The reviews are out, and the 2023 Nissan Z looks to be a champion that potentially marks the very last of such a rear-wheel-drive ‘analog’ thrill machine that is relatively affordable and still burns fuel through a twin-turbo V6 engine that can come in a 9-speed automatic or 6-speed manual flavor.
From the many countless reviews of the new 2023 Nissan Z salivating over its affordability that undercuts its Toyota GR Supra competition by a few grand, it appears that Nissan has knocked one out of the park. While some performance tests show the new Z not being as fast as the Supra in a straight line, it still offers enthusiasts and those who have been awaiting the release of a new Z a respectable package that’s more compliant through subtle tweaks throughout.
The package in the new Nissan Z Sport trim that you can buy into around the $41K starting price is a 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque rear wheel drive vehicle that has several retro cues to pay homage to the classic Nissan 240Z and the many years after it was first introduced in 1969.
The interior is somewhat of a familiar place as there’s some carryover aspects, but the refinement takes precedence as it should in to modernize the Z. There’s a new digital gauge cluster and the expected connectivity of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. The three customary analog gauges atop the dashboard make a return as you expect – and they are all analog this time! There’s also a wealth of new updates that make the new Z unique for what you expect in a 2023 model year vehicle even though it reuses most of the outgoing platform.
The best part of the new Z is its engine, the 3.0-liter VR30DDTT from the Infiniti Q50/Q60 Red Sport 400 vehicles. We’ve experienced this twin-turbo V6 many times and simply love everything about it until you got to the transmission, which is hopefully “fixed” by the new Z using a 9-speed automatic unit that they have in their arsenal. We think most enthusiasts will opt for the 6-speed manual, which brings back the SynchroRev Match system for those who don’t feel up to learning heel-toe work.
Tipping the scale at 3,486 pounds for the manual transmission Z and 3,602 pounds for the 9-speed automatic option, the new Nissan Z is heavier than the turbo inline-6 GR Supra that weighs 3,400 pounds yet only comes with an automatic transmission until the manual version arrives later this year. That puts the Nissan Z slightly behind in more ways than one with a 0-60 mph time of 4 seconds flat as tested recently by Hagerty. The Supra hits 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds.
Straight line speed isn’t everything, and enthusiasts will quickly recognize such as the new Nissan Z is truly remarkable in many other aspects. The base Sport variation of the new Z sports 18-inch wheels and you can opt for either the 6-speed manual or 9-speed automatic for the same price, starting at $41,015 including the destination charge. If you’re taking note, that’s about $3,500 less than the inline-6-cylinder GR Supra’s starting price. If you move up to the 2023 Nissan Z Performance trim, which gets 19-inch RAYS forged wheels, leather seats, and a mechanical limited-slip differential, you’ll be looking to spend at least $51,015. There’s one more trim, the limited-edition Z Proto models, limited to 240 examples, which will cost $54,015.
Lastly, if you care to know, the fuel consumption of the new Z is estimated at 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined for the 9-speed automatic version. The 6-speed manual Nissan Z gets 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined.
The new 2023 Nissan Z goes on sale this summer only held back slightly by supply shortages.