Next-Gen 2023 Nissan Z Drops the Numbers, Makes Up for It With a Pair of Turbos

Next-Gen 2023 Nissan Z Drops the Numbers, Makes Up for It With a Pair of Turbos

  • All-new model replaces the previous 370Z
  • Beefy V6 adds a pair of turbochargers, good for 400 horsepower
  • Long list of standard and optional tech features
  • Manual transmission is still available
  • Launches the seventh-generation Nissan Z

What is the Z?

Oolander. Godilla. The Lost City of. All movie titles immeasurably helped with the addition of the letter Z, but this character's importance isn't limited to the realm of films. Nissan's newest interpretation of its two-seat sports car is thankfully keeping the letter, but it does lose the numerical designation that typically accompanies it. No 400Z nomenclature here — the seventh-generation coupe will simply be known as the 2023 Nissan Z.

This redesign is terrifically late, and we hope the wait was worth it. The previous 370Z went on sale as a 2009 model and remained virtually unchanged until it was quietly discontinued after the 2020. The new Nissan Z's more potent powertrain and expansive set of technology features should make it a more competitive rival to the Ford Mustang and Toyota GR Supra. You also get cool retro styling inspired by historic models like the original 240Z.

What's under the Z's hood?

The Nissan Z is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that develops 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque — a healthy increase from the 370Z's maximum of 350 hp and 276 lb-ft. We've already sampled this engine in the Infiniti Q50 coupe and Q60 Red Sport 400 sedan and, quite frankly, the powertrain is the best part of those vehicles. Both Infinitis managed to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in around 5 seconds flat, and so it stands to reason that the lighter Z will be quicker still.

Purists will rejoice at the rear-wheel-drive layout and the return of a proper six-speed manual transmission. Manual-equipped Performance models come with a rev-matching feature so you'll always hit the right mark when downshifting. It also comes with launch control if you opt for the upper Performance trim. Launch control comes on all Zs equipped with the available nine-speed automatic.

On the base Sport trim you get 18-inch wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan Sport tires. Opt for the Performance grade and Nissan replaces them with lightweight forged 19-inch wheels courtesy of Rays. These are shod in Bridgestone Potenza S007 tires.

How's the Z's interior?

Nissan is going for a combination of vintage and modern with the Z. Touches such as a dished steering wheel harken back to the 240Z, while a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster presents a modern look. The center stack is another delightful mix of analog and digital, with a trio of instrument dials on top, simple climate controls down below, and an eye-catching touchscreen between them. Nissan says it sought opinions from professional racing drivers to aid in penning the Z's cockpit, though we doubt they'd be much good in designing an intuitive infotainment system. Thankfully, Nissan's current touchscreen interface — seen in recently redesigned models like the Rogue SUV — is quite easy to use, and we expect that system to carry over to the Z.

How's the Z's tech?

A brightly lit, attractive touchscreen forms the centerpiece of the Z's cabin. The base Sport trim comes with an 8-inch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, and a six-speaker audio system. Upgrade to the Z Performance and you'll get a larger 9-inch touchscreen plus wireless Apple CarPlay functionality. The Performance model also includes a Wi-Fi hotspot, onboard navigation and an eight-speaker Bose audio system.

The lack of available advanced driver aids in the previous 370Z was a potential turnoff, but the new Z comes stocked with them. All versions come with adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.

What are the Z's trim levels?

The 2023 Nissan Z will come in three trim levels: Sport, Performance and the limited-edition Proto Spec. Highlight features include:

Sport
Starts you off with:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Proximity keyless entry and push-button ignition
  • Digital instrument panel
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Automatic climate control
  • Eight-way manual driver's seat
  • Four-way manual passenger seat
  • Cloth upholstery
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • USB-A and USB-C ports
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility
  • Satellite radio
  • Six-speaker audio system

There's also a full complement of safety systems, including:

  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
  • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while in reverse)
  • Front and rear parking sensors (alert you to obstacles that may not be visible in front of or behind the vehicle when parking)
  • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Nissan and the car in front)

Performance
Upgrading to the Z Performance adds:

  • 19-inch forged Rays wheels
  • Larger brakes
  • Rear spoiler
  • Mechanical limited-slip differential (enhances traction for better acceleration)
  • Performance exhaust
  • Heated mirrors
  • Upgraded paddle shifters (automatic only)
  • Power-adjustable and heated seats
  • Leather upholstery with faux suede inserts
  • 9-inch touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay functionality
  • Integrated navigation system
  • Eight-speaker Bose audio system
  • Wi-Fi hotspot

Proto Spec
This exclusive model is limited to 240 units in the U.S. It builds on top of the Performance trim with:

  • Bronze-colored 19-inch Rays wheels
  • Unique shifter
  • Faux suede door trim
  • Yellow interior accents and stitching

Edmunds says

It's been a long wait for the new Nissan Z — too long, really. Thankfully, this new seventh-gen model should improve upon every aspect of its predecessor. Expect Nissan to release the new Z in the spring of 2022. In the meantime stick with Edmunds as we'll have more news, updates and driving impressions in the coming months.


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