A first look at the 2023 Nissan Z Proto sports car

Nissan Z is one of the most popular cars sports cars in history. She’s back – and she looks sexy. While we haven’t had a chance to test drive the new Nissan Z 2023 yet, we already know it’s a mile better than the outgoing 370Z. How is that? Here are three main reasons — and one major question mark.

Nissan Z 2023 is a knockout

Walk around the 2023 Z, and you’ll see references carried over from the original 240Z in the 70s – and even from the mid-90s version, too. The nose features an open grille, but not a “snarl”, which is complex and cool up close, as well as strong, scaly fenders to accommodate 18- or 19-inch wheels with fat P255/40R19 front tires and P275/35R19 rears.

Those wheels overlap close to the body, so the new Z feels wider (although it’s about the same width as the outgoing car), in part because the body has stretched five inches longer. So from the side, your eye interprets this length as a more elegant look. It’s a clever trick, as is the ultra-thin roof – which looks thinner when you order the black roof, regardless of the color of the rest of the body.

From the rear, the rear of the car has a black oval grille with LED taillights. This shape, the pattern of the LED brakes and the driving lights inside, is a reference to the previous 1990-1996 300ZX.

These elements flow together a lot more than they did in the original 240Z. Compare that 1974 car to the Nissan 2023 Z, and you’ll see the impressive fluidity of the modern car’s shape, with light bouncing around at every angle – yet every stroke of the pen tells you it’s the birth of the new Z.

The exterior view of the Nissan Zed 2023.

The exterior view of the Nissan Zed 2023. photo courtesy

It’s way more powerful

While Nissan has yet to reveal 0 to 60 times the speed or top speed, the engine is downsized from a 3.5-liter V6 to a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6. This forced breathing allows horsepower to increase from 332 to 400 hp, 6,400 rpm, and torque jumps from 270 to 350 lb-ft of torque.

Since the latter is the accelerating power you feel out of the gate, it’s important that Nissan also designs this new engine to be resilient, with peak torque accessible in a wide range, between 1,600 to 5,600 rpm, so you have the power to scroll fast , but you don’t have to take out the motor just to move the Z.

Change yourself – with additional launch control feature

We don’t know how much a 2023 Nissan Z will cost, which makes it hard to stand up to exacting performance rivals, but given that the Toyota Supra starts in the mid-$40k range — but Kenda cheats with a performance-less 2.0-liter cylinder, and only offers the transmission, which It forces drivers to get an automatic transmission if they want more six-cylinder muscle—we’re glad Nissan isn’t taking the easy road.

The 2023 will come with a six-speed manual gearbox which also features a rev-matched downshift function that works like a “dual clutch” to pre-drive the engine before shifting from fourth to third gear, for example. This will extend the life of the transmission, but also make manual selection more accessible to more customers. An option of a two-pedal, nine-speed automatic will also be sold for riders who don’t prefer to paddle their cars, and that transmission, like the manual, will have start-up control if you really want to get every drop of performance out of an engine. (Launch control in manual setup requires a transition to the High Performance model.)

Previous and current Nissan Z models

Previous and current Nissan Z models photo courtesy

The proof will come in the driving test

There’s still one last characteristic we want to know: the weight of the car. Nissan promises a faster car that also has excellent grip. Less obvious, but just as important, is how fun it is to drive the 2023 Z. You can easily add horsepower these days. Better geometry and a fatter rubber can result in more stickiness. But the previous Z wasn’t just a bloated look — it was handled heavily, so driving it hard seemed like a chore.

It’s interesting that competitors like the aforementioned Toyota Supra with inline six are no lighter than the outgoing 370Z, yet they handle the same. So the 2023 Z doesn’t have to lose weight (although it might, because the 3.0-liter V-6 is smaller than the previous 3.5-liter V-6). She just has to dance better.

Nissan knows how to do it. If you’ve ever been lucky to drive any modern GT-Rs, Nissan’s now retired supercar, you know the company has the chops to fully demonstrate not just the stats, but the grin-inducing sports car Z that delivers competition over the Ford Mustang, the aforementioned Toyota, and even the cars The most expensive is the Porsche Cayman.

Expected to sell: Spring 2023.

Expected price: Approximately $36,000 – $50,000

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Written by Joseph

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