The 2023 Nissan Z returns with 400 horsepower
It will be offered with either a 6-speed manual or a 9-speed automatic
Two versions, Sport and Performance, are planned for Canada
It’s been 12 years since the last Nissan Z car was unveiled. That car, the 370Z, has been essentially irrelevant since 2015 although no one can argue it didn’t have a good run. Still, we can’t think of a production car that has been around unchanged for that long, but let’s put that all in the past because the 2023 Nissan Z was unveiled tonight.
The successor to the 370Z, the new Nissan Z won’t go by the name 400Z, finally. Nissan is just calling it the Z and the automaker promises to preserve the DNA inherent in past Z cars while upping the tech factor.
What’s New About The 2023 Nissan Z?
A lot. Gone is the 3.7-litre V6 of the 370Z, replaced by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 with 400 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 350 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 rpm. Nissan says that cuts 15% off the previous 0-to-60 mph time of 5.0 seconds, so expect it in the 4.2 second range.
Enthusiasts will be happy to learn that a 6-speed close-ratio manual gearbox paired to an EXEDY high-performance clutch and carbon-fiber composite drive shaft will be available. Better yet, Nissan will offer a launch assist with the six-speed Z designed to help take offs from a stopped position. Rev Matching will also be available. A 9-speed automatic will also be offered with a single clutch and standard launch control.
The 2023 Nissan Z will come in two trims in Canada, Sport and Performance. Both offer the manual and automatic gearbox, but the goodies described above for the six-speed are reserved for the Performance model. There will also be a limited edition Z Proto model with bronze-coloured 19-inch wheels, yellow brake calipers, yellow accents inside, leather seats, suede in the doors, and something Nissan calls Proto Spec interior stitching.
The Z sits on front and rear dampers with a new monotube shock absorber design that’s larger than the previous 370Z. On the other hand, Nissan says the Z’s dampers benefit from a 20 percent reduction in dampening force in order to improve stability and comfort on uneven roads. The new generation is also more rigid, electronic power steering with rack assist and wider front tires (P245/45WR18 on the Sport, P255/40WR19 on the Performance) complete the promised cornering improvements.
The automatic transmission will come with two drive modes, standard and sport. As expected, the sport mode comes with quicker accelerations, stiffer handling, better cornering settings, and what Nissan calls “active sound enhancement”.
The Z Performance gets red brake calipers and 19-inch wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza tires. The Z Sport gets 18-inch wheels with Yokohama ADVAN tires.
Inside, the three analog pods are back while the centre console gets an 8.0-inch touchscreen while a 12.3-inch TFT customizable digital meter display with three distinct modes. The Sport mode puts the tach in the centre of the display next to a G-metre display and shift lights.
Of course, the exterior is new as well. The front and rear areas get their own spoilers with the front being inspired by the GT-R. Two monotone colours (Black Diamond Metallic and Gun Metallic) are offered along with five two-tone exterior options: Boulder Grey, Seiran Blue, Ikazuchi Yellow, Passion Red TriCoat and Everest White Pearl TriCoat. Those five are paired with a black roof.
How Much Will The 2023 Nissan Z Cost?
No info just yet on the 2023 Nissan Z price. The previous 370Z started out in the $50k range when it first arrived in Canada, but pricing had dropped significantly in recent years to under $30,000 in Canada. The US price stayed at around $31,000, in 2020 at least.
Rumours suggest pricing will start $34,995 in the US and around $42,000 in Canada, but we will update when we know more.
When Will The 2023 Nissan Z Be Released?
The new Z will go on sale in the first quarter of 2022. Orders will open in November.
Who Will The 2023 Nissan Z Compete With?
The new Toyota Supra seems like an obvious and direct competitor, one that wasn’t around when the 370Z was introduced over a decade ago. That will depend on pricing, however, because the current Z is more aligned with the Subaru BRZ and old Toyota 86 in terms of price.
The Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, and Dodge Challenger are distant rivals as well.
What Do We Think Of The 2023 Nissan Z?
You can’t judge a car by an image or a press release, but at first glance the 2023 Nissan Z is a little… underwhelming. A single-clutch automatic, a six-speed manual (not seven) two drive modes, two models… There was just nothing eye-opening about the details announced tonight, and “Active sound enhancement” sounds a lot like it will be coming from the speakers…
After waiting this long, it would have been nice to see a bit more meat on the bone. Again, we may get behind the wheel and find the Z to be the best handling, best sounding, and most fun to drive car in its segment. And, we can’t blame Nissan for not putting huge ressources into developing unique or advanced tech for the Z given the low volume of sales that come with it. After all, Toyota had to partner with BMW to make the Supra financially viable.
We will of course reserve final judgement on the 2023 Nissan Z after we’ve driven it. For now, we will admit it looks really good and 400 horsepower should be a blast. The interior is also well designed and certainly a far cry from the outgoing 370Z.