The 2023 Nissan Z, or 400Z, as many enthusiasts still call it, is currently available in a single road-going form, albeit with generous tech options to configure. However, if we switch over to the motorsport realm, Nissan and its Nismo go-fast arm are preparing to introduce the third racing iteration of the Z, which is destined for GT4 racing.
Update: Nissan has unveiled a few images of the Z GT4 race car, which you can find in the gallery (would you look at that single exhaust pipe working with the road car’s twin-cutout bumper!). The tech info remains limited, but the carmaker is telling us that the road car’s 3.0L twin-turbo V6 had been tuned for extra power (this delivers 400 hp in street trim, while GT4 rules limit the power to 470 hp). In addition, the chassis and suspension have been “optimized” for track performance. However, the full release of the Nismo racer is scheduled for early November’s SEMA show.
The premiere of the new 2023 Z GT4 (400Z GT4) is scheduled to take place on September 28 at 8 AM local time, which is translated into September 27 16:00 PST or 19:00 EST. Meanwhile, Nissan and Nismo have released a teaser image on social media, with basic exposure and brightness adjustment of the dark photo showing quite a lot about the racer, starting with the said GT4 destination.
The GT4 class is closer to the road car than most
The GT4 class can be considered a sanctioned factory-built track application, albeit one that’s less hardcore than the GT3 tier, which actually means the former is closer to the production model. And with sports car fans eagerly anticipating a yet-unconfirmed Nismo version of the 400Z, perhaps we could look at the upcoming circuit release for hints.
The Nismo aerodynamic features added to the GT4 race car include the front splitter with canards on the sides, along with a fixed rear wing that joins the road car’s boot lid spoiler. In addition, there’s a vented hood and a sticker package, GT4 branding included.
Based on the downforce add-ons alone, the GT4 is slotted between the pair of Nissan Z racecars we’ve already met. The release that broke the ice last December—a couple of months before the showroom arrival of the road car—was the Nissan Z GT500, which replaced the aging GT-R in Japan’s Super GT Series.
Back in April this year, Nissan and Nismo gave the world an endurance racing version of the Z dedicated to the Japanese Super Taikyu Series. Competing in the ST-Q class and having debuted at the 24-hour race at Fuji Speedway in June, this lacks the widebody and super-sized wing of the GT500. Interestingly, the wing on this car seems to be close, if not the same, as the one we see on the upcoming GT4 iteration.
The GT4 class has already welcomed fresh contenders from across the world this year. And while we’ve already met machines like the BMW M4 GT4 and the McLaren Artura GT4, Ford has also announced a GT4 version of the new S650 Mustang.
A Nissan 400Z Nismo is almost a given
Despite the lack of an official confirmation for a Nismo-massaged 400Z, we have no reason to doubt the Japanese automaker will release one, even if we’ll probably have to wait at least one year to see it.
After all, there’s a tradition for Nismo-touched Z models, while such a car would allow the Nissan to compete against the also-rumored GRMN Toyota Supra that should borrow the twin-turbo L6 of the M3/M4.
Meanwhile, though, you can return to this space for the world premiere of the Nissan Z GT4, with the YouTube video awaiting you below.