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After much anticiaption, the 2023 Nissan Z has finally been unveiled. With 400 hp and a starting price around $40,000, it looks to be a strong competitor for the Toyota GR Supra. Here are some of the best features on the new Z for driving enthusiasts.

The 2023 Nissan Z saves the manual

2023 Nissan Z blue interior with manual transmission
2023 Nissan Z blue interior with manual transmission | Nissan

Even with the latest crop of incredibly smart and fast automatics, sometimes there’s no replacement for a clutch pedal. Driving a sports car is one of those times. To the relief of enthusiasts, the Nissan Z will continue to offer a six-speed manual. In a world where these transmissions are disappearing left and right, that’s a breath of fresh air.

To ensure the clutch is up to its high-performance task, Nissan partnered with renowned Japanese clutch supplier, Exedy. In addition to the serious clamping hardware, manual models will receive a carbon-fiber driveshaft per Car & Driver. As on the 370Z, the computers will even rev-match downshifts for you on the Performance trim. Hopefully, there’s still an off button for us purists, still using the old heel-toe method.

Twin turbos return to the Nissan Z

2023 Nissan Z engine
2023 Nissan Z engine | Nissan

The taillights on the 2023 Z aren’t the only nod to the ’90s 300ZX. Twin turbos are back with a vengeance, after two generations of naturally aspirated Z engines. While the motor itself is nothing new or innovative, it’s a welcome upgrade over the maxed-out VQ from the 370Z. Particularly given the new boosted competition from Toyota’s GR Supra.

With a few years under its belt in the Infiniti Red Sport 400 variants, the VR30DDTT is potent and well-proven. A 350 lb-foot torque plateau stretches from 1600 to 5200 RPMs, so swift acceleration in any gear should be no problem. And 400 horses is only a baseline, with plenty more available in the aftermarket.

Double wishbone suspension

While much of the automotive world has converted to MacPherson struts for front suspension, the double-wishbone configuration can still be found. Though it is more complex and costly than a strut assembly, double-wishbones typically do a better job of maintaining proper alignment while cornering. Many race cars use the design for precisely that reason.

For 2023, Nissan has improved the geometry compared to the 370Z predecessor. To improve stability at highway speeds on straight roads, the caster angle was increased. For weight savings, the front wishbones and some of the rear multi-link suspension components are made of aluminum. A two-point shock tower brace is now standard across the board, for improved structural rigidity up front.

Final thoughts

The 2023 Nissan Z appears to have struck a fine balance between making progress and retaining old-school traits that many drivers love. And while the Toyota GR Supra will be a natural competitor, the Z will likely offer a better value proposition. Not to mention, it already has a feature that you can’t get on any GR Supra: a manual transmission. Bravo, Nissan.


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