2023 Nissan Z
Some say it’s best to show up for a party fashionably late and dressed to kill, if you want to make a grand entrance. Nissan apparently agrees, as the long-awaited 2023 Nissan Z has finally arrived at the sports car ball, wearing a well-tailored tuxedo and showing off some impressive moves.
The name is Z… just Z. And any time spent behind the wheel will leave you stirred, not shaken, as all Z’s pack a legit 400-horsepower punch and 350 pound-feet of torque from a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, fed to the rear wheels through either a 6-speed manual with Exedy high-performance clutch and a carbon fiber driveshaft, or a 9-speed automatic with aluminum paddle shifters and standard launch control. A Power On Shift feature for the manual lets you bang gears without lifting the throttle.
Our initial test drive took place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where we spent equal time whipping around the road course and laying rubber down pit lane before hitting the streets. Acceleration is smooth and strong, with full torque available from just 1600 rpm. Small diameter turbos and variable valve timing act to reduce lag and balance responsiveness.
While the look is new, there’s no mistaking it for anything else. The long hood, short deck proportions are crisp and classically simple, and from the arch of the roof, to the shape of the side glass and the slightly rear-weighted stance, the 2023 Z meets its design objective to honor the past but create the future.
“The Nissan Z can’t be boiled down to just numbers, even though 400 horsepower for under $40k is a pretty impressive one. They’re not claiming super fast Nurburgring lap times or saying it’s a race car for the street. What it is, is a wonderfully balanced modern driver’s car. It has all of the safety, comfort, technology features today’s sports car driver demands.. great feel for the road, you feel really in tune with the car, and the styling takes the Z back to its sports car heritage.”
Inside the two-person cabin, the feel is sports car cozy, but a new telescoping steering column allows drivers of all sizes to fit more comfortably. Z Heritage cues here include a trio of analog gauges atop the center dash.
Z model progression is simple: The base “Sport” trim rolls in at $39990, well equipped with an 8” touchscreen display, and a full suite of safety, infotainment and driver assist systems including predictive front collision warning, rear cross traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
The mid-range “Z Performance” trim carries a 10k price bump to $49,990 but adds a sportier suspension tune, limited-slip differential, launch control on either transmission and rev-matching for the manual, as well as upgraded brakes, 19-inch wheels with summer tires, front and rear spoilers, and power-adjustable seats.
Limited to just 240 units worldwide, the Z Coupe Proto Spec commemorates Z’s relaunch with exclusive 19" RAYS lightweight forged alloy wheels, yellow brake calipers, leather-appointed seats and yellow accent stitching throughout, for $52990.. Add a $1025 destination fee on top of all three.
The 2023 Nissan Z is scheduled to go on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide this summer. So keep your screen tuned to MotorWeek for our complete test review.
Engine: 3.0L Twin Turbo V6
Torque: 350 lb-ft