The Nissan Z, first known as the Datsun Z in the form of the 240Z when it first reached our American shores in 1969, just over 50 years ago, has always been the working person’s sports car that set in motion many competitors to create innovative sports cars. Having a long lineage and only a few short hiatuses, the new Nissan Z is back featuring the brand’s 3.0-liter 400-horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque twin-turbo V6 engine. Not only does the new 2023 Z get a twin-turbo V6 that’s also found in the Infiniti Q60 and Q50 Red Sport 400 vehicles, but the new Z gets a 6-speed manual transmission as standard, which is something that will be respected in the enthusiast community for an “affordable” sports car.
From what we first saw of the new Z in the Nissan Z Proto last year, the production version shown here isn’t that much different, which is a good thing. Nearly 95% of what we saw in the Z Proto last year is what is headed for production, mind you there are a few differences but overall the styling captures many bits from many different generations of the Z car.
Where things really matter is in the rear-wheel-drive powertrain with its 400-horsepower twin-turbo engine that gets mated to a 6-speed manual transmission as a standard offering. A 9-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles is an option of the new 2023 Nissan Z, which is also a good option to have considering the Z will cover a wider assortment of enthusiasts by offering both transmissions.
To keep with today’s tech-centric world, the new 2023 Z will feature most of Nissan’s latest gadgetry with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and a standard 8-inch touchscreen or optional 9-inch touchscreen on the upper Performance trim for the duties of the infotainment unit. There is also wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and a three-pod array of gauges up on the top of the center dashboard with boost pressure, turbo speed, and voltage, paying homage to the Z’s classic dashboard arrangement.
We expect performance from the new 2023 Nissan Z to be lively and hit the 60mph mark in about 4 seconds, maybe a hair less with the 9-speed automatic transmission. We hope that driving dynamics are much better than what we’ve seen with other vehicles using what is probably one of our favorite V6 engines, which we mention in the recent reviews of the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 Red Sport 400.
The new 2023 Nissan Z will reach dealer lots sometime next year, more than likely in the Spring, with a starting price that we expect to be around $40,000. Such a price greatly undercuts the new Toyota Supra with its turbocharged 6-cylinder engine supplied by BMW, which many will naturally compare to the new Z. Not to mention, the new Z has some advantages from what we can “see” and read in its specs on paper. If it will live up to the performance hype has yet to be seen. However, from what we can tell, Nissan has a winner on their hands that will do well for sales numbers.
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