Although the 2021 New York International Auto Show has been cancelled, Nissan has stuck to its schedule and unveiled the all-new Nissan Z coupe today. The production coupe is almost identical to the Z Proto that was shown just eleven months ago, and with the model name just called Z.
This seventh-generation Nissan Z coupe has unchanged “heritage-inspired” styling elements seen in the Z Proto, including the mesmerising circular LED headlamps that hark back to the Japan market-only 240ZG of the 1970s.
The taillamps meanwhile have an oblong 3D lighting signature that is reminiscent of the Z32 Nissan 300ZX. A simple and effective rear spoiler is fitted on the upper Performance grade. Dimensionally, the new Nissan Z and the outgoing Z34 Nissan 370Z shares the same short wheelbase of 2,550 mm. Width is retained at 1,845 mm while the new Z is longer at 4,379 mm.
Under the beautifully sculptured aluminium bonnet lies the VR30DDTT 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine that currently serves the Infiniti Q50 and Q60 models plus the Japan market-only Nissan Skyline 400R. Power outputs are similar, which are 405 hp and 475 Nm of torque.
The twin turbochargers feature optical speed sensors and electronic wastegate controllers to allow for faster spooling and higher turbine speeds, rotating up to 240,000 rpm during peak demands.
Unlike the new Toyota GR Supra, Nissan is offering the new Nissan Z with a choice of a six-speed manual transmission. Based on the gear ratios, it is a carried-over item from the outgoing Z34 model, as with the carbon fibre composite central propeller shaft. A new motorsport-inspired high-performance Exedy clutch is fitted as standard though.
As for the automatic transmission, Nissan is offering an all-new 9-speed unit that is also seen in the new 2021 Nissan Frontier pick-up. Both the manual and automatic transmission now have a Launch Control function for smooth and controlled acceleration from a standstill.
The automatic transmission features a Sport mode with faster powertrain and steering response, less restrained stability control as well as more pumped-up Active Sound Enhancement (synthesised engine note into the cabin).
No mention of the benchmark 0 to 60 mph sprint times, but Nissan says the new powertrain should shave 15% compared to the outgoing model, which is 5.2 seconds.
Body rigidity has been increased for the new Nissan Z, with new monotube shock absorbers, new suspension geometry and high-performance tyres help increase the maximum cornering G by up to 13%. Nissan has also fitted an updated mechanical rear limited-slip differential (LSD) in the new Nissan Z, replacing the viscous-based unit.
In the USA, which is the Nissan Z model’s largest market, two variants are offered- Sport and Performance. In the namesake variant, the Nissan Z Performance gets sport-tuned suspension paired with larger multi-piston aluminium brake calipers in red, lightweight forged Rays 19-inch wheels wrapped with Bridgestone Potenza S007 tyres and subtle front and rear spoilers.
Inside, the Performance variant gets more niceties too, such as leather-upholstered power-adjustable sports seats, a larger 9-inch touchscreen infotainment display, Bose audio with eight speakers and Active Sound Enhancement, sports foot pedals and Nissan Connect services.
Being a sportscar, the fully digital 12.3-inch instrument panel displays a large tachometer at the centre with a racing driver inspired redline (7,000 rpm) and shift-up light at the ‘12 o’clock’ position. Other vital information such as fluid temperatures and oil pressure are also displayed in large circular gauges.
The driver’s instrumentation is completed with a three-pod analogue gauge set consisting of the turbocharger boost meter, turbocharger turbine speed (up to 250,000 rpm) and battery voltmeter.
At the safety front, all models will come standard with Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind-Spot Warning with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning and High Beam Assist.
In conjunction with the launch in the US, Nissan will offer the Z Proto variant that takes plenty of inspiration from last year’s Z Proto model. Limited to just 240 units, the Proto Spec model includes yellow-coloured brake calipers with Z logo, bronze-coloured 19-inch Rays forged wheels, exclusive manual shift lever knob, Proto Spec leather seats with yellow accents, Proto Spec suede and cloth door trim with yellow stitching and finished with Proto Spec interior stitching.
No mention of the price, but looking at its closest competitor, the Toyota GR Supra with a 388-horsepower straight-six engine is priced from USD51,909 (approx RM220k) to USD54,795 (approx RM232k). The Toyota will continue to enjoy sales this year as Nissan is only planning to deliver the new Nissan Z from Spring 2022, hence identifying the Nissan Z as a 2023 model.
2023 Nissan Z Proto Spec (USA)