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New Nissan Z has 400 horsepower, vintage-inspired design

The 2023 Nissan Z has arrived with a fresh naming scheme, 400 horsepower, and design that brings into focus the over 50-year history of the sports car. The new model was previewed in the Nissan Z Proto concept vehicle that was introduced in conjunction with Nissan Next product reveal festivities over the last year.

Nissan is dropping its number naming scheme as part of the generational change, preferring to simply refer to the model as the Nissan Z. This is the first time that the Z-Car has had its name stand singularly.

“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.”

Nissan will sell the Z for the U.S. market in Sport and Performance grades, as well a unique, limited edition Z Proto Spec option.

The sleek exterior of the car is mostly the same as it was when shown as the Z Proto. Its long hood and short deck have becomes hallmarks of Z generations while the cabin design also pays close attention to the intersection of modern technology and heritage. The headlights are inspired by the 240ZG while its rear combination lamps are reminiscent of the Z32 300ZX. Analog gauges on the dashboard harken back to a time before digital instrument clusters were familiar.

The 2023 Nissan Z was a long time coming, and it’s finally arrived.
Nissan North America

The company will sell the 2023 Z in three monotone exterior colors: Black Diamond Metallic, Gun Metallic and Rosewood Metallic. Six two-tone combinations are available and all have a Super Black roof: Brilliant Silver, Boulder Gray, Seiran Blue, Ikazuchi Yellow, Passion Red TriCoat and Everest White Pearl TriCoat.

Nissan says that the car is the best Z yet. Part of their reasoning for that claim in the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that sits under the hood. It yields 400 horsepower 350 pound-feet of torque. That a 68-horsepower and 30-percent torque increase over the outgoing model, resulting in a 15-percent improvement in zero to 60 mph acceleration.

The rear-wheel drive car will pair its engine with a standard six-speed manual transmission. Buyers can opt for a nine-speed automatic transmission that can be controlled via paddle shifters matching the design of those in the Nissan GT-R on the Z Performance. All shift levers are newly designed for the car.

A launch control system is standard on Z Performance models with the manual and all automatic transmission cars get it.

2023 Nissan Z engine V6 turbo
The car’s 400-horsepower twin-turbo V6 sits under the hood.
Nissan North America

Automatic transmission models also have two drive modes: standard and sport. Standard is meant for longer commutes and highway driving. Sport unlocks performance potential delivering faster acceleration, modified steering, active sound enhancement, and vehicle dynamics control upgrades.

Nissan’s engineering team has given the car engineering components that help keep riders from being jostled on bumpy roads. All models come with a mechanical clutch-type limited-slip differential.

Four-wheel disc brakes provide stopping power. Larger sport brakes matched with red calipers are standard on Z Performance models.

Base model Z Sport grade cars ride on dark-painted 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan Sport high-performance tires. Z Performance models get 19-inch Rays super lightweight forged aluminum-alloy wheels and Bridgestone Potenza S007 high-performance shoes.

2023 Nissan Z interior blue
Buyers can choose a red, black, or blue interior.
Nissan North America

The two-seater coupe’s standard 8.0-inch infotainment touch screen sits at the center of the dashboard while climate control switches are further down the stack near the shifter. A 12.3-inch customizable digital instrument cluster has three display modes to suit the desires of the driver. Buyers can upgrade to a 9.0-inch infotainment screen on the Z Performance.

Woven black cloth seats are standard, as are an eight-way manually-adjustable driver’s seat and four-way manually-adjustable passenger seat. Z Performance models get seats appointed in leather; a four-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with manual lifter, lumbar, and thigh support; four-way power-adjustable passenger seat; and heated seats.

Interior color schemes options include black, red, and blue. The special Z Proto Spec edition features yellow accents throughout the cabin as well as yellow-colored brake calipers with the Z logo, bronze-colored 19-inch Rays wheels, an exclusive shift level knob (manuals only), and Proto Spec suede and leather door trim. Z Proto Spec is limited to 240 models.

A long list of standard equipment comes on the Z including keyless entry, push-button start, adaptive cruise control, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, two 12-volt power points, two USB ports (Type-A and Type-C), front and rear sonar sensors, a six-speaker sound system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, hands-free phone communication, satellite radio, hands-free text messaging, and Siri Eyes Free.

2023 Nissan Z steering wheel interior vents
The steering wheel sits in front of a fully digital instrument cluster.
Nissan North America

Navigation, NissanConnect Services with a Wi-Fi hot spot, an eight-speaker Bose Audio system with active noise cancellation technology, and active sound enhancement are available.

Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, high beam assist, and intelligent forward collision warning are standard.

The 2023 Nissan Z will go on sale in the spring of 2022. Pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date.

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