Bentley W12-Swapped Nissan 350Z with ZF 8HP Automatic Grows Into the 600Z Monster

Now that the Nissan Z is supposed to be in production as of last month, enthusiasts are still debating its name. That’s because many were expecting its maker to follow the alphanumeric nomenclature it had used for the past two generations and call it the 400Z. And while Nissan obviously skipped that, this 350Z project has its own interpretation of the carmaker’s labels, being dubbed 600Z—that’s because its nose now accommodates a Bentley twin-turbo 6.0L W12 engine.

Sure, the Volkswagen Group’s W12 motor, which was built by bringing two narrow-angle, 15-degree VR6 units together at a 72-degree angle, may pack four cylinder banks. But the said 15-degree angle means that each pair of banks only needs two overhead cams rather than four, as a V12 would. In other words, this is a compact motor, which means it can fit inside the 350Z’s engine bay.

The build is being handled by Poland specialist Gregor Performance Garage, who seems to have a thing for engine swaps, especially when it comes to this particular Nissan 350Z. You see, the Japanese sportscar had previously been gifted with a Toyota 2JZ unit that worked with the ubiquitous ZF 8HP eight-speed automatic found on everything from the Dodge Challenger to the… Bentley Continental GT. As such, it seems like they kept the transmission.

Even so, the turbos of the W12 appear to have been relocated—while these normally sit on the sides of the motor, closer to the firewall, they’re not found right in front of the engine.

What about the weight and its distribution?

This seems to be one of the most interesting takeaways from the ever-evolving Nissan 350Z. The shop put the vehicle on the scales with both engines and the results are not what most people would expect.

For one, the weight difference is negligible (think: 1,598 kg /lbs featuring the single-turbo Toyota 3.0L straight-six and 1,609 kg/lbs with the W12. In addition, the weight distribution has improved, going from 46:44 to a near-perfect 50:50 (front:rear).

The stock TT W12 engine should make at least 552 hp (560 PS) and 479 lb-ft (650 Nm), but we doubt the motor will be kept in factory spec. For instance, the W12 isn’t exactly among the most reliable engine out there, with electrical/electronic issues being among the most important ones.

However, the garage might try to use a third-party engine management system for the build, which is still under development. As you can see in the images below, the motor is now in its final position.

And, until the Nissan 600Z kills some tires with all that torque, we’ll remind you that the 2023 Nissan Z has already received its first engine swap courtesy of Formula Drift champion Chris Forsberg, who fitted the sportscar with the twin-turbo 3.8L VR38DETT heart of its GT-R big brother.



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