Nissan has already revised much of its lineup, crossovers, pickups, sedans and EVs. However, in 2023, the company plans to focus on sports cars and is planning to offer two new versions of their existing models, namely a Nismo version of the 400Z and a “Final Edition” of the venerable R35 GT-R.
The Nissan Z and GT-R have two of the longest family lines in the sports car world, basically going back to the 1960s. We’re thankful that both of them are still around, even though they’re far from peak performance.
In the case of the cheaper of the two, the Nissan 400Z enjoyed a successful debut this year, powered by a powerful new twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6. While it’s undeniably more affordable, the Fairlady Z has fallen short of its main rival, the Toyota Supra, both in terms of acceleration and handling.
As we’ve shown you recently, beating a GR Supra in the 400Z basically requires trickery such as not starting the race from a dig. This is surprising, considering the V6 has an extra turbo and makes more power, at least on paper. But Nissan may have intentionally held its new sports car back to have exciting stuff ready for the Nismo project.
Japanese scoop website Best Car Web, which has proven very reliable in the past, states that the 400Z Nismo is under development and will debut during the Summer of 2023. That’s just one year after the release of the basic model, which is unusual.
In the case of the R33 Nissan 350Z, the normal came out in 2002 and the official Nismo version in 2007, although the R-Tune and S-Tune GT special editions that came before that were Nismo-tuned.
What are the 400Z Nismo upgrades?
Like the outgoing 370Z Nismo, the 400Z-based performance model will feature red cosmetic accents. It will be interesting to see how Nissan combines its body kit with the retro-inspired 2-door design. But we’re told both the suspension and brakes will be modified.
Currently, one of the biggest problems with the Z is that it dives and leans too much on the track. The Nismo version will have stiffer, lower suspension and will be equipped exclusively with 20-inch wheels and performance tires, as opposed to the 18s and 19s on the normal car.
Nismo is also in the process of developing a GT4 race car version and is entering the Super Taikyu endurance racing series. So further development and perfecting of this hardcore JDM sports car is ensured.
It’s safe to assume that both the 6-speed manual and the 9-speed automatic will be available, despite recent reliability issues for the latter. Horsepower numbers remain secret. The gap was less than 20 hp with the old VQ engines but could be much larger now because of turbocharging.
Prices will be at least $10,000 higher than the 400Z with the Performance Package, pushing the 400Z Nismo near $60,000 and quite close to the most expensive Supra models. Nissan will launch not only the standalone model but also Nismo tuning parts, like Subaru does with the STI catalog.
R35 Nissan GT-R Final Edition
We’ve heard about this car before. The R35 generation of the GT-R has been around since fish walked out of the water and is technically no longer available. After 13 years on sale in Europe, it’s officially dead because of regulations. Unless we’re mistaken, it’s the same in Australia, and apparently Japan as well.
But a limited edition model is being made to honor Godzilla and will debut in Spring 2023. Best Car Web claims it’s about the same as a regular Nismo GT-R except it features a large swan-neck GT wing at the rear. Small changes will be made to the chassis and engine, and new colors may be introduced.