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  • Writer's pictureCory Fourniquet

These Zs Won't Put You to Sleep

In a global premier hosted online and streamed from Brooklyn’s Duggal Greenhouse, about five miles from where the original 1970 Datsun 240Z made its world debut in October 1969, Nissan unveiled the full details of the 2023 Nissan Z.

Nissan is in the midst of reinventing itself in the world market, refreshing their product lineup from A to Z.

Last year we saw an updated Rogue SUV. Later we got the all-new and all-electric Nissan Aryia crossover. Earlier this year, we saw Nissan unveiled the updated Kicks and Armada. Then, we saw the first new Frontier mid-size truck in over 16 years alongside an updated Pathfinder three-row SUV.

Nissan teased us further with the Z Proto concept last September, which we get to see firsthand in Chicago.

Now, we know that the Z is in fact coming back and have all the necessary performance specs to share.

Say hello to the 2023 Nissan Z, the seventh generation sportscar to wear the iconic Z badge, stealing design cues from all generations before it.

Twin-Turbo Power

All 2023 Nissan Z models will be powered by Nissan's 3.0L twin-turbo V6 engine producing 400 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. Much to the surprise and delight of gear heads everywhere, the Z will come with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, #SaveTheManuals, or an optional 9-speed automatic. With an increase of 68 horsepower and a 30 percent increase in torque, the engine is designed to deliver a sharp, yet smooth response to the driver’s input, along with an estimated 15 percent improvement in 0 to 60 mph acceleration.

To achieve the marked increase in horsepower and torque, and to deliver sharp response, small-diameter turbochargers were adopted, as well as a turbo speed sensor to ensure the capabilities of the turbos are fully utilized (max spooling speed). The twin turbos balance power output and response time, while the use of an electronic variable valve timing (e-VVT) intake valve system ensures optimum response, adjusting the intake valve timing on-the-fly to achieve excellent response and fuel efficiency in a variety of driving scenes.

“The Z is more than a sports car you drive, it is an extension of the driver that moves and responds to the driver’s intentions,” added Gupta. “Whether on an unexplored winding road or your daily commute, the Z brings a smile and awakens the senses.”

In a first for a rear-wheel drive Nissan vehicle, Z Performance models equipped with a manual transmission include an advanced launch assist control system that helps deliver smooth acceleration from a stopped position. All automatic transmission-equipped models feature the launch control system. Manual transmission-equipped models also feature a carbon-fiber composite drive shaft, with SynchroRev Match® added to 6MT Performance models.

An advanced, quick-response 9-speed automatic transmission is also available. The new 9-speed automatic offers a direct and quick response feeling and quick acceleration, thanks to its wide gear ratio spread and standard launch control system. Its satisfying engagement keeps the thrill of Z power and performance in sync with the driver. Aluminum paddle shifters are standard on all 9AT-equipped models, with unique paddle shifters, the same design as found on GT-R, on Performance models.

One Car, Two Choices

For the United States market, the 2023 Nissan Z will be offered in Sport and Performance trims, each with your choice of the standard 6-speed manual or new 9-speed automatic transmission, and both powered by the same 3.0L twin-turbo V6.

In addition to the wide range of standard comfort, convenience and connectivity features on the Sport grade, the Performance grade adds the 8-speaker Bose® Audio System, 9.0-inch touchscreen with navigation, NissanConnect® Services with Wi-Fi hotspot, mechanical Limited Slip Differential, 19-inch RAYS® super lightweight forged aluminum-alloy mounted with Bridgestone Potenza® S007 high performance tires, Nissan Sport Brakes, heated side mirrors, aluminum sport pedals, dual exhaust with Performance grade muffler and heated, leather-appointed power seats.

Retro-Future Interior

The interior takes inspiration from other generations before it, with three analog pod gauges on the instrument panel, 8.0-inch touchscreen audio display in the center and climate control switches near the shifter, paired with a 12.3-inch customizable digital meter display and arranged to help the driver grasp it at a glance, such as the redline shift point at the 12 o’clock position.

