Even the best laid plans can go awry. It’s been 11 years since Nissan Z fans have had a new version of the legendary sports car. Its arrival had been promised for the spring, aka now. That’s why Nissan is holding drives for the media this week in Las Vegas. The car was expected to be in showrooms.
But now comes word from Japan that the can is delayed until late June due to the recent impact of parts supply, according to the company, resulting in the cars delay until “summer 2022,” which ends Sept. 21. Of course, the release schedule may change depending on the parts supply situation.”
That said, none of this comes as a shock to most consumers, who have become accustom to waiting for their cars to be built since the onset of the pandemic and the resulting shortages, delays and production shutdowns.
What to expect
Thankfully, the Z remains what it always has been: a two-seat, rear-wheel drive sports car. It will be offered in three ascending trim levels: Sport, Performance, and the Z Proto Spec, limited to 240 units.
The new 2023 Z’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine produces 400 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 350 pound-feet, up 68 horsepower and an estimated 15% improvement in 0-to-60 mph acceleration. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, a 9-speed automatic is optional. Zs with the automatic transmission come with a launch control system, while manual models come with a carbon-fiber composite drive shaft, and rev matching on added to 6MT Performance trims.
The Z’s platform is fitted with a double-wishbone aluminum front suspension and an independent multi-link aluminum suspension with new, larger monotube shock absorbers that provides a 20% reduction in dampening force. Sport grade wear 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and Yokohama ADVAN Sport high performance tires, while Z Performance grades features 19-inch RAYS super lightweight forged aluminum-alloy mounted with Bridgestone Potenza S007 high performance tires.
The inside story
Once ensconced behind the wheel, drivers will face a reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT digital instrument cluster with Normal, Enhanced and Sport modes. But some design traditions are meant to endure. So, longtime Z fans will be relieved that three analog gauges for boost, turbo speed, and volts still reside atop the instrument panel.
An 8-inch touchscreen and six speaker audio system is standard, along with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, SiriusXM Radio, and Siri Eyes Free. Other standard goodies include push button start, intelligent cruise control, automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, two 12-volt power points, and Type A and C USB points. Z Performance models have a larger nine-inch touchscreen with navigation and Wi-Fi hotspot, and an eight-speaker Bose Audio system.
Nissan hasn’t announced pricing for the new Z yet, but prices announced in Japan start at ¥5,241,500, or $41,092, which would undercut the base $43,290 Toyota Supra and its 255-hp four-banger. All Zs get the same 400-hp six, which should prove a formidable challenge to Toyota’s BMW in Japanese clothing.