2023 Nissan Z, Retro Done Right

2023 Nissan Z, Retro Done Right

Nissan has had a few hard years lately with the Carlos Ghosn fiasco as well as not making rather interesting cars other than the 14-year old GT-R. Despite having the 370Z on sale for the past 12 years, it wasn't really that interesting. Come to think of it, I can't remember the last time I saw a 370Z anyway. However, Nissan has unveiled the new Z and honestly, this may be the car we want from Nissan for years. Simply called the 'Z', it is powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 VR30DDTT producing 400hp and 475Nm of torque. The Z will be offered with a 6-speed manual or a 9-speed automatic transmission. This makes the Z direct rivals with the Toyota Supra, however the performance figures alone are already higher than the Supra while the price is also lower than a 2.0-litre inline-4 Supra.

Can It Actually Match The Supra?

While it remains unknown for the time being, Nissan has taken the effort to make the Z fit for a duel against the rival. The suspension has been reworked to reduce damping force, electronic power steering which increases cornering performance and the aluminium double wishbone suspension has a new geometry setup that enhances rigidity. Other than the transmission option, the Z will be sold in two trims, 'Sport' or 'Performance'. The trim levels however are a lot more than just suede-lined interior bits. The 'Sport' is the base spec with twin-piston calipers on the front brakes with a single-piston caliper on the rear. As standard, Yokohama Advan tires wrap the 18-inch wheel. Other than that, you could opt for either of the two gearboxes. The 'Performance' trim however is the high spec with more performance related goodies. Before you ask, no, it's not just Nismo emblems put onto the skirts. So what are the goodies? The 'Performance' receives an aluminium four-piston caliper with larger discs on the front with a twin-pot at the rear. Bridgestone's S007 wraps the 19-inch Rays wheels. Also, the 'Performance' gets a proper clutch-type limited-slip differential, unlike the viscous-style LSD on older Nissans. More good news if you opt for a manual as all manual 'Z's will come with a carbon-fiber propshaft to aid with throttle response. Exedy is also the clutch provider for this new 'Z'. Though, don't expect the clutch to be hardcore as how it might be on a racecar. It may be rather forgiving but still be able to take a beating as launch controls are standard, be it on the manual or automatic. A limited run of the yellow 'Z Proto' spec will be made available with yellow brake calipers, bronze-coloured wheels, leather seats with yellow accents and stitching. However, only 240 units will be built and will most likely be made for the North American market.

Paying Homage To The Elders

The new 'Z' looks exactly like the Proto with only minor changes. I love the fact that Nissan added a lid spoiler on the boot, giving the Z aggression it deserves. Generally the car pays tribute to the original Z with the long hood. The front really looks like a modern interpretation of the 240Z with the square grille. The LED daytime running lights are however a distinct feature that is truly eye-catching. The tribute doesn't stop there as it is also seen in the interior, adopting the retro design whilst being modern. As standard, there is a 12.3-inch digital instrument gauge cluster with three analog gauges sitting above the infotainment screen. These analog gauges display boost pressure, voltage and turbo speed. Nissan also lets customers choose what colours they want their gauges to be, whether it's Graphite, Red or Blue.

Nissan May Have Done The Retro Game Right

While everyone wants a piece of that retro pie, I personally believe that Nissan has done it properly or at least better than Toyota in that sense. Everything about the Z is new and still it captures what people want in nostalgia. The gauges were unnecessary but it was a nice touch. I'm not saying that the Supra isn't any good but it leaves a lot to be desired. Kudos Nissan, you have won me over with the 'Z'. The prices of the Z will start at $40,000USD (estimated to be RM300,000 in Malaysia) for the Sport while the Performance isn't mentioned for now. It will be available in the U.S. in Spring of 2022 while *if* Malaysia gets it, maybe sometime in early 2023. Written by | Danial Malek Images by | Nissan