The new Z: An exhilarating, dynamic performer The original 240Z was built to bring the joy and excitement of sports car ownership to as many people as possible – a car built for enthusiasts, by enthusiasts. That spirit and heritage continues today with the launch of the latest reincarnation of Z.
The 2023 Z's 3.0-liter V6 twin turbo engine adds a significant bump in power output over the previous generation 370Z. The engine is rated at 400 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 350 lb-ft of torque starting from 1,600 to 5,200 rpm. With an increase of 68 horsepower and a 30 percent increase in torque, the engine is designed to deliver a sharp, yet smooth response to the driver's input, along with an estimated 15 percent improvement in 0 to 60 mph acceleration.
To achieve the marked increase in horsepower and torque, and to deliver sharp response, small-diameter turbochargers were adopted, as well as a turbo speed sensor to ensure the capabilities of the turbos are fully utilized (max spooling speed). The twin turbos balance power output and response time, while the use of an electronic variable valve timing (e-VVT) intake valve system ensures optimum response, adjusting the intake valve timing on-the-fly to achieve excellent response and fuel efficiency in a variety of driving scenes.
One of the defining traits of Z has always been its bond between the car and the driver – a physical and visceral connection, nonmatter the road ahead. That human-machine bond dominates the new Z, especially in the presence of the standard, 6-speed manual transmission.
The 6-speed close-ratio manual transmission includes an EXEDY® high-performance clutch. As a physical touch point between driver and Z, the shifter glides to the next gear, almost instinctively, with minimal effort.
In a first for a rear-wheel drive Nissan vehicle, Z Performance models equipped with a manual transmission include an advanced launch assist control system that helps deliver smooth acceleration from a stopped position. All automatic transmission-equipped models feature the launch control system. Manual transmission-equipped models also feature a carbon-fiber composite drive shaft, with SynchroRev Match® added to 6MT Performance models.
An advanced, quick-response 9-speed automatic transmission is also available. The new 9-speed automatic offers a direct and quick response feeling and quick acceleration, thanks to its wide gear ratio spread and standard launch control system. Its satisfying engagement keeps the thrill of Z power and performance in sync with the driver. Aluminum paddle shifters are standard on all 9AT-equipped models, with unique paddle shifters, the same design as found on GT-R, on Performance models.
The engineering team tuned the chassis, cooling, suspension and steering to ensure the driver always feels connected with the car. Getting behind the wheel, the Z feels new and modern, yet still familiar.
When it comes to delivering predictable, responsive handling, the engineering team took a multi-prong approach, especially for high-speed driving and cornering. Enhanced body rigidity, an electronic power steering with rack assist and a strong mechanical feel, and wider front tires (on both Sport and Performance grades) help increase maximum cornering G up to 13 percent.
Both front and rear dampers use a new monotube shock absorber design with a larger diameter than the outgoing 370Z, resulting in an approximately 20 percent reduction in dampening force to help minimize impact shock over uneven surfaces, enhance road-following performance and improve handling stability. The front double-wishbone aluminum suspension features new geometry, including increased caster angle, improving straight line stability. A two-point front strut tower brace is standard. The rear independent multi-link aluminum suspension has also been reconfigured with new settings.
Two drive modes are offered on automatic transmission models, standard and sport. Standard mode is best suited for commuting and long highway drives for a pleasant drive. Sport mode unlocks the Z's performance potential, offering faster acceleration control, a sports-mode steering algorithm, active sound enhancement and sports-mode vehicle dynamic control setting best matched to take on a spirited run through a winding road. All Z Performance grade models (automatic and manual) utilize a mechanical clutch-type limited-slip differential.
Responsive braking is provided by 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Larger sport brakes with red-painted calipers are standard on Performance grade models. The Z Sport grade rides on dark-painted 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 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.