Nissan Motor on Tuesday unveiled its new Z performance vehicle — a favorite of enthusiasts and customizers — as an “approachable sports car for the modern age.”
The 2023 Nissan Z is the seventh generation of the automaker’s Z vehicles, which was first introduced with the Datsun 240Z in 1969. The cars have been halo vehicles for Nissan for more than 50 years, attracting new customers and attention to the company.
The newest Z is no different. It is an important part of its “Nissan Next” turnaround plan through March 2024, which is a combination of cutting, cultural change and product investment following longtime leader Carlos Ghosn’s ousting from the Japanese automaker.
“Z is the pure expression of thrill. It is Nissan’s passion wrapped up on four wheels,” Nissan Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta, who’s leading the turnaround plan, said in a statement.
The 2023 Z is scheduled to go on sale next spring, starting at around $40,000, according to a Nissan spokesman. That would be about $10,000 more than the starting price of the last Z model, in 2020.
With a 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine, the new Z is rated at 400 horsepower and 350 pound-foot of torque. That’s an increase of 68 horsepower and a 30% increase in torque from the previous generation. But it remains lower than prior special-edition performance versions.
The Z will come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A nine-speed automatic also will be available, according to the company.
The vehicle is heavily based on a concept vehicle called the “Z Proto” that Nissan unveiled in September — most noticeably, its modern yet retro exterior design that features new takes on prior Z models such as the circular/oval headlights and horizontal taillights.
“Ultimately, we created a Z that travels between the decades while being completely modern,” Alfonso Albaisa, global head of design at Nissan, said in a statement.
The interior of the vehicle is more tech-forward than a throwback. It features a 12.3-inch customizable digital driver information cluster as well as an 8- or 9-inch center touchscreen display.
The 2023 Nissan Z will be produced at the company’s Tochigi plant in Japan.