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Z is back again!

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Japanese sports car and the sporty compacts that hit the road during the 1990s are models we often look back on with nostalgia, but let’s keep the ride through the nostalgia lane right there. Even if we don’t fully appreciate it at the moment, we are living in another golden age of Japanese sports cars. On sale or coming soon, we have Acura NSX WELL, Nissan GT-CHEAP, Toyota GR Supra, Toyota GR86/Subaru BRZ, Subaru WRX, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Honda Civic Si and CHEAP type, Integration of Acura and Toyota GR Corolla.

And now you can add new 2023 Nissan Z to the list. For too long, Nissan has let 370Z wallow without the update. Not until 2017 – or nine years later 370Z launch – that Nissan began simply shaping what the next Z would be. And now finally in 2022 we can slip behind the wheel of a new Z car.

Las Vegas is the destination, and even in this hypercar-filled area, the new Z – start at (drum roll please) $41,015 – requires more attention than anything else. The exterior design of the Z is one of the big wins for this car and it sets extremely high expectations for what the two-door sports coupe will deliver. Similar to how GR Supra instantly captivates you with its impossibly curves, the new Z captivates you instantly with its classic Z shape. There is a similarity to the outgoing 370Z, but absolutely no one will mistake the new Z for the old. From the classic LED taillights to the square grille and the 240Z silhouette, the new Z looks like a piece. And while we really hope it won’t take Nissan 14 years to update the model, the design will remain popular for a long time.

Underneath the sheet metal of the 2023 Z is a big question mark. Controversial, the chassis conversion from ye olde 370Z. However, Nissan didn’t just give up when it came to developing the new Z’s platform and structure, and we got our first glimpse of everything new under the shiny bodywork. Additional components and improved materials in the structure mean it has 10.8% greater torsional stiffness and 23.9% higher body stiffness than the 370Z. The double wishbone front suspension has been treated to increase positive pitch (Nissan says it improves straight-line stability and handling), and the rear suspension has also been tweaked. The new passive single-tube dampers replace the old twin-tube dampers, theoretically allowing smoother driving while maintaining handling. Plus, the wider front wheels and tires provide more grip – Nissan claims 13% better performance on the skidpad.

These changes to the 370Z’s underpinnings are really noticeable, but there’s something else that will catch your eye first: the new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. Output looks excellent on the spec sheet, as the hilariously named VR30DDTT engine makes 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Although also found in Infiniti Q50 and Q60 Red Sports, Z engineers decided the engine needed a bit more “Z” to fit a focused two-door sports coupe. The biggest impact is a new turbocharger recirculation valve that ensures the turbine stays on even when you lift the throttle slightly, reducing the feeling of turbine “lag”. In addition, a new turbo speed sensor allows Nissan to more precisely measure and control the speed at which the turbine can rotate, allowing engineers to push harder. Nissan even includes a sweet turbo tachometer as one of the three analog gauges on the top of the dashboard.

Predictably, the massive increase in power and torque results in a car that feels noticeably quicker to drive than the upcoming 370Z. Nissan has allowed us to pass various accelerations of the 2023 Zs compared to the 370Z on the track, and although Nissan does not provide an official 0-60 mph time, we are positive that new car at least 15% faster. A new launch control standard on automatic transmissions certainly helps the cause.

Engine response is also clearly improved compared to Infiniti The red sports model. Peak boost hits early at 1,600rpm, but it doesn’t drop quickly after that, as the Nissan can maintain peak torque at 5,200rpm. This results in a muscular and powerful power range from bottom to top – peak horsepower is generated at 6,400 rpm and redline is at 7,000 rpm.

Unlike the 370Z that required revs, the new Z will have a curvy rear end with very little effort under that tremendous amount of torque. You don’t have to push too hard to get a good tire scratch in the second to third shifts, and those turbochargers help the car maintain torque and power even at high track speeds. . Speaking of which, Nissan let us loose on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to test the new Z’s limits on the track in both the six-speed manual and the new nine-speed automatic.

There’s no need to bury lead here – the manual is the way to go. You might think that’s an obvious conclusion for us to come to, but the Nissan/Infiniti manual is rarely commendable. The 370Z’s gear lever can best be described as unsophisticated and uncomplicated as to become a burden, but thankfully, that’s no longer the case. Nissan made some changes to the gearshift mechanism and also added a new cone sync to the first and second transmissions to improve the feel of the gearshift. We’d say the new Z is a smooth shifting car.

