Waiting for Nissan to fully unleash the 2023 Z? We’ve been doing that for quite a few years now (its 370Z predecessor reigned between 2008 and 2020), so now that we’ve seen the spiced-up specs at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon, we don’t mind the final stretch before the sportscar goes on sale in the US this Spring. Meanwhile, an example of the RWD toy has been allowed to stretch its legs at the said Japanese event, so we can get a taste of its driving dynamics.
Back on Friday, when the event kicked off, Nissan delivered a demo run of the 2023 Fairlady Z (they use the classic nameplate for vehicle’s home market) and, thankfully, this was more of a tire roast than a parade lap.
Behind the wheel, the automaker didn’t place a racing driver, asking Hiroshi Tamura to hoon the coupe instead. At 60, he holds the role of Chief Product Specialist for the current Godzilla (hence the Mr. GT-R nickname you might’ve seen) and the NISMO performance arm, as well as for the Z.
The Gun Metallic example seems to be fitted with the nine-speed automatic (this Nissan also allows one to #savethemanuals via a six-speed). And the mechanical limited-slip differential (standard regardless of the tranny choice) seems to be doing a brilliant job at harnessing the 400 hp and 350 lb-ft (475 Nm) of the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6.
Judging by the somewhat restrained slip angles delivered during the run, it would seem some of the electronic nannies are still on. Make no mistake, though, the 400Z, as we used to call the car before its release, will be a slayer of many tires once it fully reaches global markets (sorry, Europe, the strict emission targets and “moderate” sales means there’s no new Z for you).
However, at the 0:51 point of the YouTube vid below (lens tip to くるまのCHANNEL), Tamura-san seems to make use of the auto’s Launch Control feature, with the rear end squatting considerably as the vehicle gathers its strength to head for the horizon.
An important 2023 Z question that Nissan has yet to answer revolves around the US pricing of the sportscar. In Tokyo, the carmaker revealed that the range-topping Z Proto spec, which mimics the configuration of the show car, will set one back 6,966,300 Japanese Yen, which is $60,817 at the current exchange rate.
This probably means we can still hold on to the expectation that the base 2023 Nissan Z will land in America for around $40,000, which is the kind of money Toyota charges for the four-cylinder Supra (opting for the straight-six means adding another $10,000).