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  • A 400hp 2023 Nissan Z makes mincemeat out of a modded WRX STI
  • If Nissan can keep to a $40K MSRP, the competition is in trouble
  • Nissan’s new Z Car already has promising performance chops.

Usually, when a new car comes out, we don’t find out how said car or sports car performs. However, sometimes things slip through the cracks. We’ve seen and heard Nurburgring blasts before the camo even comes off. Now, however, a very un-camouflaged 2023 Nissan Z has been shown flexing its performance chops in a highway race against a Subaru WRX STI.

A pair of 2023 Nissan Z cars in yellow and blue shot on the a cliffside at sunset
The 2023 Nissan Z is in final testing before production | Nissan

Now we know how fast the 2023 Nissan Z is

Subaru fans may want to skip over the video below. In it, well, there’s a pretty big loss. The new Z Car pulls handily on a modified STI. Moreover, the driver of the STI even jumps the Nissan Z, going on the second beep of the horn instead of the first. But, as the old drag racing adage goes, a chase is a race. Not that it was much of a race.

After a few seconds at wide-open throttle, the 2023 Nissan Z blows past the horn-jumping Subaru WRX STI. And then keeps going. By the time the 20-second clip ends, the Z Car is roughly 5-6 car lengths ahead. To use more formal racing terminology, the AWD, modified Subaru WRX STI got taken out to Gapplebee’s. With 400 hp rumored to be on tap, the new 2023 Nissan Z looks to be a serious performer.

Not even a modified Subaru WRX STI can stop the new Z Car

A Rally Blue Subaru WRX STI shot from the front 3/4 at Willow Springs
For $40K, the WRX STI should be worried | Subaru

Unfortunately, we don’t have the spec sheet for the WRX in the video. All we can tell is that the Subie in question is part of the 2014-2021 generation of WRX and STI models. A basic “stage one” ECU tune on a Subaru WRX STI from Cobb puts power and torque figures for the AWD sedan at roughly 340 wheel horsepower and 320 hp. Let’s assume that to be a rough baseline. A “stage one” ECU tune is one of the most popular modifications for a WRX, after all.

The new Z Car, on the other hand, is purported to be making an extra 60-odd horsepower over the WRX. We still don’t have specs for the Z Car, so let’s call it an even 400 as a worst-case number, or around 370 hp at the tire. With two less driven wheels and a roll race eliminating the need for much traction, it’s easy to see why the 2023 Nissan Z handed out that big ol’ L so easily.

400 hp for $40k will make the Nissan Z a sports car bargain

A rear 3/4 shot of the new Nissan Z Car at sunset in the Angeles Forest
There’s a new bargain sports car on the block | Nissan

By all accounts, the 2023 Nissan Z is shaping up to be a true bargain sports car. If Nissan is able to keep prices low and inventory and horsepower high, there’s no reason the Supra shouldn’t be worried. Or the new WRX and STI, for that matter. This new sports car could really shake things up, and we’re more than excited.


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