PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The all-new 2023 Nissan 7 embraces the original concept of the long running sports car — small, nibble and great fun to drive.

Pamplin Media Group – The All-New Nissan 2023 Z Coupe Is The Best Z Car To Date

The latest Z returns to the future with retro looks, performance and modern technologies.

I drove a Datsun 240Z in high school, and in my memory it is among the greatest cars I’ve ever had. However, when I look at the specs of the old 240Z, the numbers tell a different story. That car, with its inline-six engine and twin carburetors, put out 151 horsepower through a four-speed manual transmission. The 0-60 time for that car was 9.4 seconds. This looks anemic now, but the level of performance was off the charts in 1981.

I recently had a week in the successor to that old Z – the Nissan 2023 Z. Having taken a moment to get used to the fact that Nissan has been making some version of the Z for 53 years, and that it’s over 40 years after I got my car, I got a new look On the Nissan pure two-seater sports car.

PMG Photo: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Nissan Z 2023 only available as a fastback hatchback, just like the original 240Z/

First, the exterior design is good. Nissan moved away from the original 240Z by the late ’70s, and went through the ’90s with a very different, much bigger car. Then the 350Z from the 2000s wasn’t actually anything like the original, but it took performance to a whole new level.

The 370Z began returning to its original form, and that was completed in the new Z Coupe. The latest iteration of the Z is due to it being small, unwieldy and totally cool. There’s seating for two and enough space under the hatchback for some luggage, but that’s it. This is a car that is there to be driven, not to do errands.

PMG Photo: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The interior of the Nissan Z 2023 is simple yet loaded with available automotive technology.

Under the hood is Nissan’s latest 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. It’s good for 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, paired with a six-speed manual transmission that sends power to the rear wheels through a mechanical limited-slip differential. The new Z will hit 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, less than half the time of my old Datsun.

However, it is not just about engine power. The new Z is updated on technology with a 9-inch touchscreen display with GPS navigation and Apple CarPlay wireless. The infotainment system responds to voice commands as well. The headlights use LEDs and there is a digital dash for the driver.

PMG Photo: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The Nissan Z 2023 sports bucket seats are well supported for heavy-duty driving.

But the true heart and soul of any Z car is the driving experience. It will take a few miles to get used to the immediacy of the steering and brake power. It might feel a little clumsy and crampy at first, but once you’ve settled on the car’s sharp performance, most other cars on the road will feel like a bowl of oatmeal by comparison. The Z is on point, and it requires a winding road through the mountains to get to know you as a driver.

There’s something else in the new Z that’s very different from the original, and that’s the price. The price of the original 240Z in 1970 was $3,526, or about $27,000 in today’s dollars. The Nissan Z 2023 is priced at $39,990 for the Sport version. We tested the performance hit, which is $49,990, plus a destination fee of $1,025. The Sport model comes without a touchscreen, big brakes, and a limited slip rear end, but overall it’s probably the best deal because the engine and transmission are the same as the performance model.

PMG Photo: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The Nissan Z 2023 is powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque.
Either way, you’ll have to give away a little more coin than it was 50 years ago. The thing is, with this new Z car, it’s worth the price. If you love classic sports cars with a completely modern feature set, you need to test drive the Nissan Z. This can make you feel like a teenager again.

PMG Photo: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Cargo space is limited on the 2023 Nissan Z but built for fun, not running errands.

Nissan Z Performance 2023

Base price: 49,990 dollars

Price as tested: 53210 dollars

Writes: sports car

engine: 3.0L Bi-Turbo V6 (400 hp, 350 lb-ft)

Send: 6-speed manual, 9-speed automatic

EPA estimated mileage: 18/24

total length: 172.4 inches

curb weight: 3,486 pounds

Final assembly: Tochigi, Japan


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