Nowadays, there’s no speed limit for the aftermarket, so whenever a new performance vehicle debuts, you can expect instant customization. The 2023 Nissan Z knows that all too well, having debuted as a drift car before reviewers were even allowed to touch the car buyers get in showrooms. However, it looks like the drag racing community is looking to get the “400Z” down that quarter-mile and the aftermarket efforts have already begun.
An example of the 2023 Nissan Z was recently gifted with what prepped surface enthusiasts like to call a Drag Pack. These are drag strip-specific wheels and tires that favor straight-line performance above everything else.
As such, the rear wheels are smaller in diameter, so they can accommodate larger-sidewall tires whose flex helps with getting off the line. And once that happens, there’s less rolling resistance, courtesy of the thinner wheels and tires up front.
The new shoes were supplied by Miami-based Belak Industries. And we have 15-inch wheels at the back, shod in uber-sticky Mickey Thompson rubber held in place via a beadlock mechanism. Then, at the steering end of the sports car, we have skinny 18-inch wheels.
This was a taste of things to come
The Rosewood Metallic-covered example is a Nissan USA car that attended Alabama’s recent Z Car Convention (ZCON) event. As such, it only underwent a temporary transformation thanks to a New Carolina-based shop called Soho Motorsports, which handles extreme Nissan Z and Infiniti drag racing builds.
Speaking of which, the Nissan Z platform—the current car’s chassis can be traced back to the 350Z of the early 2000s—hasn’t earned the same drag strip slayer reputation achieved by the R35 GT-R. Naturally, that’s precisely why such drag builds stand out.
In stock form, the 2023 Z, with its Infiniti-sourced 3.0L twin-turbo V6 (400 hp/350 lb-ft), has fallen slightly behind competitors like then Mk V Toyota Supra and the Ford Mustang Mach 1 in terms of drag racing.
However, with the Nissan also being more affordable (based on MSRP rather than dealer markups), many enthusiasts joked about the difference being on the table for acceleration junkies to spend on mods.
On a more serious note, when using the 9-speed automatic, the “400Z” is a low-12s car, but you can expect the Nissan to descend into the 11s arena soon. And there’s no telling where the inevitable wacky builds (have you seen this Bentley W12-swapped 350Z?) will go from there.