Is the 2023 Nissan Z a gamechanger?

Will the 2023 Nissan Z do to sports cars what the Nissan GTR did for supercars?

In 2008, Nissan shook up the supercar industry with the release of their Nissan GT-R R35.  They showed that supercar performance was available for less than six figures.  Is Nissan preparing to do the same thing with the 2023 Nissan Z?

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What is the heart of the new 2023 Nissan Z?

The new Z’s heart is a twin-turbo V6 engine producing 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque at 5,600 rpm.  This is a 68-horsepower bump and a 30 percent increase in torque over the outgoing 370Z.  It is available with either a manual or automatic transmission.

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What are the transmission options with the new 2023 Nissan Z?

The 6-speed manual transmission incorporates an innovative launch assist control technology that helps produce smooth acceleration from a stopped position.  A carbon-fiber composite driveshaft and Downshift Rev Matching is also available on manual-transmission variants.

The new optional 9-speed automatic transmission provides a direct and rapid reaction keeping power and performance in line with the driver.  The launch control mechanism is standard on all automatic transmission versions. The automatic transmission has two driving modes: basic and sport. Sport mode enhances the Z’s performance by providing faster acceleration, a sports-mode steering profile, active sound enhancement, and a sports-mode vehicle dynamic control setting that’s ideal for a vigorous run down a twisting route. A mechanical clutch-type limited-slip differential is used in Z Performance grade cars.

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What are the handling improvements over the 370Z?

To improve high-speed driving and turning, the engineering team focused on predictable and responsive handling.  The Team increased body rigidity, added electronic power steering with rack aid, and more prominent front tires all contribute to a 13 percent increase in cornering performance.

Both the front and rear shock absorbers feature a new monotube shock absorber design with a wider diameter than the preceding 370Z, resulting in a 20% reduction in dampening force to help lessen impact shock over uneven terrain, improve road-following performance, and increase handling stability. In addition, the front double-wishbone aluminum suspension has been redesigned with new geometry, including a higher caster angle to aid in straight-line stability.

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A modern exterior design inspired by the Z-car of old.

The new Z has a sleek exterior design that builds upon the brings the iconic Z-car into the modern era.

Like previous Z generations, the roofline flows from the nose to the squared-off back, creating the characteristic Z shape with a rear border that was somewhat lower than the front fender height, giving the Z its distinctive posture.

With a tall hood, lower rear stance, and a shape that pays respect to the first-generation Z, the new Z adopts a conventional rear-wheel-drive sports car design. A mix of old and new, the designers used cutting-edge technology to simplify the design.

The appearance is enhanced by the characteristic transition from the rear quarter glass to the low-slung position of the rear tail. In addition, the new 3-D signature LED taillights are uniquely Z, and the rear combination lamps integrate modern technology into aesthetics reminiscent of the Z32 300ZX.

The rear spoiler on the Z Performance grade provides positive pressure where the rear hatch and spoiler meet, reducing rear lift. Negative pressure zones are used in the front spoiler, thanks to expertise gathered during Nissan GT-R development.

The new Z comes in three monochromatic exterior colors and six two-tone exterior colors, including two new hues: Seiran Blue and Ikazuchi Yellow, both with a Super Black roof.


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Interior design by Z: contemporary technology with a vintage feel

The interior is a blend of modern technology with historical Z touches. With three analog pod gauges on the instrument panel, an 8.0-inch touchscreen audio display in the center, and climate control controls near the shifter, the center stack pays homage to past versions.

The interior cabin was developed with input from Team Nissan Motorsports drivers.  Their contributions are reflected throughout the interior cabin.  For example, the 12.3-inch customizable digital meter displays critical information in such a manner, enabling the driver to absorb important information very quickly.  As a second example, the redline shift point is at the 12 o’clock position.

The new Z’s center stack employs a three-zone design, with three analog pod gauges (boost, turbo speed, and volt) located within the driver’s line of sight on the instrument panel. In addition, both the manual and automatic shift levers are brand new, designed with grip and comfort in mind.

The redesigned deep-spoke steering wheel provides quick access to buttons without sacrificing the classic look.

The seats were designed with knowledge from the GT-development R’s to improve both grasp and fit. In addition, the increased usage of suede on the seatback reduces body movement when the car is actively cornering and suppresses initial lateral shaking on the body, resulting in more comfortable drives.


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Will the new 2023 Nissan Z upend the Sports Car industry as the GTR did the Supercar industry?

With a twin-turbo V6 engine, a manual transmission wrapped around a body weighing 3,500 pounds, and rumored to be priced at $40,000, the 2023 Nissan Z can potentially shake up the sportscar market.  The new Z is estimated to run from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.0 to 4.4 seconds.  At this price point, the new Z offers V6 performance at a 4-cylinder price compared to the Mark VI Toyota Supra.

2023 Nissan Z specifications(U.S. spec)

Engine VR30DDTT 3.0 L V-6 Twin Turbo
Engine output (hp) 400
Torque (lb-ft) 350 @ 5,600 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual /
9-speed automatic with paddle shifters
Brake system Front: ventilated discs w/ 4-piston aluminum calipers
Rear: ventilated discs w/ 2-piston aluminum calipers
Length (in.) 172.4
Width (in.) 72.6
Height (in.) 51.8
Wheelbase (in.) 100.4


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