The Nissan Z car is one of the most iconic sports car series in history, dating back to 1969 when the first generation debuted as the Datsun 240Z. Since then, the Z car has evolved through seven generations, each offering a blend of style, performance, and affordability. The latest iteration, called the Nissan Z, was unveiled in August 2021 as a 2023 model, featuring a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine with 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque and a choice of a six-speed manual or a nine-speed automatic transmission.
But for those who want even more from their Z car, Nissan has also revealed the Nissan Z Nismo, a track-focused variant that takes the performance and handling of the Z to the next level. The Nissan Z Nismo is expected to go on sale in the fall of 2023, with a starting price of around $50,000. Here’s what you need to know about this ultimate Z car.
More Power, More Torque, More Speed
The 2024 Nissan Z Nismo shares the same 3.0-liter V6 engine as the regular Z, but with some significant upgrades that boost its output to 420 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. These include a redesigned wastegate, improved cooling, and optimized ignition timing based on the learnings from the GT-R Nismo. The result is a 0-60 mph time of about 4 seconds and a top speed of over 180 mph.
However, unlike the regular Z, which offers both a manual and an automatic transmission, the Z Nismo will only be available with the nine-speed automatic. Nissan says this gearbox has been specially tuned for the Z Nismo, with faster shifts, more aggressive launch control, and a Sport+ mode that eliminates the need for paddle shifting. The automatic transmission also allows for better weight distribution and lower center of gravity, which improve the handling and stability of the Z Nismo.
Enhanced Aerodynamics and Styling
The Nissan Z Nismo also features a distinctive exterior design that sets it apart from the regular Z. The most noticeable change is the extended front fascia that recalls the G-nose of the classic Fairlady 240ZG. The new nose has a larger grille opening with a honeycomb mesh that provides more cooling for the engine. The front fascia also has red accents and extensions at the corners that improve aerodynamics by directing air around the wheels.
The side profile of the Nissan Z Nismo showcases its black-painted roof, Nismo badges, and 19-inch forged aluminum wheels wrapped in high-performance tires. The rear end features a three-piece spoiler that integrates with the rear quarters and enhances downforce. The rear bumper also has red accents and a diffuser that houses four exhaust tips.
The interior of the 2024 Nissan Z Nismo is similar to that of the regular Z, but with some exclusive touches that emphasize its sporty character. The cockpit is wrapped in Alcantara leather with red stitching and Nismo logos. The seats are also Alcantara-covered and have more bolstering for better support. The steering wheel, shifter knob, and pedals are also unique to the Z Nismo, as well as the instrument cluster and infotainment system that display Nismo-specific information.
Improved Handling and Braking
The 2024 Nissan Z Nismo is not only faster than the regular Z, but also more agile and responsive. Nissan has upgraded the suspension, steering, and braking systems of the Z Nismo to match its higher performance level. The suspension features stiffer springs, dampers, and stabilizer bars that reduce body roll and improve cornering grip. The steering system has been recalibrated to provide more feedback and precision. The braking system has been enhanced with larger rotors, calipers, and pads that deliver more stopping power and fade resistance.
The Z Nismo also comes with several electronic aids that help the driver control the car in different situations. These include an electronic limited-slip differential that distributes torque between the rear wheels for optimal traction, a vehicle dynamic control system that adjusts engine power and brake pressure to prevent oversteer or understeer, and a traction control system that prevents wheel spin on slippery surfaces.
A Worthy Successor to the Z Legacy
The 2024 Nissan Z Nismo is a worthy successor to the legacy of the Z car series. It combines the best elements of its predecessors:
- The classic styling cues of the original 240Z
- The twin-turbo power of the 300ZX
- The handling prowess of the 350Z and 370Z
It also adds modern features and technologies, making it more competitive in today’s sports car market.
The Nissan Z Nismo is not without its drawbacks, however. Some purists may lament the lack of a manual transmission option; some critics may find the design too conservative or derivative; and some rivals may offer more power, luxury, or practicality. But for those who appreciate the essence of the Z car, the Nissan Z Nismo is a compelling choice that delivers on its promise of being the ultimate Z car.
What are the competitors of Nissan Z Nismo?
Some of the competitors of the 2024 Nissan Z Nismo are:
- The Toyota GR Supra is another Japanese sports coupe with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive. The Toyota GR Supra offers a choice of two engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 255 horsepower and a 3.0-liter six-cylinder with 382 horsepower. The Toyota GR Supra also has a sleek and aerodynamic body, a sporty interior, and advanced technology features. The Toyota GR Supra has a starting price of $44,6401.
- The Ford Mustang Dark Horse is a special edition of the iconic American muscle car. The Ford Mustang Dark Horse has a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 480 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. It also has a unique blacked-out exterior, a performance exhaust system, and a MagneRide adaptive suspension. The Mustang Dark Horse has a starting price of $49,995.
- The BMW M240i is a compact luxury coupe with a sporty character. The BMW M240i has a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine that delivers 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. It also has an eight-speed automatic transmission, an xDrive all-wheel-drive system, and an M Sport differential. The M240i has a refined and elegant interior, a digital instrument cluster, and a head-up display. The M240i has a starting price of $49,545.
These are some of the 2024 Nissan Z Nismo competitors that you should consider if you are looking for a fast and fun sports coupe.