Nissan today revealed that its upcoming seventh-generation Z sports car will go on sale in the first half of 2022 powered by a 400-hp, 3.0L twin-turbo V6 and be known by that single letter, making it the first in the car’s 50-plus-year history without a numerical designation.
The 2023 Nissan Z, of course, is to be the latest in a line of cars that began with the 240Z and replaces the aging 370Z that has graced the brand’s showrooms since 2009. The new car’s styling borrows from the OG Z, sports taillights inspired by the 300ZX of the early 1990s, and has a retro-style deep-dish steering wheel.
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Today’s announcement quashes months – if not years – of speculation that the car would be called the 400Z, a name that would nonetheless make sense given the car’s power output, even though all previous generations have been named according to their engine displacement. The new car will have 68 hp and 80 lb-ft more than the outgoing 370Z and its 3.7L V6.
When the new Z reaches showrooms, you’ll be able to channel that power to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual transmission or a nine-speed automatic.
Nissan says the new engine will cut the Z’s 0–60 mph (96 km/h) time by 15 per cent, but doesn’t say which of the two new transmissions will be quicker or exactly how quick each will be.
Whatever the acceleration time ends up being, if you’re keen on extracting all of the Z’s performance potential, Nissan is building in some tech that promises to help.
When equipped with an available Performance package, the six-speed model will become the first rear-drive Nissan available with a launch-control system, and stickshift Performance-pack cars will come with a SynchroRev Match downshift system carried forward from the 370Z.
All automatic Zs will have launch control as standard, along with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and adding the Performance pack upgrades the paddles to the same ones found in the GT-R.
Nissan engineered the Z’s suspension for more cornering grip than the 370Z, with new shocks to minimize impact harshness on rough roads and, in the company’s words, enhance road-following performance and handling stability. Other mechanical upgrades included in the Performance package are larger brakes, a mechanical limited-slip differential, 19-inch Rays wheels, an upgraded clutch and a dual exhaust.
Every new Z will have a sport drive mode to make the steering and drivetrain more willing partners in enthusiastic driving, and it’ll also toggle an active sound enhancement system.
Nissan isn’t ready to talk pricing yet, but the company says the Z’s base Sport trim will come with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, passive keyless entry, automatic A/C, an auto-dimming mirror, and a six-speaker stereo and an 8.0-inch touchscreen. Also standard will be forward collision detection with automatic braking, blind-spot warning, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high-beams, and intelligent cruise control.
The Performance trim level also gets heated, power-adjustable leather seats with driver lumbar and adjustable thigh support, and an eight-speaker stereo.
Nissan will also offer a limited-edition Proto Spec with yellow brake calipers, bronze Rays wheels, yellow-trimmed leather seats and suede/cloth door panels, and a trim-specific shifter for the six-speed.