The 12.3-inch TFT meter display is all-new with three display modes to suit driver preference. “Normal” mode offers a sporty feel with the center area for navigation, audio and vehicle information. “Enhanced” mode pushes the tachometer and speedometer to the edges of the display, giving more space in the center for a larger navigation map and information to be displayed. “Sport” mode prioritizes the tachometer in the center with shift-up light at the top for shift information in the driver’s field of view. The Sport mode also allows for a boost gauge or G meter to be displayed.

The new Z’s center stack uses a three-zone approach, placing three analog pod gauges on the instrument panel (boost, turbo speed, volt) within the driver’s eyesight. Both the manual and automatic shift levers are new, each of them custom-engineered for optimized grip and comfort.

The new, deep-dish steering wheel offers the driver quick access controls without losing its vintage aesthetic.

The design of the seats utilizes know-how from the GT-R’s development to enhance both hold and fit. An expanded use of suede on the seatback suppresses initial lateral shake on the body, creating more comfortable drives, as well as reducing body movement when the vehicle is aggressively cornering.

The 2023 Z Sport grade offers black woven cloth seats with an 8-way manual driver’s seat and 4-way manual passenger seat. The Z Performance grade adds leather-appointed seating surfaces, 4-way power driver’s seat with manual lifter, lumbar and thigh support, 4-way power passenger seat and heated seats.

A full range of convenience features are offered as standard equipment, including Nissan Intelligent Key™ with Push Button Start, Intelligent Cruise Control, Automatic Temperature Control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, RearView Monitor, two 12-volt power points, two USB points (Type-A and Type-C), and front and rear sonar sensors. The 8.0-inch display audio touchscreen with six speakers includes Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, SiriusXM® Radio, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant and Siri® Eyes Free.

The Z Performance grade includes a 9.0-inch touchscreen with navigation and NissanConnect® Services with Wi-Fi hotspot. Also included is an 8-speaker Bose® Audio system with Active Noise Cancellation and Active Sound Enhancement.

Three interior color environments are available – Black, Red and Blue. The special Z Proto Spec edition features yellow accents throughout the cabin, including stitching on the instrument panel. The seats feature layered seat material to create depth and a gradation effect.

Proto Spec Special Edition

A special edition will be offered, celebrating the very distinct Z Proto we saw last year. 240 units of the Proto Spec will be coming to America which will include yellow-colored brake calipers, bronze-colored 19-inch wheels, exclusive shift knob in manuals, exclusive leather interior with yellow accents and suede and cloth door trim with yellow stitching.

Highlights of the 2023 Nissan Z include:


  • Traditional rear-wheel drive sports car design with high rigidity body, commanding presence and advanced aerodynamics

  • Long hood, lower rear stance

  • Heritage-style LED headlights and LED daytime running lights

  • Rear LED combination lights

  • Lightweight aluminum hood, doors and hatchback

  • Dual body-colored power outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signals

  • Side sill spoilers, available front chin spoiler and rear spoiler (Performance)

  • Six available two-tone premium exterior color schemes, each featuring a Super Black roof and choice of: Brilliant Silver, Boulder Gray, Seiran Blue, Ikazuchi Yellow, Passion Red TriCoat and Everest White Pearl TriCoat

  • Three available monotone exterior colors: Black Diamond Metallic, Gun Metallic and Rosewood Metallic

Engine and Driveline

  • Front engine/rear-wheel drive

  • VR30DDTT 3.0L V6 Twin Turbo engine, 24-valve DOHC V6 (VR30DDTT), rated at 400 horsepower @ 6,400 RPM, 350 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 – 5,600 RPM

  • Electronic Variable Valve Timing Control (E-VVT)

  • Micro-finished crankshaft and camshaft; small pitch, silent cam chain; drive-by-wire throttle

  • Oil cooler, electric cooling fan

  • Standard 6-speed close-ratio manual transmission with EXEDY® high-performance clutch

  • Available SynchroRev Match®, allowing heel-toe-like downshifting (manual transmission)

