NISSAN HAS revealed its production-ready Z coupé in New York city this week, powered by a 400bhp V6 engine and designed to continue the firm’s Z-car lineage that stretches back to 1969.
Unlike most cars in the Z-car history, the new model has no number designation; it is simply called the Nissan Z. It follows on from the Nissan Z Proto concept car that was revealed last year and continues that vehicle’s retro design theme.
Under the curved bonnet of the Nissan Z is a new twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine. It produces up to 400bhp and 350lb ft of torque, which are significant gains over the previous-generation Z-car, the 370Z.
Driving enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that the new Z comes as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, though a nine-speed automatic transmission is also available. All versions of the Nissan Z are rear-wheel drive.
While the automatic gearbox features launch control, the manual Z will also come with a launch assist control system, in a first for Nissan. It also gets a Downshift Rev Matching function to automatically adjust the engine speed when changing down gears.
Though there are plenty of retro styling cues to the exterior of the new Nissan Z, it’s framed with modern technology, such as slender LED lighting front and rear. The large rectangular radiator grille has been carried forward from last year’s show car almost unchanged.
Inside, there’s contemporary technology mixed with further retro cues. The shape of the instrument binnacle and the distinctive set of extra display pods facing the driver reference previous Nissan Z cars. Meanwhile, there are customisable digital instruments and a large infotainment screen in the middle of the dashboard.
A simple round steering wheel will be welcomed by drivers, while the Z’s sports seats are inspired by those of the Nissan GT-R sports car. Three different interior colour themes are offered.
For the US market, there will be Sport and Performance variants of the Z. The latter is identifiable by its extra boot spoiler and larger wheels – a set of 19-inch alloys.
Nissan has also confirmed that just 240 examples of the Z Proto Spec will be produced, influenced by the concept car. It comes with yellow-coloured brake calipers, bronze-coloured wheels, leather seats with yellow accents and yellow interior stitching.
The bad news for British fans of Nissan Z cars is that the new model will not be officially sold in the UK. Nonetheless, a Japanese version, called the Fairlady Z, is set for launch before the end of 2021, and, with right-hand drive, it is likely to be privately imported by some.
In America, it’s expected that the Nissan Z will be priced from $40,000, or the equivalent of just £29,000.
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