Nissan Z, no Europe but many tributes to the past

Nissan Z, no Europe but many tributes to the past

Nissan Z

Predictably, given the type of engine it is fitted with, the new Nissan Z announced in recent days will not be sold in Europe. Although there are no official motivations from the parent company, Nissan had already made clear reference to the various rules (on emissions) existing in the old continent in the past. And given that in the next few years they will become even more restrictive, the Japanese company did not want to consider the hypothesis of a three-cylinder or diesel version only for Europe.

The new Nissan "only" Z (because it is missing any number after the name) is a classic car in every respect. This was underlined by the head of design, Alfonso Albaisa, speaking about it to the American newspaper Road & Track. The lines of the body have been simplified to the maximum by combining modernity and the past. The headlights and the hood, in fact, recall the very first version of the 240Z presented in 1969. And for the most forgetful, there is precisely a date on the rear window to remember him.

According to Albaisa himself, we wanted to go back to basics after having "lost the way" as far as the Z line is concerned. Especially in terms of aesthetics, the latest models recycled the version of the early 2000s. Although it was a successful car, it was almost twenty years old on its shoulders and therefore needed a clean break. The new Z may not please everyone, but it is certainly not a simple update. And more than anything else, it retains the key points of sports cars as they once were: powerful and aggressive especially in performance.

In fact, the three-liter V6 engine should be remembered, which generates almost 70 horsepower more than the previous model, thanks to the double supercharging. Combined with the classic rear-wheel drive and optional “track” accessories, it makes the new Z very attractive overseas. Even considering that it will cost around $ 40,000, which for a 400 horsepower car is not an exaggerated figure. In practice, Nissan seems to have hit all targets with the new generation of its famous car. Too bad we will never drive it in Europe, except in a few video games.

2023 Nissan Z: 400 Horsepower, Twin Turbos, Two Seats, $40K

Nissan launched the seventh generation of its Z with two models: the Z Sport and Z Performance. Nissan

Nissan Tuesday launched the seventh-generation Z-Car with a simplified lineup of two models and a streamlined name, Nissan Z. The car will have a 400-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine, an estimated zero-to-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds and a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission. It will ship in spring 2022 as a 2023 model, with the Toyota Supra as its primary competitor.

Nissan is keeping the lineup and options list simple, mindful that yearly sales haven’t hit 10,000 units in a decade, a far cry from the last century when in the best years annual sales came close to the 100,000 unit mark. The 2023 entry model is the Z Sport, the upgrade model is the Z Performance. There also will be a one-time, launch edition run of 240 units (as in 240Z, the very first 1970 then-Datsun Z-Car) called the Nissan Z Proto Spec.

The options are effectively the two trim lines, paint colors and the choice of manual versus automatic transmission.

2023 Nissan ZNissan Z cockpit has an 8-inch infortainment display for the Sport, 9 inches for the Performance. NissanA Revolution

“When we introduced it in 1969, the Z was a revolution,” said Ashwani Gupta, chief operating officer of Nissan Motor Company. “For more than 50 years, the Z played at the intersection of aspiration and attainability, of dreams and reality.”

With another nod to history, Nissan held the world launch on the Brooklyn, New York, waterfront at Duggall Greenhouse. The 1969 launch of the very first Datsun 240Z was five miles away, still in New York City. The $40,000 estimated price is about what the average new car costs in 2022 and the price is effectively unchanged from the 2003 350Z, adjusted for inflation. That 2003 Nissan 350Z listed for $27,000, and with 287 horsepower it was a performance bargain for the era that revived the car’s desirability.

Nissan Z 2023Nisan Z instrument panel is a 12.3-inch LCD display. Nissan2023 Nissan Z Features

All Nissan Z’s have two seats, a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 in front, rear-wheel-drive, LED headlamps and rear taillamps, an aluminum hood, doors and hatchback.

