Subtle styling and slick shifts

The new Nissan Z has been a long time coming. The lineage which stretches back through decades of fast giant-killing Z sports cars beginning with the original 240Z, continues. Ben Selby reports.

Around 10 years after the 370Z, the new Z brings this vehicular icon into a modern world. Under the bonnet sits a 3L twin-turbo V6 engine, mated to either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission. My test car came with the latter.

Whichever you choose, you will have 298kW and 475Nm of torque on tap.

Its styling has plenty of 240Z, with subtle references of 300ZX too, such as the taillights. While not dramatic, its textbook coupe lines and 19-inch RAYS forged alloys all add up to make the Z one handsome sports car.

The term ‘fits like a glove’ is an horrendous cliché, yet that is the best way to describe the cabin. It wraps itself around you like a hammock. I also love the further nods to heritage, such as a trio of driver focused gauges for the turbo speed, boost pressure, and battery voltage, which hark back to the 240Z, plus the electric seat controls,
a la Z32 300ZX.

There is a good amount of kit too, with features including heated leather seats, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and a
12.3-inch digital TFT instrument cluster with 8” touchscreen infotainment system coming as standard.

The Z is happy to let bystanders know of its presence on startup. It doesn’t shout, but emits a melodic howl, like a cross between the Wolfman and the tones of Robert Plant. It’s a great bellow. Get moving and you find the Z manages to be supple and easy to drive. The steering is light and, while you do feel bumps on occasion, by sports car standards it’s not bad.

Make no bones about it though, the new Z is a pure driver’s car, one of which you must be awake for. Unshackle the Z on your favourite stretch of bendy bitumen and, whether in Normal or Sport, the Z constantly tempts you to push harder. Do so and you realise the back end loves to come out to play, even with the traction control on.
This liveliness in the corners keeps you on your toes, especially in wet conditions, but the Z itself is still terrific fun. I would love to have experienced the manual, but the 9-speed automatic is a delight to use and serves up some slick and responsive shifts.

The V6 twin turbo unit is a gem too. With plenty of low-down torque and more than enough power to have fun, a flex of your big toe on the throttle means that little effort is required to cover a tonne of ground. Despite drive going to the rear, the Z does feel like a mini GTR, and that’s saying something.
The Z is well and truly back, and boy is it a ‘good-un’.


2023 Nissan Z Coupe

Price: $84,990

Engine: 3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Petrol

Transmission: 9-speed automatic

Power: 298kW

Torque: 475Nm

Fuel Consumption:
12.3L/100km (WTLP)

C02 EMISSIONS: 279g/km (WTLP)

Weight: 1561kg

Wheels: 19-inch Forged Alloys


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