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  • Nissan outs the GT-R in Japanese Super GT
  • The Nissan Z car steps in and goes racing with 650 hp
  • Nissan’s racer might be ugly, but it’s sure gonna be fast

It’s okay for a race car to be ugly. The Mclaren Senna is a great example, just like this Nissan. It looks like someone committed felony assault on a pile of blue Playdough. But, the Senna is so fast you could easily catch the person who committed that felony assault. We know the 400 hp, $40,000 2023 Nissan Z will be fast, but it sure won’t be as fast as this horrid-looking factory racer. Betcha this one’s fast too.

The Nissan Z’s RWD prevails over the AWD GT-R

A black 2023 Nissan Z race car shot in a photo booth from the 3/4 angle
The new Z car in race trim | Nissan

The new Z car racer is built to replace the current Nissan GT-R the brand built for competition in Japan’s Super GT series. It’s a lot like Europe’s GT3 or WEC series. Cars must be built based on real production cars. Then, they’re modified for racing. Obviously, some modifications have been made here. First, there’s the bodywork. Sure, it makes the Nissan Z look like someone boxed its ears, but it does have purpose.

Out front, those super-wide fenders hide ultra-wide racing slicks (or wets depending on the weather). The bulging fenders also have an aerodynamic purpose too. See, they help funnel air over the rest of the car and feed it to aero elements out back. Oh, and they’re topped with fins to help vent negative pressure from within the wheel well, helping with cooling and airflow. Obviously, that splitter is also there to help the 2023 Nissan Z with some downforce.

What engine does the 2023 Nissan Z have?

A front shot of the Nissan Z racing car in black
Someone boxed the ears of the new Z | Nissan

Now, the side of the car is built much like the font. Its job is to help move air over the car in an orderly fashion towards the rear. That rear is dominated by a massive wing, hung on swan’s necks much like the new Porsche 911 GT3. Yes, just like the Porsche GT race car. Finally, there’s a huge diffuser assembly at the rear. Those frame the Nissan 300 ZX-inspired taillights and provide yet more downforce.

Then, there’s the motor. The standard 2023 Nissan Z packs a twin-turbo V6. This, on the other hand, gets a racing-derived turbo four-cylinder. Fewer cylinders, yes, but far, far more power. The Nissan Z race car that’s replacing Godzilla makes 650 hp on 51 psi of boost. For reference, your average Volkswagen GTI runs on about 9 psi.

The new Z weighs about 3,500 lbs, a lot more than the racer

A rear 3/4 shot of the new Nissan Z race car
The rear of the car is built to suck out air | Nissan

We don’t have the official figures on the 2023 Nissan Z, but estimates sit right around 3,000-3,500 lbs. Rest assured, the go-fast version might be ugly, but it’s sure light. What isn’t carbon fiber is fiberglass. This race car weighs around half that if we’re being conservative with our estimates. It’ll be interesting to see how the car performs, and it should give some insight on the performance potential of the street car when it eventually hits dealers next year.


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