Abandoning the German style of nomenclature it emulated, Nissan has just revealed the latest version of what began as the 1970 Datsun 240Z. This time numeric designations are dropped; the redesign will be known in the United States by just one letter – Z. The 2023 Z is offered in Sport and Performance grade levels each with a choice of a 6-speed manual or new 9-speed automatic transmission and a “Proto Spec” edition, which is limited to 240 units. (See AutoInformed.com on Nissan Motor Posts ¥75.7B Operating Profit for Q1 FY)
“When we introduced the Z in 1969, the Z was a revolution. Since then, for more than 50 years, Nissan has brought style, speed, reliability and so much more to millions of enthusiasts around the world,” claimed Ashwani Gupta, representative executive officer and chief operating officer, Nissan Motor Company.
A range of convenience features are offered as standard equipment, including Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Start, Intelligent Cruise Control, Automatic Temperature Control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, RearView Monitor, two 12-volt power points, two USB points (Type-A and Type-C), and front and rear sonar sensors. The 8.0-inch display audio touchscreen with six speakers includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth, SiriusXM Radio, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant and Siri Eyes Free.
The Z Performance grade includes a 9.0-inch touchscreen with navigation and NissanConnect® Services with Wi-Fi hotspot. Also included is an 8-speaker Bose® Audio system with Active Noise Cancellation and Active Sound Enhancement.
The 2023 Z’s 3.0-liter V6 twin turbo engine adds power compared to the previous generation 370Z. The engine is rated at 400 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 350 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,600 to 5,600 rpm. This tallies at an increase of 68 horsepower and a 30% increase in torque. In theory it should be good for an estimated 15% improvement in zero-to-60 mph acceleration.
To achieve the increase in horsepower and torque, and to deliver decent response, small-diameter turbochargers were adopted, as well as a turbo speed sensor to ensure the capabilities of the turbos are used at maximum spooling speed, Nissan claims. The twin turbos balance power output and response time, while the use of an electronic variable valve timing (e-VVT) intake valve system increases response, adjusting the intake valve timing on-the-road to achieve “excellent response and fuel efficiency in a variety of driving scenes,” claimed Nissan.
The 6-speed close-ratio manual transmission includes, marketing babble alert,> an EXEDY high-performance clutch. “As a physical touch point between driver and Z, the shifter glides to the next gear, almost instinctively, with minimal effort,” it’s claimed.
In a first for a rear-wheel drive Nissan, Z Performance models equipped with a manual transmission include a a launch-assist control system that helps deliver smooth acceleration from a stopped position. All automatic transmission-equipped models have the launch control system. Manual transmission-equipped models also have a carbon-fiber composite drive shaft, with SynchroRev Match added to 6MT Performance models.
A quick-response 9-speed automatic transmission is also available. The new 9-speed automatic offers a direct and quick response feeling and acceleration, it’s claimed, from its wide gear ratio spread and standard launch control system. Aluminum paddle shifters are standard on all 9AT-equipped models, with unique paddle shifters, the same design as found on GT-R, on Performance models.
Enhanced body rigidity, an electronic power steering with rack assist and a strong mechanical feel, and wider front tires (on both Sport and Performance grades) help increase maximum cornering Gs.
Braking is via 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Larger sport brakes with red-painted calipers are standard on Performance grade models. The Z Sport has dark-painted 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with Yokohama ADVAN Sport high performance tires, while Z Performance grades features 19-inch lightweight forged aluminum-alloy wheels shod with Bridgestone Potenza S007 high performance tires.
Both front and rear dampers use a new mono-tube design with a larger diameter than the outgoing 370Z, resulting in a claimed ~20% reduction in damping force to help minimize impact shock over uneven surfaces, enhance road-following performance and improve handling stability.
The front double-wishbone aluminum suspension has new geometry, including increased caster angle, improving straight line stability. A two-point front strut tower brace is standard.
The rear independent multi-link aluminum suspension has also been reconfigured with new settings.
The new 2023 Z is available in three monotone exterior colors – Black Diamond Metallic, Gun Metallic and Rosewood Metallic. The new Z is also offered with a two-tone exterior, including six colors combined with a Super Black roof: Brilliant Silver, Boulder Gray, new Seiran Blue, new Ikazuchi Yellow, Passion Red TriCoat and Everest White Pearl TriCoat.