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  5. First Look: 2023 Nissan Z

 
The 1990s are making a comeback. The renaissance started with the return of the Acura NSX for the 2017 model year. The same year, Honda finally decided to start selling the high-performance Civic Type-R in the U.S. After what seemed like an eternity, Toyota released an all-new Toyota Supra as a 2020 model. And now Nissan has released the official specs for the 2023 Z. That's right--it doesn't have a numerical prefix. But it has plenty of Z car DNA.

 

Trim Levels

When the Z rolls into AutoNation Nissan dealerships in the spring of 2022, it'll be available in two different trim levels. Pricing for the base Sport model starts at around $40,000, according to a Nissan representative. The next level up is the Performance model. 
Nissan will also offer a run of 240 Proto Spec models that commemorate the 2020 Z Proto concept car and feature bronze 19-inch RAYS wheels, yellow brake calipers, special leather seats with yellow accents, and more. High Beam Assist, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are standard across the range of Z models.



Family Resemblance

Nissan looked to its past to take the Z into its seventh generation. Its profile hearkens back to the early Z cars right down to the placement of the badge above the rear fenders. Diehard Z fans will appreciate the separate semicircular LED headlight elements, which Nissan says were inspired by the lighting on the 1970s 240ZG sold only in Japan. The horizontal taillight bars are an updated take on the second-generation 300ZX's distinctive rear lighting. 

There are two primary paint schemes. The monotone color palette includes Black Diamond Metallic, Gun Metallic, and Rosewood Metallic. Brilliant Silver, Boulder Gray, Seiran Blue, Ikazuchi Yellow, Passion Red TriCoat, and Everest White Pearl TriCoat come set against a Super Black roof for a two-tone look.

The Z Sport is equipped with 18-inch wheels wrapped in 245/45R18 front and rear Yokohama ADVAN Sport tires. Behind those is a set of 12.6-inch vented front brake rotors with two-piston fixed calipers and 12.1-inch vented rear brake rotors with single-piston calipers. 

A mechanical limited-slip differential and a set of lightweight forged 19-inch RAYS wheels surrounded by 255/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear Bridgestone Potenza S007 tires help the Z Performance model deliver its power. Front and rear spoilers push it closer to the road. Stopping force comes from 14-inch vented front discs with four-piston floating calipers and 13.8-inch vented rear rotors with two-piston calipers. 

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Inner Resemblance

There are more heritage-inspired touches inside the cabin, which comes in red, black, or blue. The leather-wrapped steering wheel's small-diameter horn pad is a nod to the Z cars of yesteryear. Like some of its ancestors, the Z has three auxiliary gauges on top of its dashboard. This time around, they show the boost pressure, turbo speed, and battery voltage.

A customizable 12.3-inch TFT display shows the other main gauges in one of three layouts. Normal mode puts the navigation, audio, and vehicle info in the center. The Enhanced setting makes the navigation screen and vehicle stats the display priority and pushes the tachometer and speedometer off to the edges. Sport mode focuses on the tach and places a shift light right in the driver's line of sight. 

Standard equipment in the Sport model includes black cloth seats with eight-way adjustability on the driver side and 4-way adjustability on the passenger side, a six-speaker audio system, and an eight-inch center touchscreen that's compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

Performance models are furnished with heated leather/synthetic suede seats with four-way power adjustment, aluminum sport pedals, an eight-speaker Bose sound system, and a nine-inch touchscreen that provides access to navigation, NissanConnect Services, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. All Zs feature Push Button Start, Intelligent Cruise Control, Automatic Temperature Control, RearView Monitor, a pair of 12-volt power points, two USB ports (Type-A and Type-C), and other conveniences.

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PSI FTW

For the first time since the 1990s, the Z is turbocharged. Nissan fitted its direct-injection 3.0-liter V6 with a pair of small-diameter turbos that boost its output to 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque - increases of 68 and 80, respectively, compared to the regular 370Z's naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V6. Those figures help the new Z hit 60 mph 15 percent more quickly than its predecessor. 

The Z routes its ample power through either a six-speed manual with a high-performance clutch or a new nine-speed automatic with aluminum paddle shifters and standard and sport modes. Performance models with the manual gearbox come with the convenience of SynchroRev Match and the fun of launch control assist; those that send their power through the automatic get the same paddle shifters as the almighty Nissan GT-R. Regardless of transmission, Performance models breath through a special muffler and dual-exhaust system.

To improve the Z's straight-line stability, Nissan tweaked the front double-wishbone suspension's geometry. The independent multi-link rear suspension received its own set of adjustments. Both ends are fitted with larger monotube shocks designed to minimize the impact of bumps in the road and improve handling. The Z can hit 13 percent higher G forces in corners thanks to its electric power steering, more rigid body, and wider front tires.



More to Come

We have a lot to look forward to in 2022. Acura is bringing back the Integra. The NSX is going out on a 600-horsepower high note in Type S form. And a new Nissan Z is coming to take on the Toyota Supra. Mazda, feel free to join the '90s party. Just show up with a new RX-7. And tell Mitsubishi to bring a next-generation 3000GT.

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Nissan Trim Levels Guide

Let's take a closer look at the options Nissan offers for your favorite Nissan car, truck, or SUV.



2023 Nissan Z Specs

Layout

2-door, 2-passenger, RWD

Engine/Transmission

Turbo 3.7L V6, 400 hp, 350 lb-ft
6-speed stick or 9-speed auto

Mileage

N/A

NHTSA Safety Rating

N/A


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*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.