To the surprise of no one, Nissan revealed the Nissan Z GT4 Tuesday, a race-bred version of the all-new Nissan Z.
A production vehicle modified for competition, the Nissan Z GT4 was developed by Nissan’s NISMO Racing Division at multiple track-test sessions at NISMO’s facilities. The Nissan Z’s VR30DDTT engine was tuned by NISMO, with the company improving the car’s suspension and chassis, pushing its aerodynamics to its limits, while enhancing its driver-friendly cockpit.
“Motorsports for Nissan is an expression of our passion and unrivaled expertise. The Nissan Z continues to maintain its position as an exciting sports car that fascinates drivers with its driving dynamics and flexible powertrain,” said Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta. “We are confident that this track-ready GT4-category Nissan Z will be ready to write another chapter in the Nissan Z’s 50-plus-year legacy of speed.”
NISMO ensured that by testing concept versions of the GT4, dubbed Nissan Z Racing Concept race cars 230 and 244, at the Fuji 24 Hour Race in June.
Nissan is unveiling the Nissan Z GT4 on YouTube, although full vehicle specifications weren’t revealed. You’ll have to wait for Nissan’s event at the 2022 Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association Show, or SEMA, in Las Vegas, Nov. 1-4.
A sound platform to work from
While it remains to be seen how far NISMO has taken the new Z’s performance, it already provides a license to thrill.
The new 2023 Z’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine delivers 400 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 350 pound-feet of torque, up 68 hp from the previous generation. Available in three rising trim levels: Sport, Performance, and Z Proto Spec, a 6-speed manual transmission is the standard, a 9-speed automatic transmission is optional. While manual versions have a carbon-fiber composite drive shaft and rev matching, Zs with automatic transmissions include launch control.
The Z is equipped with new, larger monotube shock absorbers that deliver a 20% reduction in dampening force, as well as an independent multi-link aluminum suspension with double-wishbone front suspension.
While Z Performance grades come with 19-inch RAYS super lightweight forged aluminum-alloy wheels equipped with Bridgestone Potenza S007 high performance tires, Sport grades come with 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and Yokohama ADVAN Sport high performance tires.
A tech-filled cabin
Drivers face a reconfigurable 12.3-inch TFT digital instrument cluster with Normal, Enhanced and Sport modes nestled alongside three analog gauges for boost, turbo speed, and volts atop the instrument panel.
Along with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM Radio, and Siri Eyes Free, an 8-inch touchscreen and six speakers come standard. So does push-button start, intelligent cruise control, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, two 12-volt power outlets, and Type A and C USB ports. Z Performance variants come with an eight-speaker Bose Audio system and a bigger, 9-inch touchscreen with navigation and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
What we thought
In our initial drive of the Nissan Z, we came away impressed. It drove like you’d a Z to perform. Although it’s not the fastest car available, the best sports car isn’t often determined by raw performance. Everything depends on how everything comes together. The new Z feels natural. But if you have the need for speed, you might want to wait for the new GT4.
The 2023 Nissan Z starts at $39,990 for the base car with either the 6-speed manual or 9-speed automatic. The Z Coupe Performance package comes in at $49,990, while the Z Coupe Proto Spec package begins at $52,990, although only 240 will be shipped to the U.S. Prices do not include a $1,025 destination charge, or options.
Pricing for the 2023 Nissan Z GT4 will be released at a later date.