ZED’S NOT DEAD!
INCOMING! Nissan’s 298kW über-coupe revealed
NISSAN CERTAINLY WASN’T kidding when it stated that the production 2023 Z would stay faithful the design of the Z Proto design study. It’s almost indistinguishable, and that is a very good thing.
Rather predictably, big-cube natural aspiration has been replaced by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo setup, good for 298kW at 6400rpm, with a hefty torque bump to 475Nm between 1600 and 5600rpm. By way of comparison, the outgoing 370Z Nismo, with its 3.7-litre atmo V6 powerplant, generates 253kW and 371Nm. Still want that GR 86?
Nissan hasn’t released performance figures yet for its reardrive coupe, estimating a 15 per cent acceleration boost, but we’d conservatively expect mid-fours to 100km/h. The engine features two small-diameter turbochargers to reduce lag, while an electronic variable intake valve timing (e-VVT) system also helps throttle response and fuel efficiency. The 2997cc VR30DDTT powerplant is much the same as that used in the Infiniti Q50/ Q60 twins, appearing on Wards’ 10 Best Engines list in 2017 and 2018.
“Simply put, our goal is to make this the best Z yet, period. With each generation, we raise the bar, pushing the limits of Z and continuing to tap into the human instinct for that next thrilling journey,” said Hiroshi Tamura, chief product specialist of the new Z.
Buyers get a choice between a six-speed manual and a ninespeed automatic transmission. The six-speed close-ratio manual ’box is mated to an Exedy highperformance clutch, a carbon-fibre propshaft and features launch assist. Go for the auto and launch control is also featured with the option of aluminium paddle shifters of the same design found on the GT-R. The auto ’box also features standard and Sport drive modes.
Nissan has beefed up body rigidity, fitted an electronically assisted power steering setup and widened the tyres on both the Sport and Performance trims levels announced for the US market. It’s likely that when the car comes to Australia, these trims will be rationalised to a single model, and looks set to be based on the Performance variant.
Larger passive dampers are fitted to the front double wishbone suspension, which features an increased caster angle for better stability. The rear is a multilink setup, and the Performance trim gets a mechanical clutch LSD. Another feature unique to the Performance trim is a larger rear spoiler, increasing