NISSAN Motor Co Ltd premiered the US-market version of the all-new Nissan Z sports car at a special event in New York on Tuesday.
The all-new, seventh-generation Z, representing more than 50 years of “ongoing passion and dedication towards driving excitement”, is scheduled to go on sale at Nissan dealers in the US next year.
Exhilarating, dynamic performer
Nissan says one of the defining traits of Z (the original debuted in 1969) has always been its bond between the car and the driver – a physical and visceral connection, no matter the road ahead. “That human-machine bond dominates the new Z, especially in the presence of the standard six-speed manual transmission.”
Its 3.0-litre V6 twin turbo engine adds a significant increase in power output over the previous generation 370Z. Designed to deliver a sharp, yet smooth response to the driver’s input, it has an increase of 68hp and 30% increase in torque. The engine is rated at 400hp and 475Nm of torque at 5,600rpm.
In a first for a rear-wheel drive Nissan, the six-speed manual transmission includes an advanced launch assist control system (Performance grade) that helps deliver smooth acceleration from a stopped position.
All automatic transmission-equipped models feature the launch control system. Manual transmission-equipped models also feature a carbon fibre composite drive shaft and Downshift Rev Matching.
The new, optional nine-speed automatic transmission offers direct and quick response, thanks to its wide gear ratios.
Enhanced body rigidity, an electronic power steering with rack assist and a strong mechanical feel and wider front tyres help increase cornering performance up to 13%.
Both front and rear dampers use a new monotube shock absorber design with a larger diameter than the outgoing 370Z, resulting in approximately 20% reduction in dampening force to help minimise impact shock over uneven surfaces, enhance road-following performance and improved handling stability.
The front double-wishbone aluminium suspension features new geometry, including caster angle which has been increased, aiding in straight line stability.
Two drive modes are offered with the automatic transmission, standard and sport.
Standard mode is best suited for commuting and long highway drives for a pleasant, stress-free drive. Sport mode unlocks the Z’s performance potential, offering faster acceleration control, a sports-mode steering profile, active sound enhancement and sports-mode vehicle dynamic control setting best matched to take on a spirited run through a winding road. Z Performance grade models utilise a mechanical clutch-type limited-slip differential.
Exterior: Past meets future
The all-new Z’s sleek exterior design has an appearance that communicates respect to its lineage. Its long bonnet and short deck are fundamentally Z, with a fresh look that is love-at-first-sight. The design theme for the exterior and interior is “tradition with modern technology.”
The LED headlamps have two half-circles that hark back to the Japan market-only Fairlady 240ZG of the 1970s, which fit naturally with the new Z’s identity.
The link to the original Z is most striking when viewing the all-new Z from the side. The roofline flows from the nose to the squared-off rear to create a distinctive first-generation Z profile, whose rear edge was slightly lower than the front fender height giving the Z its unique posture.
The signature transition from the rear quarter glass to the low-slung position of the rear tail adds to the effect. The rear combination lamps incorporate modern technology into the styling reminiscent of the Z32 300ZX, including new 3-D signature LED taillights that are distinctly Z.
The Z Performance grade features a rear spoiler that creates positive pressure where the rear hatch and spoiler meet, mitigating rear lift. The front spoiler takes advantage of knowledge gained through Nissan GT-R development to utilise negative pressure zones.
Interior: Modern tech, vintage touch
Designed to fit the driver and passenger like a glove, the cabin seamlessly blends modern technology with vintage Z touches. The centre stack takes inspiration from previous generations, with three analogue pod gauges on the instrument panel, 8.0-inch touchscreen audio display in the centre and climate control switches near the shifter.
The instrumentation has all vital information in its 12.3-inch customisable digital meter display and arranged to help the driver grasp it at a glance, such as the redline shift point at the 12 o’clock position. The 12.3-inch TFT meter display is all-new with three display modes to suit driver preference.
The centre stack uses a three-zone approach, placing three analogue pod gauges on the instrument panel (boost, turbo speed, volt) within the driver’s eyesight. Both the manual and automatic shift levers are new, each of them custom-engineered for optimised grip and comfort.
The new, deep spoke steering wheel offers the driver quick access controls without losing the vintage aesthetic.
The seat design utilises know-how from the GT-R’s development to enhance both hold and fit. The expanded use of suede on the seatback suppresses initial lateral shake on the body, creating more comfortable drives, as well as reducing body movement when the vehicle is aggressively cornering.