As I write this story, my two screens get an updated wallpaper. As a motoring journalist, you would expect that they’re going to be cars and you’d be correct.
What I have as a background to my workspace is the latest Nissan Z car. If you can recall, the Japanese automaker has previewed the two-seat coupe in prototype form called the Z Proto last year. This time around, the production version has been revealed – and Nissan has definitely hit a home run with this latest offering.
No, I’m not talking about the design alone. The new-generation Nissan Z, which would be available in the US as a 2023 model, has a lot of great things to offer despite riding on an aging platform.
That said, here’s a list of all the things that Nissan got right with the new Z car. And oh, don’t call it something else. Just Z—the Nissan Z.
The Nissan Z’s heritage dates back to 1969 when the automaker introduced the Fairlady Z, also known as the Datsun 240Z in the US. The new version has perfectly captured the things that made the first Z car great, which includes the squared-off grille that made its way to 2021.
But the Z Proto’s version of the intake was a talking point, to say the least, which Nissan corrected in production form by making the mesh more visible. That was a subtle yet effective mode. Nice.
Try not to stare
Headlights are among the most important design details that automakers pay a lot of attention to. With the new Z, Nissan was in the zone with how its designers executed a simple yet intricate design. The DRLs serve as a highlight; call them eyelashes if you want, but they do look fantastic even in just press images.
Oh, those taillights
Just look at red, neon sign-like taillights. Nissan didn’t bother to create an elaborate design for the rear lighting effect. Draw a thin line, round the corners, and call it a day – reminiscent of what was on the 300ZX.
Call it lazy or maybe even call it uninspired; for me, I’m calling it working smart. Punching the hearts of enthusiasts with nostalgia with the least effort – and for me, it works. I love it.
Curves that matter
Curves? What curves? In fact, the Nissan Z only has a few curves to prove a point: you don’t need elaborate lines and overstyled shoulders to create a great-looking car. With the exception of the chiseled hood that point your eyes toward the emblem, the Nissan Z didn’t need to put so many unnecessary details to catch everyone’s attention.
Minimalist, as many would call this. I call it perfection.
Elevating what’s familiar
Honestly, the Nissan Z’s cabin is very familiar, especially looking at the door-mounted A/C vents and the thick middle console with a singular cupholder.
But Nissan elevated the familiar layout and gave it a modern touch. Knobs and buttons are minimal, plus the massive touchscreen infotainment screams modern. I just hope that it works and looks up to par with today’s generation of display screens.
And those blue seats
I am not a fan of non-black or gray interiors but those blue seats and trims in the Z’s cabin are such eye candy. I have yet to recall seeing a car with this shade of blue and frankly, it’s refreshing. For an aging platform to get a youthful-looking pair of undergarments, it surprisingly works for me.
One of the highlights that the production Nissan Z carries is its engine, (which wasn’t disclosed with the Z Proto)—lo and behold, a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that spews out 400hp and 475Nm of torque. These numbers are 68hp and 108Nm more than the outgoing 370Z, mind you, plus peak torque enters as early as 1,600 rpm, so yes, we know that the Z car will be punchy as early as today.
More importantly, the Nissan Z has more horses than the most powerful stock Toyota GR Supra around, which is rated at 382hp. That said, Toyota should watch its back as Nissan’s certainly not slacking around with its two-seat coupe.
Rendering fan service
A six-speed manual transmission in a 400-hp sports car? What’s not to love? While Toyota made do by dropping the manual in the latest version of the Supra, Nissan decided to keep it pure by offering a Z car with a stick shift AND a mechanical hand brake. How’s that for fan service?
The question is: when?
If it isn’t obvious, the new Nissan Z car has delighted my senses. In fact, I could go on and on and tell you that this is the greatest creation that the Japanese brand has ever made – but of course, that would be a blatant lie, at least until I get to drive one.
Which brings us to the question – when will the new Nissan Z car arrive in the Philippines? Your guess is just as good as ours right now but we’re expecting it by 2024 if circumstances permit. But frankly, it couldn’t come any sooner.