Along the way, it was easy to swap between gears, as we got used to the manual transmission in no time. Press the rev-match button and Nissan’s “SynchroRev Match” system will disconnect the throttle for you when shifting gears. Press it again and you can turn it off to work on your own heel.

Honestly, we still like the way 370Z handled despite its old age, and Z is a worthy successor. Unsurprisingly, it’s better. The body is a bit thin, but has good predictability and control. Movements are kept tight enough to check that quick angle transitions don’t damage the chassis. All that extra torque means you need to be smoother and more careful when accelerating and accelerating out of corners (it likes to step aside), but it’s appreciated when you’re on the move. go straight. Throttle sensitivity could be more granular, as it can be difficult to adjust when you’re trying to gradually increase torque after a top trim. Push the limits of traction through a long corner and Z rewards with a balanced chassis that doesn’t surrender to the underdog, but also doesn’t come around to the hard overdriver. Having more tires now would probably make it better on the track, but it could come at the expense of street fun.

Our initial impressions of the nine-speed automatic weren’t quite as pleasant on the track. Transmission falls from the same family as Border‘sand Titanis a nine-speed automatic, so it shares many of those features. However, Nissan has modified it for use in a sports car, giving it a weight-reduced magnesium box, a new centrifugal pendulum absorber and all-new tuning. You can control it via the paddle shifters that are detached right from the GT-CHEAP, It’s a good thing. When leaving its own gear in “Sport” mode on the road, it is smart enough to keep gears and shift gears when brake. It’s not the smoothest automatic, though, and some crude shifts can upset the car in mid-corners and disrupt your flow. Your best bet is to set it to manual mode for full control as you do each shift.

On the road, this automatic in manual mode is a solid performer. It’s not as quick or sharp as By Supra The ZF is eight-speed, but you can really have a good time touching the paddles and getting a quick response. And you will need. Sport mode isn’t far from the track when you’re not constantly hitting the gas at speeds that would be very legal in the real world. It shifts too often out of the happy zone before you want it to – other performance-oriented autopilots do a better job of avoiding this. As it stands, you’ll need manual mode to get the most out of automatic Z.

We can now tell you that almost all of our impressions of the new Z are of the Performance model. It’s the more performance model of the two available (hence the name), as the base model is simply referred to as the “Sport”. With “Performance,” Nissan adds larger brakes, a mechanical limited-slip differential, 19-inch Rays wheels with wider tyres, a SynchroRev Match for manuals, and a rear spoiler that facilitates maneuvering. higher top speed. It also adds other conveniences, including leather/heated/electrically adjustable seats, a 9-inch touchscreen (upgrade on the 7-inch screen) and a Bose sound system. For all of that, you pay $10,000 more than the base Sport, making the Performance model $51,015 – manual and automatic are about the same price – including the 1,025 destination charge dollars. At that price point, GR Supra 3.0 become a consideration.

Thankfully, the Z’s interior can go up in price right now. It’s been heavily refurbished, though convertible details like awkward seat controls, door handles and some air vents are all identical. The digital gauge cluster features an excellent Z-to-Z display that prioritizes the front and center of the tachometer, and offers several gauge displays not shown in the three Analog gauges on the dashboard. Plus, the new infotainment system supports up to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto no matter what screen size you have.

Perhaps the most important interior change is the addition of a telescopic steering wheel. Nissan says it’s expanding the height range of people who can comfortably drive, and claims that people up to 6 feet 3 inches tall can now comfortably and naturally in the cabin.

With a base price of just $41,015, Z has the potential to find a ton of butts and rightfully so. This is a car a lot of money. Plus, we can finally say that the Nissan Z is a sports car without any major weaknesses or obvious reasons to skip it for something else. It even has a range of driver-assistance systems available, including on manually-equipped cars, so you don’t have to sit behind other modern cars if you want to use it. it’s like a daily driver. That said, the ride is still choppy – adaptive dampers would be a good solution – and the cabin is still far from quiet.

Our advice: Choose the manual in the Performance section if you can use it. While automatics are much more serviceable and enjoyable than before, other cars offer a much more enjoyable and engaging driving experience. And finally, do it yourself and order yours in Seiran Blue with a blue interior. This is a car worth a little splurge.

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