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2023 Nissan Z Revealed

August 18, 2021
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Bowen's Report Card


2023 Nissan Z Revealed

The 2023 Nissan Z has been revealed, closing more than a decade long gap since the 370Z was launched. Nissan and Datsun Z cars have existed in one form or another since 1969. However, even the ancient 370Z remains one hell of a drive. So, today we turn to the US to explore the all-new Z.

Performance

Nissan has dumped the naturally aspirated V6. It now scores a 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo with 298kW at 6,400 rpm and 475Nm between 1,600 and 5,600 rpm.

“Simply put, our goal is to make this the best Z yet, period. With each generation, we raise the bar, pushing the limits of Z and continuing to tap into the human instinct for that next thrilling journey,” said Hiroshi Tamura, chief product specialist of the new Z. “More than just powerful and agile, the 2023 Z is designed to be one with the driver for all kinds of on-road adventures.”

The sophisticated twin-turbo system was overdue, but some purists may be slightly put off. Thankfully a six-speed manual is still on offer! All Z cars are about blending human, machine and the road ahead via an intoxicating mix of proven DNA.

Drive is once again sent to the rear-wheels. A launch control system debuts for both the manual and new nine-speed automatic The latter scores aluminium paddle shifters lifted from the GT-R.

Nissan has stiffened the body, allowing for more furious cornering prowess. For the nerds there’s  a claimed 13 per cent rise in G-force limits. A new electronic power steering system is said to deliver a strong mechanical feel, while all models score wider front tyres.

Front and rear shocks are larger in diameter, delivering a big reduction in dampening force. The one negative about the outgoing 370Z was its firm ride. Nissan believe it has created a much more balanced setup, blending performance handling and the need for a higher level of composure for everyday use.

 

Models

The US market will score Sport and Performance grades plus one limited edition model.

The yellow Z Proto spec will be curtailed at 240 units for the US market. The rare model includes yellow-coloured brake calipers with Z logo, bronze-coloured 19-inch RAYS aluminium-alloy wheels, exclusive shift lever knob (six-speed only), exclusive Proto Spec leather-appointed seats with yellow accents, exclusive Proto Spec suede and cloth door trim with yellow stitching and special Proto Spec interior stitching. 

The Sport and Performance variants include “Standard” and “Sport” modes. Sport mode serves up faster acceleration control, sharper steering, fake engine sounds and a traction control system that is a tad more loose.

All Z performance grade models (automatic and manual) utilise a mechanical clutch-type limited-slip differential for some extra high-tech grip.

Any two-door sports car needs solid brakes. As a result the new Z has ventilated disc brakes all-round. Performance modes gain red-painted calipers as standard. The Z Sport grade makes do with dark-painted 18-inch aluminium-alloy wheels with Yokohama ADVAN Sport high performance tyres. Z Performance variants score 19-inch RAYS super lightweight forged aluminium-alloy mounted with Bridgestone Potenza S007 high performance tyres.

“Z is the pure expression of Thrill. It is Nissan’s passion wrapped up on four wheels,” said Ashwani Gupta, representative executive officer and chief operating officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “The new Z retains its authenticity as a pure sports car to keep you connected to the road while bringing in the latest modern technologies to make sure the car can help keep you connected to your life.”

 

New Look

The 2023 Z is instantly recognisable as something from a legendary stable. Although I do think it may cop a bit of flack. It seems to lean towards US tastes, with more than a hint of a Mustang at the rear-end. 

The design theme for the exterior and interior of the new Z was is described as “tradition with modern technology.” 

“Inspired by the voices of thousands of Z owners and Z lovers, and ignited by internal conversations around the six generations of Z that have come before, we found ourselves gravitating towards the sketches that touched the high points of certain decades while remaining true to our vision of the future,” said Alfonso Albaisa, global head of design at Nissan. “Ultimately, we created a Z that travels between the decades while being completely modern.”

It still looks long and low, with that long bonnet still as prominent as ever. You may note those LED headlights feature two half-circles. That’s a nod to the Japan market-only 240ZG of the 1970s. Overall it’s a little too boxy for me, perhaps that will wear off over time.

The rear lights also respect the past via a design reminiscent of the Z32 (1990-1996) 300ZX, including new 3D signature LED taillights. 

The Performance grade features a rear spoiler.

There are three monotone exterior colours. Black Diamond Metallic, Gun Metallic and Rosewood Metallic.

US spec cars will also be offered with a two-tone exterior, including six colours combined with a Super Black roof: Brilliant Silver, Boulder Gray, new Seiran Blue, new Ikazuchi Yellow, Passion Red TriCoat and Everest White Pearl TriCoat. 

Three interior colour environments are available – Black, Red and Blue. The special Z Proto Spec edition features yellow accents throughout the cabin, including stitching on the instrument panel. The seats feature layered seat material to create depth and a gradation effect.

Interior

Nissan are not know for setting the world ablaze with striking interiors and dazzling technology.

It’s comforting to still find three analog gauges on the instrument panel. Although there’s still a rather small 8.0-inch touchscreen on the Sport model.

It’s the all-new 12.3-inch instrument cluster that does provide some bling. You can pick your own look via a Normal, Sport and Enhanced modes.

The 2023 Z Sport grade makes do with cloth seats, eight-way manual driver’s seat and four-way manual passenger seat. The Z Performance grade offers leather-appointed seats, four-way power driver’s seat with manual lifter, lumbar and thigh support, the passenger seat is four-way powered. Both seats can be heated.

Technology

Standard technology includes:

  • Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Start
  • Intelligent Cruise Control
  • Automatic Temperature Control
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • RearView Monitor,
  • Two 12-volt power points
  • Two USB points (Type-A and Type-C)
  • Front and rear sonar sensors.
  • Six speakers sound system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

The Z Performance grade offers some extras including:

  • 9.0-inch touchscreen with navigation and NissanConnect Services with Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • 8-speaker Bose Audio system with Active Noise Cancellation
  • Active Sound Enhancement

 

Safety

All models include a raft of safety systems as standard including:

  • Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection
  • Blind Spot Warning
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • High Beam Assist
  • Intelligent Forward Collision Warning

 

Bowen’s Report Card

Z cars are iconic, globally. This has been the case for 50-odd years. Interestingly the 2023 Z will not, at least in the US, include any numerals added to its nameplate.

It’s just the Z.

It also won’t be on sale until spring 2022 for the US market. We await local spec and pricing details for Australia.