Codenamed S30, the Datsun 240Z served as inspiration for the all-new Z for the 2023 model year. Although it’s a much nicer design than the 370Z it replaces, Chip Foose believes that it needs even more 240Z styling cues.
The biggest differences between the two can be seen on the side profile, and I’m not referring to the door handles. The redesigned quarter windows, roofline, front fenders, and rear haunches come together beautifully, giving the design study a heritage look the real car simply cannot replicate. But even so, it’s hard to deny the retro-modern character of the production car.
Considerably nicer than Toyota’s fifth-generation Supra, the Z “retains its authenticity as a pure sports car,” according to chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta. Still based on the FM vehicle architecture that Nissan introduced eons ago, the Z won’t be coming to Europe due to a declining market for coupes and very restrictive emission regulations. Currently available only as a coupe, the Z flaunts an estimated starting price of just around $40,000.
That may appear like too much, yet it’s effectively unchanged from the MSRP of the 350Z for the 2003 model year after we adjust for inflation. For the sake of reference, the GR Supra 2.0 is $43,190 before destination charge whereas the GR Supra 3.0 Premium will set you back a princely $54,690.
Another huge plus point over the Japanese rival with German underpinnings and oily bits is the availability of a six-speed manual in addition to a nine-speed automatic of the torque-converter variety. The latter is produced by JATCO in Japan under license from Mercedes, under the JR913E moniker.
Under the hood, a twin-turbo V6 is much obliged to thrill the driver with 400 horsepower at 6,400 revolutions per minute and 350 pound-feet (475 Nm) of torque from 1,600 all the way through 5,200 revs. Those who plan on driving the Z in a spirited fashion will have to level up to the Performance grade that includes RAYS lightweight wheels, Bridgestone Potenza S007 tires, better brakes, a mechanical LSD, and a louder exhaust.