Ever since Hagerty drag raced the 2023 Nissan Z against the Mk V Supra (and the 2022 Mustang Mach 1) back in March, we know the Toyota is quicker. There have been other battles that confirmed the result meanwhile. And the fact that the Nissan is up to $10,000 more affordable may not be enough when you’re out there in your brand new Z. So we’ve brought along two of the best solutions the Internet has showcased to date: how to set up a fair race your “400Z” won’t lose against a Supra and how far modding the Nissan will take you at the drag strip right now.
On paper, the 2023 Nissan Z, with its 400 hp, 350 lb-ft 3.0L twin-turbo V6 and its 3,550 lbs curb weight, should be on par with the 3,347 lbs Supra, whose twin-scroll, single-turbo 3.0L L6 makes 382 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. And while both can be had with six-speed manuals, opting for their automatics (an 8-speed for the Toyota and a 9-speed for the Nissan) will yield the best (drag) racing results.
In the real world, though, you’ll probably be left starting at the Supra’s taillights and there are three main reasons for that, which we’ll list in no particular order.
For one, the Toyota’s Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires are gripper than the Bridgestone Potenza S007 rubber of the Nissan. And while the Supra using a BMW powertrain has drawn a fair amount of criticism, dyno tests have proven that the Bavarians’ notoriously underrated engines (not this rotary-powered M4) do make the Japanese sibling of the Z4 quicker than the official specs would have you believe.
Then there’s the gearbox. The ZF 8HP unit used by the Supra as part of its BMW package is simply quicker at downshifting in auto mode compared to the Mercedes-borrowed 9-speed automatic in the 2023 Nissan Z. And this is the key: as demonstrated in the racing comparison below, which comes from Canadian YouTuber Sam CarLegion, the only way for the 2023 Nissan Z and the Mk V Toyota Supra to remain close in a race is to go for a rolling start and use the paddles for manual shifting of the automatic transmissions.
In the clip, the vlogger pits a stock Supra, which was apparently difficult to find, against a 2023 Nissan Z press car in just about every possible scenario involving forward gears. It all starts with a pair of standing starts and these dig races prove the tire point above.
Then, as the sports cars move to roll racing, first from 32 mph (50 km/h) and then from 50 mph (80 km/h), the Supra keeps gaping the Z as the drivers leave the automatics to handle their business—the issue for the Nissan is the initial downshift. We’ll invite to check out the non-prepped, cold-ish surface fights in the video below, while the 2023 Z’s tuning-aided drag racing adventures await you further down the page.
The quickest (ET) and fastest (MPH) quarter-mile run of a stock turbo 2023 Nissan Z
Unlike in the case of the 2023 Ford Mustang, whose locked ECU spells trouble for tuners who are not on the carmaker’s list, the 2023 Nissan Z uses a slightly updated twin-turbo V6 that’s already proven itself on Infiniti models. As such, multiple aftermarket developers from around the world have already done wonders for the “400Z”.
And, to the best of our knowledge, Illinois-based AMS Performance has delivered the most impressive results with its development car. At the time of press, the AMS 2023 Nissan Z holds the quarter-mile record for factory turbochargers.
After fitting the Nissan Z’s VR30DDTT engine with a generous list of bolt-on mods, this was dynoed at 525 hp and 581 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels—using the good old 15% drivetrain loss estimation for automatics, we’re looking at 617 hp and 683 lb-ft at the crankshaft.
For the sake of comparison, we’ll mention that the stock engine was dynoed at 373 hp and 373 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. As for the bolt-ons, these include intakes, heat exchanger, full exhaust with downturn, intercoolers, flex fuel kit, high- and low-pressure fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel pressure sensor, and injectors, plus an E85 Flex Fuel tune. Most of these are prototype units, which is why we can’t go into the pricing details—we’re obviously curious to see what the pricing advantage the Z has over the Supra does when you’re out to mod the Nissan.
And, once fitted with so-called drag pack wheels and tires (i.e., Hoosier 28-inch D06 slicks and skinny front units), the AMS 2023 Nissan Z completed the quarter-mile in 10.47s at 129 mph.
That’s stock supercar territory and quite a long way from the stock 12.3s run at 116 mph (these are Hagerty’s figures). As a bonus, AMS, which built its reputation on pumping up Nissans and Infinitis, mentions that the said time saw the Z breaking the stock turbo Infiniti Q platform record.
We’re just as impressed by the new 0 to 60 mph time, which dropped from 4.0s (Hagerty) to 2.59s. And while you can witness the drag strip stunt in the video below, you should know AMS has already removed those stock turbos—will they fit custom ones and dial it all in before next month’s 2022 SEMA show? We hope so, as we expect the Las Vegas custom car event to be a bit of a Z fest.