There's good news for fans of Japanese performance cars because we are getting our first look at the Nissan Z Nismo under development. The gallery shows two vehicles wearing different types of camouflage driving on the Angeles Crest Highway that cuts through the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County, California.
Compared to the standard Z (see below), the Nismo has a more aggressive front fascia with a thicker splitter. The car with the camo wrap shows a new bar spanning the nose that creates a tiny inlet between the bonnet and the centre inlet.
The Z with the black, fabric wrap has a pair of slits on the bonnet. This suggests a redesigned panel with ducts might be available. Although, the car with the camo wrap doesn't appear to have these openings.
Gallery: Nissan Z Nismo Spy Shots
Along the sides, the sills appear thicker. The car rides on nine-spoke wheels with a black finish. It has red brake callipers.
At the back, the Z gains a spoiler on the rear deck. The lower section of the rear bumper has revised styling. The exhaust layout appears to be the same.
The Z Nismo's powertrain is a mystery. The existing model makes 400 bhp (298 kilowatts) and 350 pound-feet (475 Newton-metres) of torque from a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6. We expect the Nismo to make additional power over the standard trim, but we don't know how much more yet.
The current Z is available with either a six-speed manual transmission or a nine-speed automatic driving the rear wheels. It's not clear whether the Nismo would also offer both choices.
The regular Z only went on sale in the summer of 2022. Generally, automakers don't launch a new performance variant until the existing one has time to establish itself on the market. If Nissan follows this strategy, we might see the Nismo in 2023 but deliveries might not begin until the latter half of the year.
Unlike some previous generations of the Z car, there's no indication yet that Nissan intends to offer a convertible variant of the latest model.
If you're a fan of Japanese performance cars, check out the latest episode of the Rambling About Cars podcast: