NISSAN has officially introduced the 2023 Nissan Z, a car developed by a passionate team of designers and engineers, representing an approachable sports car for the modern age. It brings with it, an unmatched 50-plus year heritage and global fan base.
The new, seventh-generation 2023 Z is scheduled to go on sale in the United States at Nissan dealers in Spring 2022. It has also been confirmed for an Australian arrival next year, although we don’t know local pricing and specifications yet.
What we do know, is what’s on offer in the USA. There, it will be offered in two distinct variants, Sport and Performance, with both powered by a 3.0-litre V6 twin turbo engine delivering 298kW of power and 475Nm of torque.
Cooler still is the news it will be offered not only with a 9-speed automatic transmission, but a 6-speed close-ratio manual transmission with an EXEDY high-performance clutch as well.
In a first for a rear-wheel drive Nissan vehicle, Z Performance models equipped with a manual transmission include an advanced launch assist control system that helps deliver smooth acceleration from a stopped position.
All automatic transmission-equipped models feature the launch control system. Manual transmission-equipped models also come with a carbon-fibre composite drive shaft, with SynchroRev Match added to manual Performance models.
The new 9-speed automatic offers a direct and quick response feeling and quick acceleration, thanks to its wide gear ratio spread and standard launch control system.
Aluminium paddle shifters are standard on all auto-equipped models, with unique paddle shifters, the same design as found on GT-R, on Performance models.
Enhanced body rigidity, an electronic power steering with rack assist and a strong mechanical feel, and wider front tires (on both Sport and Performance grades) help increase maximum cornering G over the outgoing 370Z.
The front double-wishbone aluminium suspension features new geometry, including increased caster angle, improving straight line stability. A two-point front strut tower brace is standard.
The rear independent multi-link aluminium suspension has also been reconfigured with new settings. Two drive modes are offered on automatic transmission models, standard and sport.
Sport mode unlocks the Z’s performance potential, offering faster acceleration control, a sports-mode steering algorithm, active sound enhancement and sports-mode vehicle dynamic control setting best matched to take on a spirited run through a winding road.
All Z Performance grade models (automatic and manual) utilise a mechanical clutch-type limited-slip differential. Responsive braking is provided by 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Larger sport brakes with red-painted callipers are standard on Performance grade models.
The Z Sport grade rides on dark-painted 18-inch aluminium-alloy wheels with Yokohama ADVAN Sport high performance tyres, while Z Performance grades features 19-inch RAYS super lightweight forged aluminium-alloy mounted with Bridgestone Potenza S007 tyres.
For the exterior, the new Z takes on a traditional rear-wheel-drive sports car design, with a long hood, lower rear stance and a silhouette that pays homage to the first-generation Z.
The LED headlights have two half-circles that take their inspiration from the Japan market-only 240ZG of the 1970s, which fit naturally with the new Z’s identity.
The roofline flows from the nose to the squared-off rear to create a distinctive first-generation Z profile, whose rear edge was slightly lower than the front fender height giving the Z its unique posture.
Door handles are a flush-mounted design and the rear hatch design is ultra-thin, yet with increased rigidity over the previous 370Z design. In the rear, the blister fenders smoothly direct flow air past the horizontal rear panel.
The rear combination lamps incorporate modern technology into the design reminiscent of the Z32 (1990-1996) 300ZX, including new 3D signature LED taillights.
The Z Performance grade features a rear spoiler that creates positive pressure where the rear hatch and spoiler meet, mitigating rear lift. The front spoiler takes advantage of knowledge gained through Nissan GT-R development to utilize negative pressure zones.
The new 2023 Z will be available in Black Diamond Metallic, Gun Metallic and Rosewood Metallic, or two-tone (Super Black roof) Brilliant Silver, Boulder Gray, Seiran Blue, Ikazuchi Yellow, Passion Red TriCoat and Everest White Pearl TriCoat.
Inside, the centre stack takes inspiration from other generations before it, with three analogue pod gauges on the instrument panel, 8.0-inch touchscreen audio display in the centre and climate control switches near the shifter.
All vital information can be found in the 12.3-inch customisable digital instrument display and arranged to help the driver grasp it at a glance, such as the redline shift point at the 12 o’clock position. Normal, Enhanced and Sport setups are available.
Those old school pod gauges provide info on boost, turbo speed, and voltage, while the new, deep-dish steering wheel offers the driver quick access controls without losing its vintage aesthetic.
An expanded use of suede on the seatback suppresses initial lateral shake on the body, creating more comfortable drives, as well as reducing body movement when the vehicle is aggressively cornering.
The 2023 Z Sport grade offers black woven cloth seats with an 8-way manual driver’s seat and 4-way manual passenger seat.
The Z Performance grade adds leather-appointed seating surfaces, 4-way power driver’s seat with manual lifter, lumbar and thigh support, 4-way power passenger seat and heated seats.
A full range of convenience features are offered as standard equipment including Nissan intelligent key, push button start, intelligent cruise control, auto temperature control, auto-dimming rear view mirror and two USB ports (Type-A and Type C).
Front and rear parking sensors also feature, along with an 8.0-inch touchscreen with six speakers, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, SiriusXM radio, hands-free text messaging and Siri Eyes Free.
The Z Performance grade includes a 9.0-inch touchscreen with navigation and NissanConnect Services with a Wi-Fi hotspot. Also included is an 8-speaker Bose audio system with active noise cancellation and active sound enhancement.
Three interior colours are available, including Black, Red and Blue. A special Z Proto Spec edition will also be available, and features yellow accents throughout the cabin, including stitching on the instrument panel.
A local launch date and pricing for the 2023 Nissan Z are yet to be announced.