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Last week I told you that it was imminent. Last night it happened— the Global Debut in Brooklyn, New York of the seventh-generation successor to the iconic Datsun 240Z sports car— just five miles from where that car had made its World Debut in 1969.

Timeline showing all seven generations of Z cars

Having owned several Datsun Z cars over the years, of course I watched the event’s live stream. It would have been great to be there in person, but watching online was the next best thing. You can watch a reply of that 20-minute event here, on YouTube:

What I will do here today is share with you some of the facts, figures and photos of the car that we have been eager to learn about and see.

There are two models: Sport and Performance, plus a special Proto Spec edition, which is limited to 240 units. Drive is via the rear wheels.

This car is at once true to the original and yet fully modern in its execution.

Datsun 2​40Z & Nissan Z

It begins with the car’s name. For the first time ever, its name is simply the Nissan Z.

By omitting a reference to the displacement of the model generation’s internal combustion engine, its new name is well suited to go forward into the future.

With its exterior design that features a long hood and gently sloping two-passenger cabin that leads into a practical hatchback, the Nissan Z takes its strongest design cues from the 240Z, with a hint of the 300ZX at the rear.

J​an & his 1971 Mandarin Orange Datsun 240Z in the 1970s. The new car has changed a lot.
Left to Ri​ght: 2023 Nissan Z and Nissan 300ZX

It will be available in monotone and two-tone colors. The white LED lights at the front suggest the reflections from the clear headlight covers that were available for the 240Z’s headlight buckets.

The Nissan Z is very similar to the Z Proto design study, which was introduced in September, 2020.

Z​ Proto from 2020

Like the original 240Z, the 2023 Nissan Z also has a 6-cylinder engine, but that is where the similarities end. Whereas the first such engine was a 2395cc straight six with triple SU carburetors, the new engine is a thoroughly modern, 3.0L V6 Twin Turbo, 24-valve DOHC rated at 400 horsepower @ 6,400 RPM and 350 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600 – 5,600 RPM, with Electronic Variable Valve Timing Control; small pitch, silent cam chain; drive-by-wire throttle and more.

Also like the original, the Nissan Z will be available with your choice of a manual transmission or an automatic—but here the manual is a 6-speed close-ratio unit with available SynchroRev Match©, allowing heel-and-toe downshifting, and an advanced launch assist control system in Z Performance models.

The automatic is an electronically controlled 9-speed transmission with Manual Shift Mode, Launch Control, Downshift Rev Matching, Sport or Performance paddle shifters, and more.

With a welcome nod to the 240Z, the instrumentation includes an analog triple-pod cluster above the dashboard (turbocharger boost, turbocharger turbine speed and voltmeter).

The two passenger seats are either black woven seat cloth with synthetic suede inserts, or leather-appointed seating surfaces with synthetic suede inserts (Performance).

The modern displays are either 8.0-inch or 9.0-inch.

The standard audio system includes six speakers, with an 8-speaker Bose® audio system available. Also available are Active Noise Cancellation and Active Sound Enhancement (Performance), hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, NissanConnect® with WiFi, Voice Recognition and much more.

Suspension is double-wishbone at the front and multi-link at the rear. There is a 2-point front strut tower brace and high-response monotube shock absorbers. A sport-tuned suspension, mechanical clutch-type limited-slip differential, and Sport Brakes (14.0-inch front/13.8-inch rear rotors and 4-piston front/2-piston rear aluminum caliper) are available (Performance).

The wheels are 18-inch aluminum alloys, with 245/45R18 front / 245/45R18 rear Yokohama ADVAN Sport high performance tires. Optionally available are 19-inch RAYS® super-lightweight forged-alloy wheels with 255/40R19 front / 275/35R19 rear Bridgestone Potenza® S007 high-performance tires (Performance).

Safety technologies include Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control System, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Intelligent Forward Collision Warning.

The 2023 Nissan Z is expected to go on sale at Nissan Dealers throughout the U.S. in spring 2022. Pricing has not yet been released.

Much more information is available online. Begin your search at:

Copyright © 2021 by Jan Wagner — AutoMatters & More #705

Jan Wagner


  1. David Sperry on October 8, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    I read this article when it first appeared in DriveTribe. Originally I thought the the 2023 Z was a bit stark, but the design has grown on me. It retains some important styling cues from the original 1970 Z while looking totally modern. I would call it a masterpiece of minimalism.

    I can’t see any difference between the new 2023 Z and the 2020 prototype, cleverly named the Z Proto. On the Proto, the outline of the grille looks more sharply defined and totally blacked out. Am I missing some other details?

    • Jan Wagner on October 8, 2021 at 11:11 pm

      You are quite right. It is nice to see so much carry over from a pro type to what is offered for sale. I remember how much I liked the Chevy Volt prototype, and then how watered-down the production version looked.

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