Here it is – the all-new Nissan Z.
The Japanese brand has taken the covers off the new sports coupe that drops the numerical badge and is now simply known as the ‘Z’. As expected, it carries over a very similar look to the Z Proto revealed in September 2020.
Also as expected, the new Z is powered by a new engine, a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 that makes nearly 300kW of power and 474Nm of torque. The engine is paired to the choice of a six-speed manual for purists or a new nine-speed automatic transmission.
Nissan confirmed the continuation of the Z family early last year, saying replacements for the ageing 370Z and GT-R were necessary for the brand to retain its “Nissan-ness” as it continues to introduce more SUVs and electric vehicles.
“Z is the pure expression of Thrill,” said Ashwani Gupta, Nissan’s chief operating officer. “It is Nissan’s passion wrapped up on four wheels. 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.”
This new Z features many retro styling touches but the overall design isn’t meant to be a throwback. The overall proportions – long bonnet, short rear overhang – was inspired by the iconic 240Z of the ‘70s, while the rear lights have taken inspiration from the ‘90s 300ZX. But the key goal for the design team was to blend “tradition with modern technology” as Nissan’s head of global design, Alfonso Albaisa explains.
“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,” Albaisa said. “Ultimately, we created a Z that travels between the decades while being completely modern.”
Underneath the new look is an update platform from the 370Z, which retains its rear-wheel drive format and has a limited-slip differential. Both transmissions come with a new launch control system and the manual retains its ‘SynchroRev Match’ that blips the throttle on downshifts.
Up front there’s double-wishbone suspension with new geometry, while at the rear the multi-link set-up has been reconfigured. There are new dampers front and rear, which the company claims both improves handling and ride quality.
“Simply put, our goal is to make this the best Z yet, period,” claimed Hiroshi Tamura, chief product specialist of the new Z. “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. 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 good news is the new Z is confirmed to arrive in Australia next year, with Nissan Australia excited to get a refreshed challenger for the Toyota GR Supra.
“We are excited to see the new Nissan Z unveiled today,” a spokesperson said.
“This iconic nameplate has been loved by generations of Australians, and we look forward to its arrival in Australia next year.”