Some would argue the 2023 Nissan Z isn't all that new since it carries the same chassis code (Z34) as the outgoing 370Z while the VR30DDTT engine has been around in Infiniti models for quite a while. In addition, the six-speed manual gearbox is borrowed from its predecessor, much like the axles, driveshaft, and differential. Does that make the sports car less exciting? Not at all.
With the dawn of the EV era upon us, the revamped Z is quite possibly one of the last sports cars to do away with electrification altogether. Enthusiasts are advised to enjoy the soundtrack of a good ol' ICE while it's still around, and the twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 does not disappoint. This week, we had the opportunity to witness a sound check of a pre-production prototype. Let's hear the engine sing its tune:
Granted, it's not the most exciting V6 note we have ever heard, but Nissan told us customer cars are going to sound better. We don't know what "better" actually means in this context, but we're keeping our fingers crossed for a more aggressive, raspy soundtrack after fiddling with the exhaust system. Should that still not be enough to please owners, there's always the aftermarket scene to rely on as we're sure tuners will welcome the new Z with open arms.
Producing a healthy 400 bhp and 350 pound-feet (475 Newton-metres) of torque, the new-for-Z engine brings a serious power boost of 68 bhp and 80 lb-ft (108 Nm) over the old 370Z. If you want the V6 with the automatic (but why would you?), Nissan has developed a new optional nine-speed 'box with paddle shifters sourced from the mighty GT-R.
While its chief rival, the Toyota Supra, comes exclusively in coupe format, the mechanically related BMW Z4 is a soft-top convertible. Will there be a Z Roadster to go after the Bimmer? Nissan refuses to answer the question for the time being, but it could eventually happen seeing as how the 2023 Z coupe borrows a lot from the 370Z, which was offered with a retractable roof.
Speaking of potential derivatives, rumours are already swirling around the World Wide Web about a potential Z Nismo. It's unlikely to debut anytime soon considering the regular version won't go on sale until early 2022, so a hotter model is likely earmarked to arrive sometime in 2023 at the earliest. Logic tells us it will have an angrier exhaust note, along with the typical upgrades you'd expect from a Nismo-badged model.