 6,400 RPM and 350 lb-ft (475 Nm) of torque starting at 1,600 RPM. With the 30 percent increase in torque from the 370Z, Nissan expects the new Nissan Z to have a 15 percent improvement in 0 to 60 mph (0-92 km/h) acceleration. Doing the math, since Nissan didn’t do it for us, that tells us the new Z does 0-60 in about 4.25 seconds.
Nissan’s focus for the new Z’s engine was on turbocharging. Small-diameter turbos and a calibrated turbo speed sensor allow turbocharging to run to maximum spooling speed quicker to balance power output, and electronic variable valve timing for the intake allows for a variety of driving scenarios for the Z, from fuel efficiency and quiet as a focus to high response and a powerful pace as another.
The new twin-turbo six has a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission and high-performance clutch as standard. A nine-speed automatic is optional and includes paddle shifting and launch control. Sticking with the manual means a carbon fiber composite drive shaft and launch assist control for smoother takeoffs. All Nissan Z models are rear-wheel driven.
Other improvements to the Z for this generation include enhanced body rigidity and wider front tires for an improved corner g maximum. Large diameter monotube shocks, electronic power steering, and a new geometry for the double wishbone aluminum suspension up front improves handling. A two-point front strut tower brace is standard, as is an independent, multi-link aluminum suspension at the rear.
Performance models will have sport braking added, as well as 19-inch Rays super lightweight forged aluminum-alloy wheels with Bridgestone Potenza S007 tires. Standard models have 18-inch wheels and Yokohama Advan Sport tires.
Nissan will offer the 2023 Z in three monotone colors: Black Diamond Metallic, Gun Metallic, and Rosewood Metallic. Optionally, six colors can be combined with a Super Black roof color for a two-tone exterior. Those colors include Brilliant Silver, Boulder Gray, Seiran Blue, Ikazuchi Yellow, Passion Red TriCoat, and Everest White Pearl TriCoat.
Inside, the 2023 Nissan Z has elements inspired by Super GT500 driver Tsugio Matsuda. A 12.3-inch customizable digital meter display replaces the traditional gauges behind the wheel. In sport driving, the Z’s center display has quick-read GT500 hallmarks like a center-point redline shift. A boost gauge and G meter can also be displayed. In regular driving, the screen features standard driver-centric information such as turn-by-turn navigation, radio settings, and so forth.
The standard Z has sport-grade black woven cloth seats and manual driver and passenger seat adjustments. The Performance model includes leather appointments and power seat adjustment. Most of Nissan’s convenience features such as Intelligent Key, push button start, Intelligent (adaptive) Cruise Control, and other items are standard. An 8-inch touchscreen for infotainment is in the Sport model, while the Z Performance upgrades to a 9-inch screen and adds NissanConnect Services, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and Bose Audio upgrade. The new Z car will have an option for black, red, and blue as interior colors.
A limited edition Z Proto Spec, limited to 240 units in the US, will feature yellow-colored brake calipers with the Z logo, bronze-colored 19-inch wheels, an exclusive shift lever, and exclusive leather seating appointments and accents.
Nissan has promised more performance, pricing, and other specifications closer to the 2023 Z’s launch, which for the US will be in the second quarter of 2022.
The video below shows the unveiling of the Nissan Z.