It’s still a good time to be a car enthusiast. With driver-focused cars like the Toyota GR Yaris being introduced to the market, there is plenty of hype around the seventh-generation Nissan Z.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the car as it was shown off in Z Proto form last year. The production vehicle was supposed to make its debut at the New York International Auto Show had it pushed through. But hey, the show must go on. And the all-new Z ticks all the boxes of a proper enthusiast car.
The car’s name doesn’t have the three-digit number so it’s now simply referred to as the “Z” (it’s still known as the Fairlady Z in Japan). It utilizes a 3.0-liter twin-turbo VR30DDTT V6 engine with 400hp and 475Nm.
Yes, it’s no longer a naturally aspirated engine, but purists will be glad to know it will come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, or you can opt for an optional nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Stick-shift models get an Exedy high-performance clutch, a carbon-fiber composite driveshaft, and rev-matching software. On the other hand, automatics get launch control.
The Z handling has been improved with enhanced body rigidity, improved electronic power steering with rack assist, wider front tires (245mm for the Sport trim level and 255mm for the Performance and Proto Spec variants), new monotube shocks for the front and rear dampers, and revised geometry for the front suspension.
The production model looks nearly identical to the Z Proto. And that’s a great thing, because the latter is a very gorgeous car with the right amount of nostalgia. The rear lights are reminiscent of the 300ZX, and the Z logo is inspired by that of the original 240Z. We suspect that the prototype’s Fairlady Z badging will be carried over to Japanese-market vehicles. The Performance trim you see here has a small ducktail spoiler.
The car comes in three single-tone colors and six liveries paired with a black roof. But we personally love how the car looks in Seiran Blue, which reminds us of the Fairlady Z.
The interior also gets tasteful updates to bring the Z into the modern era. You can get the interior in Graphite, Red or Blue colors. There’s a customizable 12.3-inch driver’s display for your gauges and other information, an eight-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, leather seats, and an eight-speaker Bose audio system. Fans will also be glad to see the presence of three analog gauges on the center of the dashboard. These indicate battery voltage, boost pressure, and turbo speed.
The United States will get the Z in the Sport and Performance grades. But there’s also a limited-run Proto Spec trim that comes with yellow brake calipers with the Z logo, bronze wheels, and “leather-appointed” seats with contrasting yellow accents. Only 240 Proto Spec cars will be made.
The all-new Z will be available early next year in the US. Prices have yet to be announced. More details for the Japanese market will follow.