Manual transmission cars get a six-speed, close-ratio gearbox with Nissan SynchroRev Match, taking the place of rev-match heel-and-toe throttle blipping to match engine and drivetrain revolutions when downshifting. The nine-speed automatic has aluminum paddle shifters on Z Sport while the Performance gets Nissan GTR-style design paddle shifters.

The instrument panel is a 12.3-inch configurable LCD instrument panel (configurable within Nissan’s parameters). The center stack has three freestanding analog gauges atop the dashboard, facing the driver: turbocharger boost and turbocharger tach (rpm) and volts. Below that, in the center stack, is an LCD infotainment display. No head-up display is mentioned.

Here’s what the two main trim lines offer:

The $40K Z Sport has aluminum-alloy wheels with Yokohama ADVAN Sport 245/45R18 front and rear high-performance wheels and tires, black woven seat cloth with faux-suede inserts.

The higher, Performance, trim line has a sport-grade muffler, sport-tuned suspension, clutch-type limited-slip differential,19-inch RAYS lightweight forged-alloy wheels with 255/40R19 front / 275/35R19 rear Bridgestone Potenza S007 performance tires, larger brakes, power-adjusting heated seats, leather-appointed seating surfaces with synthetic suede inserts and Homelink garage controller.

2023 Nissan ZThe V6 engine with twin turbos produces 400 horsepower. The 2003 engine that resurrected sales at the start of the century output 273. NissanZ Proto Spec Special Features

The 240-unit run of Proto Spec Z cars—one for every four Nissan dealers—has yellow-colored brake calipers, bronze-colored 19-inch RAYS aluminum-alloy wheels, exclusive shift lever knob for manual gearbox models, exclusive Proto Spec leather-appointed seats with yellow accents, Proto Spec suede plus cloth door trim with yellow stitching and special Proto Spec interior stitching.

The engine and performance specs don’t change on the Proto Spec.

For those starting to think about early ordering, there are six two-tone colors, each with a black roof and choice of Brilliant Silver, Boulder Gray, Seiran Blue, Ikazuchi Yellow, Passion Red TriCoat or Everest White Pearl TriCoat body paint. There are three monotone colors: Black Diamond Metallic, Gun Metallic or Rosewood Metallic.

2023 Nissan ZSitting atop the dash, facing the driver, are three analog gauges showing turbocharger boost, turbocharger speed and volts. NissanInfotainment and Driver Assists

The Sport gets an 8-inch center display, Bluetooth, satellite radio, dual USB jacks; the Performance gets a 9-inch display with eight-speaker Bose audio, active noise cancellation (for road noise) and active sound enhancement (to amplify engine sounds). Nissan Connect telematics with WiFi is available.

Standard safety and driver-assist features include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and front and rear parking sensors. But the 2023 Z doesn’t appear to have the Nissan Safety Shield 360 safety suite, which also calls for automatic high beam control and rear automatic braking.

2023 Nissan ZIn profile, the 2023 Z shares some styling cues going back half a century. NissanIs the Nissan Z Worth Buying Over the Competition?

For those who want a two-seat sports car that’s mainstream-priced, the 2023 Z has the features and potential to be the sports car for the middle of the decade. It will be newer than the Toyota Supra, which is joint engineering and production venture with BMW, which supplies the two engine types and builds the car. BMW seems to have less interest in two-seat sports cars than Toyota does.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a classic sports car with a lower-power engine but Mazda says, “It’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.” The Fiat 124, sibling to the MX-5, was discontinued after the 2020 model year. The 2022 Subaru BRZ, due to be announced shortly, is expected to have about 50 horsepower more than the 181-horsepower Miata and 150 horsepower less than the 2023 Z. Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro compete more with each other than with the Z Car or Supra.

Based on its specs, the 2023 Z should be a desirable car: 3.5 seconds to 60 mph for $40,000 is compelling. If it proves popular, watch out for dealers seeking an extra $5,000 or more to put a buyer at the top of a waiting list.

Nissan Z car2023 Nissan Z foreground with Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta, original 240Z at the rear, during Tuesday’s worldwide debut in Brooklyn. Nissan