Nissan finally debuts its new-generation Z car, due here 2022
AFTER years of waiting, the new Nissan Z car has finally been revealed and as alluded to by the Z Proto seen this time last year, it blends elements from every key Z car to date into one new and modernised package.
Known simply as the ‘Z’, the latest iteration of Nissan’s legendary sportscar is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine developing a Supra-scaring 298kW/475Nm. For reference, the force-fed straight-six in the Toyota produces 285kW/500Nm.
Peak power comes on song at a 6400rpm – just 400rpm shy of the redline – while maximum torque is available across a useful 5000rpm band from 1600-5600rpm.
As ever for a Z car, drive will be shipped exclusively to the rear wheels via either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission.
Just like its Toyota rival, the new Z will be offered in two different guises when it arrives in Australia next year with the Performance version one-upping the Sport on account of its extra go-faster gear like launch control, rev-matching, upgraded brakes and a limited-slip differential – among other things.
Official performance claims are yet to be published, however a sub-five second dash from 0-100km/h should be on the cards for the manuals while the automatics, especially the Performance version, should comfortably crack the low fours.
For comparison’s sake, the auto-only Supra stops the clock in 4.1 seconds.
Measuring 4379mm long, 1844mm wide and 1316mm tall, the MY22 Z is 139mm longer than the now 12-year-old 370Z, but 6mm narrower and 4mm lower with the two generations sharing a 2550mm wheelbase.
In terms of styling, there are no great surprises with the new Z thanks to the extensive promotion and coverage of the previously mentioned Z Proto with only a few key details being tweaked here and there.
Fans of the original Datsun 240Z will spot the teardrop-shaped headlights, while 300ZX fiends will notice the Z32-inspired rear end and taillight arrangement.
The cab-back silhouette is a hallmark of every Z to date, with traces of both 240Z and 370Z visible in the roof and hiplines.
Performance versions will be able to be singled out by their 19-inch Rays forged alloy wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza S007 rubber, integrated front splitter, rear spoiler and ‘sport grade’ mufflers.
This retro-meets-modern theme is continued within the cabin too with Nissan saying the interior was “designed to fit the driver and passenger like a glove”.
Blending modern technology with classic design, three driver-oriented analogue pod gauges sit proudly on the top of the dashboard showing boost pressure, turbo speed and battery voltage.
The classic gauges are underlined by a slim pair of air vents, below which is an 8.0- or 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen (Sport vs Performance).
If this proves too touchy for some purists, there is a row of physical shortcut buttons and dials underneath with the HVAC controls then filling the gap between the dash and raised centre console.
In keeping with classic sportscar ethos, the interior is minimalist in its design; the centre console houses only a single cupholder, a select few buttons (seat heating, boot release, rev-matching and starter) and the gear-lever.
A manual handbrake lever adds an extra level of authenticity while the configurable 12.3-inch digital cockpit and the Z-branded multifunction steering wheel inject a contrasting dose of modernity.
While the local pricing and finer specifications are yet to be confirmed, standard equipment highlights on the US-spec Sport variants will include cloth upholstery, manual seat adjustment, keyless entry and start, adaptive cruise control, automatic temperature control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, reversing camera, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration and Bluetooth connectivity.
As well as the aforementioned go-fast upgrades, stepping up to the Performance will add heated leather seats, satellite navigation, Bose sound system with active noise cancellation and sound enhancement, NissanConnect Services with Wi-Fi hotspot, sport pedals and heated wing mirrors.
While it may be full of classic cues, there’s nothing classic about the Z’s standard safety suite which consists of autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, high beam assist and intelligent forward-collision warning among others.
Nissan representative executive officer and chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta described the new Z as the ultimate embodiment of the brand’s passion.
“The new Z retains its authenticity as a pure sports car to keep you connected to the road while bringing in the latest modern technologies to make sure the car can help keep you connected to your life,” he said.