  • Available electronically controlled 9-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, launch control, Downshift Rev Matching

  • Motorsports-inspired EXEDY® high-performance clutch (manual transmission models)

  • Standard aluminum paddle shifters (Sport 9AT); available unique GT-R design paddle shifters (Performance 9AT)

  • Dual outlet exhaust, available sport grade muffler (Performance)

  • Carbon fiber composite driveshaft (6MT)

Suspension, Steering and Braking

  • Double-wishbone front suspension, rear multi-link suspension; 2-point front strut tower brace; high response monotube shock absorbers

  • Large diameter front and rear hollow stabilizer bars

  • Available sport-tuned suspension (Performance)

  • Vehicle speed-sensitive electric power steering (electric rack)

  • Available mechanical clutch-type limited-slip differential (Performance)

  • Power-assisted vented front and rear disc brakes, 4-wheel anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist

  • Available Nissan Sport Brakes with 14.0-inch front/13.8-inch rear rotors and 4-piston front/2-piston rear aluminum calipers, red caliper finish (Performance)

  • Available yellow painted brake calipers (Proto Spec)

  • 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and 245/45R18 front / 245/45R18 rear Yokohama ADVAN Sport high performance tires

  • Available 19-inch RAYS® super-lightweight forged-alloy wheels with 255/40R19 front / 275/35R19 rear Bridgestone Potenza® S007 high performance tires (Performance)

Interior Features

  • 2-passenger seating, designed to fit driver and passenger like a glove

  • Seamlessly blends modern technology with classic Z hallmarks

  • 240Z-inspired center stack with instrument panel-mounted analog triple-pod cluster (turbocharger boost, turbocharger turbine speed, voltmeter)

  • 8-way manual driver’s seat, 4-way manual passenger’s seat

  • Available 4-way power adjustable driver’s seat with manual lifter, lumbar and thigh support; 4-way power passenger seat (Performance)

  • Heated seats (Performance)

  • Black woven seat cloth with synthetic suede inserts

  • Available leather-appointed seating surfaces with synthetic suede inserts (Performance)

  • Automatic Temperature Control

  • Leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel

  • Standard 8.0-inch display audio touchscreen with 6-speaker audio system

  • Available 9.0-inch touchscreen with navigation (Performance)

  • Available Bose® audio system with 8 speakers (Performance)

  • Available Active Noise Cancellation (Performance)

  • Available Active Sound Enhancement (Performance)

  • SiriusXM® Radio (SiriusXM® subscription required, sold separately)

  • Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System

  • Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant

  • Available NissanConnect® Services powered by SiriusXM

  • Available NissanConnect® with WiFi

  • Voice Recognition

  • RearView Monitor

  • Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®

  • Available aluminum-trimmed pedals (Performance)

  • Available HomeLink® Universal Transceiver (Performance)

  • Two 12-volt power outlets

  • Two USB ports (1 Type-A, 1 Type C)

  • Intelligent Cruise Control (Full Speed Range)

  • Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Ignition

  • Front and rear parking sensors

Safety, Security and Driving Assistance Technologies

  • Seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags

  • Roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags

  • Vehicle Security System

  • Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control System

  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System

  • Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection

  • Blind Spot Warning

  • Lane Departure Warning

  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert

  • Intelligent Forward Collision Warning


  • Offered in two models: Z Sport and Z Performance

  • One available option: Proto Spec (Performance model only) with yellow-colored brake calipers, bronze-colored 19-inch RAYS aluminum-alloy wheels, exclusive shift lever knob (MT only), exclusive Proto Spec leather-appointed seats with yellow accents, exclusive Proto Spec suede + cloth door trim with yellow stitching, special Proto Spec interior stitching

UPDATE (1/31/22):

Nissan PR has confirmed that the announcement in our Houston Auto Show video was incorrect. Pricing of the Z will be more than the $30,000 price quoted in that video, though no firm pricing has been announced either.

Expect final pricing to be closer to $40,000 as originally predicted.

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