Nissan’s Z goes again to the longer term with retro styling, fashionable tech

No automobile has examined the maxim “if it’s not damaged, don’t repair it” just like the Nissan 370Z. The 2-seat sports activities automobile has had one of many longest manufacturing runs of any car in current reminiscence. It was unveiled in late 2008, and has soldiered on with solely minor updates since then. Even in outdated age, the 370Z wasn’t a nasty automobile, however Nissan wanted to maintain tempo with fashionable tech to forestall one in every of its most hallowed nameplates from getting stale.

Unveiled in New York Metropolis as we speak, and scheduled to go on sale in america in spring 2022, the 2023 Nissan Z (the numerical prefix has been dropped) inherits a legacy that goes again over 50 years. The brand new Z is the successor not solely to the 370Z, but in addition to the Datsun 240Z, which grew to become an instantaneous basic when it was unveiled within the Massive Apple in 1969.

Over the following many years and half-dozen generations of automobiles, the letter Z has come to symbolize reasonably priced efficiency to automobile fanatics. Nissan has coasted alongside on that good will for over a decade now, even because the auto trade has skilled a tech revolution. So now {that a} new Nissan is lastly right here, will it’s well worth the wait?

Profile view of the 2023 Nissan Z.

Design

For its first new Z in over a decade, Nissan selected to look backward. The 2023 Z is a remix of styling cues from completely different previous Z fashions. Previewed by the Z Proto idea automobile unveiled final yr, the general form is a throwback to the Datsun 240Z, whereas the LED headlights have two half circles, particularly referencing the Japan-only 240ZG of the Nineteen Seventies. The LED taillights transfer issues ahead a few many years, taking inspiration from the Z32-generation Nissan 300ZX of the Nineties.

The adjustments are solely pores and skin deep, nonetheless. The 2023 Nissan Z makes use of a modified model of the outdated 370Z physique shell. You possibly can inform by the form of the rear quarter home windows, that are unchanged from the previous-generation automobile, in addition to the specs. The 2023 Z is a bit longer than the 370Z, however width and top are unchanged, together with the 100.4-inch wheelbase. Each automobiles even have an identical headroom and legroom, in keeping with Nissan.

Nonetheless, the brand new Z’s two-seat inside must be a nicer place than the outdated automobile’s, principally as a result of, in contrast to the outdated cabin, it was designed round fashionable tech options. For instance, the steering-wheel controls on the 370Z appeared like an afterthought, however Nissan claims the 2023 Z’s “deep-dish” steering wheel will enhance on that. The brand new automobile additionally will get seats designed with classes realized from the Nissan GT-R, the automaker’s efficiency flagship. Material upholstery shall be customary, with leather-based optionally available.

Interior view of the 2023 Nissan Z.

Tech

The Nissan 370Z was an important automobile for driving fanatics, however not tech fanatics. The 2023 Z goals to enhance on that with a typical 8.0-inch touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity. These are large upgrades, contemplating that the 370Z didn’t even include a touchscreen as customary tools.

Transferring up from the bottom Z Sport mannequin to the Z Efficiency will even internet a 9.0-inch touchscreen, navigation, and a built-in Wi-Fi sizzling spot.

In contrast to the 370Z, all 2023 Z fashions additionally get an honest array of normal driver aids, together with computerized emergency braking (with pedestrian detection), blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, computerized excessive beams, and forward-collision warning.

The 2023 Nissan Z's touchscreen.

Specs

Massive adjustments have been made beneath the hood as effectively. The earlier naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V6 engine has been changed with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6. It’s the identical engine used within the Infiniti Q60 coupe and Q50 sedan, from Nissan’s luxurious model. It’s additionally a little bit of a throwback to the Z32 Nissan 300ZX, which was provided with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine as effectively.

This can be a smaller engine than earlier than, however the twin turbos enable it to generate 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, in comparison with the 332 hp and 270 lb.-ft. of the outgoing 370Z. Consequently, Nissan claims the 2023 Z will beat the outgoing mannequin’s zero to 60 mph time by 15%.

Like each earlier technology, the 2023 Z is rear-wheel drive due to the dealing with advantages that provides. It additionally continues with a six-speed handbook transmission and Nissan’s SynchroRev Match characteristic. Launched on the previous-generation 370Z, it mechanically blips the throttle to make shifts smoother. Alternatively, you will get a nine-speed computerized transmission with paddle shifters and launch management.

Nissan claims to have stiffened up the physique shell, which, together with wider entrance tires, permits for a 13% enchancment in cornering g-forces, in keeping with the corporate. Nonetheless, Nissan didn’t quote a curb weight for the brand new mannequin, and we’re very curious to see if it’s gained weight. The brand new Z’s additional energy would possibly compensate for elevated poundage, however the lighter a automobile is, the higher it feels within the corners.

Rear three quarter view of the 2023 Nissan Z.

Rivals

Nissan hasn’t launched pricing info but, solely saying that the 2023 Z shall be obtainable in Sport and Efficiency flavors, together with a Proto Spec particular version. Restricted to simply 240 items, it can have styling options impressed by the Z Proto idea, together with yellow brake calipers and bronze 19-inch Rays wheels.

Whereas it’s unclear how they are going to examine on worth, it appears seemingly that the Z will compete towards the Toyota Supra, one other two-seat Japanese sports activities automobile with a heritage nameplate. The Z and Supra have historically been thought of rivals, however they haven’t been on sale within the U.S. on the identical time because the Nineties.

Like the most recent Supra, the 2023 Nissan Z will even be a sports activities automobile in-betweener. It’s larger and extra highly effective than the Mazda MX-5 Miata or Subaru BRZ/Toyota GR 86 twins, however not fairly on the identical stage of the Porsche Cayman or Chevrolet Corvette.

Nonetheless, the most important check could also be convincing tech-savvy automobile buyers, who might have written the Z off as a has-been, to offer this new mannequin a strive.

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