- The Z NISMO increases output from its 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 by bumping up the horsepower to 420 and torque to 384 lb-ft.
- By unpopular demand, a six-speed manual option will not be offered; however, Nissan states the nine-speed automatic will shift faster and downshift nearly twice as fast.
- Wider 19-inch RAYS wheels, new stabilizer bars, stiffer spring rates, retuned dampers, larger brakes, improved aero, and Recaro seats sum up the list of notable improvements.
- Official pricing is not announced yet, but the Z NISMO is set to go on sale this fall as a 2024 model.
The new Nissan Z showed promise from the get-go at its global launch in New York two years ago. 400hp, 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, six-speed manual option — it was the boosted, rear-wheel-drive sports car we’d been asking for — and a much-needed improvement from the outgoing 370Z. As for the Z’s polarizing styling, it received mixed reviews from enthusiasts.
I was especially unconvinced by its rectangular grille and 300ZX-inspired taillights. It wasn’t until I traveled to Japan this past January for Tokyo Auto Salon that I could finally turn the page and begin appreciating the new Z. Builds like the Pandem conversion by TRUST/GReddy made me realize the Z did have potential in the right hands of tuners.
I could either go on whining about the things I didn’t like or begin accepting the Z as a major player in the performance car world. This was the case again as the 2024 Z NISMO dropped last month at a private media event in Los Angeles. While most of the internet was disappointed about the absence of a manual transmission option, there were positives that were overlooked, which we’ll dive into here.
Nissan wouldn’t make a NISMO edition without adding more power. The top-of-the-line performance model receives a 20hp and 34 lb-ft increase over the other Zs, resulting in 420hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. Peak torque is delivered where it matters most: between 2,000-5,200 rpm. As far as hardware is concerned, there isn’t much difference minus a new oil cooler. The bump in performance comes from revisions in ECU tuning and more effective cooling.
There’s a lot of focus (if not all the focus) around the NISMO’s omission of a six-speed manual. Like many of you, we haven’t found out why this was the case, especially with so much demand for the manual-equipped Civic Type R, GR Corolla, and GR Supra. What we do know is that the Z NISMO’s nine-speed automatic will come with some enhancements that Nissan claims will provide “racetrack-tuned” shifting, cutting downshift times by nearly half. We’ll have to wait for our own track tests to confirm this.
RESTYLED FOR THE RIGHT REASONS
We can finally look at the face of the Nissan Z without the uncontrollable urge to cringe; the highly criticized rectangular front grille has been opened. Plus, the addition of canards, a rear spoiler, and a reshaped rear bumper are also all a step in the right direction. Would I have liked to see a taller and more functional rear wing, or maybe a less obnoxious red stripe on the lower body? Of course! But I’ll pick and choose my battles.
GREY IS GOLD
Nissan got the color of its debut vehicle right on the dot, which is the exclusive Stealth Grey. The color is carried over from the 2022 GT-R NISMO Special Edition.
RECARO IS WINNING
Any seasoned car guy will welcome the addition of the NISMO-exclusive Recaro sport seats that are upholstered in a combination of leather and Alcantara. They might not be heated, but they look and feel at home in the Z NISMO.
There’s a healthy list of chassis and suspension upgrades that may sound minor on their own but add up to a better sports car:
- RAYS wheels come standard on the Performance grade, but the NISMO receives a slightly meaner spec that’s half an inch wider all around –19×10” and 19×10.5”. Mounted to the forged wheels are stickier Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT600 tires measuring 255/40R19 and 285/35R19 (10mm wider in the rear).
- The four-piston front and dual-piston rear calipers are the same as the Performance model, but the front rotors have been beefed up to 15”. The rears remain 13.8”.
- Updates to the suspension and chassis include new stabilizer bars, stiffer springs, retuned dampers, added underfloor bracing, and stiffer bushings.
TEST DRIVE NEXT MONTH
There is still track data and driver impressions missing, but thankfully, Pit+Paddock has been invited to be one of the first media outlets to test drive the Z NISMO at Sonoma Raceway. Stay tuned and be on the lookout for the second part of our Z NISMO review next month!