We’ve been waiting for over a year for the new Nissan Z ever since rumours started early last year. Then suddenly, out of no where, Nissan showed us its very own Proto Z in September. It was a beacon of hope for the JDM automotive world as Toyota disappointed with the Supra, Honda’s NSX faded, and a Rotary-engined sports car from Mazda seemed so far away that not even the power of the Toretto family could make it real.
It promised a rear-wheel drive chassis built for the enthusiast. Yeah, we were hooked. Things went silent for a while, but now the production car is here and it’s something very special. Here are the numbers.
It’s powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 that produces 400bhp and 350lb-ft of torque. This is sent through a manual gearbox – yes, a manual – to the rear wheels. If you’re not a fan of the clutch pedal then a 9-speed auto is available, but you know which I’d choose. Nissan has yet to let us in on its performance stats such as top speed or 0.60 times, but I’d expect somewhere in the 4s.
There are two variations – a Sport and a Performance. The Performance is the one to go to with a limited slip differential, launch control and automatic rev-matching. There are 19-inch wheels at each corner sporting Bridgestone rubber and beefed up brakes to ensure this puppy comes to a succinct stop. At the rear, there’s a sports exhaust. The cherry on the cake? A carbon fibre composite driveshaft.
Inside the car there’s an 8-inch infotainment screen in the centre of the dash, and behind the steering wheel is a 12.3-inch instrument display. The speakers are from Bose, and hopefully have better quality than the Bose systems on the 350 and 370Z… they really were awful.
The car shares much of the same styling of the Proto Z that Nissan originally released, even to the point the marque is selling a Proto Spec which will take it even closer. But the design elects taken from the 240Z still remain with the long hood, open and square intake at the front of the car, and the sweeping roof line, and the rear of the Z still resembles that of a 300ZX. It’s really very pretty. But looks mildly similar to the new Toyota GR86, which isn’t a surprise.
Under the body panels is a front strut brace, larger shock absorbers, and a whole new suspension setup to match larger tyres. It looks as though they’ll be plenty of grip when you need it.
We’re very excited to see more of the Z… and you never know, maybe we’ll be able to get up close and personal for you.