2023 Nissan Z arrives with 400 hp, retro styling, optional blue or red interiors

The Nissan Z rides again, and for the first time in its history a number won’t be part of its name.

On Tuesday, the 2023 Nissan Z broke cover with a turbocharged engine, modern technology and safety equipment, a manual transmission, and a throwback design.

2023 Nissan Z

2023 Nissan Z

Turbocharged again

The Z hasn’t featured factory turbochargers since the Z32 generation built from 1990 to 1996, but the new Z35 generation will return to forced induction. Nissan’s twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 sits under the Z’s hood. It makes 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, and has a redline of 6,800 rpm. If that sounds familiar it’s because it’s the same engine that powers the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400. A 6-speed manual, with available rev-matching capability, will be standard for those who #GiveAShift, while a 9-speed automatic with GT-R-like paddle shifters will be an option. Nissan said the Z’s 0-60 mph time has improved by 15%, which should put it in the low 4-second range.

2023 Nissan Z

2023 Nissan Z

The Z35 will be the first Nissan with a manual transmission to feature launch control, which will only be included with more-expensive Performance model rather than the base Sport model. Every Z with an automatic transmission will have launch control, and the Performance model will get a rear mechanical limited-slip differential.

The 370Z’s front double-wishbone aluminum suspension served as a starting point, but Nissan modified the geometry with increased caster angle to improve straight-line stability. A strut tower brace is also added up front.

2023 Nissan Z

2023 Nissan Z

The independent multi-link aluminum rear suspension was also reconfigured. The monotube shock absorbers are larger in diameter, which Nissan said delivers a 20% reduction in damping force that will minimize impact shock over uneven surfaces. Wider front tires increase the Z’s maximum cornering G forces by up to 13%, according to Nissan. The new Z also gets electric-assist instead of hydraulic-assist power steering.

The brakes from the 370Z return for the Z35. The base brakes are 12.6 inches in diameter up front with 2-piston calipers and 12.1 inches in the rear with single-piston calipers. Performance models get upgraded to 14.0-inch front and 13.8-inch rear rotors grabbed by red-painted aluminum 4-piston floating front and 2-piston rear calipers.

Like the outgoing Z, the Z35 generation will ride on 18- or 19-inch wheels. The base Sport model switches to a square setup with 18×9 aluminum wheels front and rear wrapped in Yokohama ADVAN Sport P245/45R18 tires. Performance trim cars will ride on staggered 19×9.5 front and 19×10 RAYS lightweight forged alloy wheels with Bridgestone Potenza S007 255/40R19 front and 275/35/R19 rear tires.

2023 Nissan Z

2023 Nissan Z

2023 Nissan Z

2023 Nissan Z

2023 Nissan Z

2023 Nissan Z

Throwing it way back

The Z35 generation looks to the past to move forward. The proportions scream traditional sports car with a long hood, low-slung roof that resolves into a fastback look, and a short rear end.

The design of the front and overall side profile pay homage to the 240Z of the 1970s. The LED headlights have a round look thanks to two half-circles that make up the daytime running lights. The rear recalls the Z32-generation Z from the 1990s with horizontal LED taillights.

Performance models get a rear lip spoiler to add positive pressure to mitigate rear lift, while a front spoiler adds negative pressure.

2023 Nissan Z

2023 Nissan Z

Inside, the Z35 feels like a modernized 370Z. Sport models feature a 12.3-digital gauge cluster, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and three analog gauges atop the dashboard canted toward the driver. The Performance trim swaps the 8.0-inch touchscreen for a 9.0-inch unit with navigation and adds an eight-speaker Bose audio system.

2023 Nissan Z

2023 Nissan Z

For the first time since the Z32 model of the 1990s, the Z will be available with a blue or red interior, along with the standard black option.

A special Proto Spec model will be limited to 240 units in the U.S. and feature yellow brake calipers with the Z logo, bronze 19-inch RAYS wheels, an exclusive shift knob lever in cars equipped with the manual transmission, leather-appointed seats with yellow accents, suede and cloth door trim, and yellow stitching throughout the cabin.

Every Z will come standard with active safety technology including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot warnings, lane-departure warnings, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

Nissan hasn’t said how much the 2023 Z will cost when it arrives in dealers next spring.

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