The everyman’s sports car is back! We were recently invited over to Forsberg Racing HQ by MagnaFlow Brand Ambassador Chris Forsberg to check out a production version of the new Nissan Z in the flesh (or, rather, sheet metal), and we loved what we saw. It’s been twelve long years since the release of the last Z-car—the 370Z—and while that vehicle has more than proven itself over the years (a fact which Chris Forsberg and his multiple Formula Drift Championships with it can attest to) it’s simply high time for an update.
Forward Looking Without Forgetting Its Roots
And boy, what an update it is! The heritage of its storied ancestors can clearly be seen in the sleek lines of the new Z. From the elegant side profile and teardrop shaped LED headlights evocative of the original 240Z of 1969, to the retro-futuristic taillights and back-end clearly inspired by the 300ZX of the 80s and 90s, the new car’s roots are easily recognizable.
The venerable genes of its forebearers extend to the new Z’s interior as well, with the cockpit continuing the thematic fusion of old and new that’s so integral to the DNA of the vehicle’s exterior. According to Nissan, the car is “designed to fit driver and passenger like a glove.” One of the first things we noticed within this cosseted enclosure was the vintage-looking deep dish steering wheel and classic physical gauges atop the dashboard. We also loved the seat piping and interior trim colored to match the vehicle’s exterior, a stylish touch reminiscent of the Z cars of yore.
What blew us away was how well these classic touches meld into the aesthetics of the advanced technology featured in the new car’s interior, including a 12.3-inch modern digital gauge cluster and large central touchscreen. This idyllic marriage of the Z-car’s past and present clearly demonstrates Nissan’s resolve to make this storied marque a key part of the company’s future.
As Fast as It Looks
It simply wouldn’t be acceptable for such a beautiful car to lack true velocity beneath such a visage. Fortunately, Nissan didn’t disappoint in this area either, as the new Z incorporates the 400-horsepower, 3.0L twin-turbo V6 from the Infiniti Q50 and Q60. We don’t yet have any solid 0-60 numbers, but with 350-lb.-ft of torque in such a compact package the Z will likely live up to its family’s reputation for pure performance. For our part, we can’t wait to see what sort of magic we can work with the vehicle’s exhaust system, and we’re especially looking forward to watching Chris Forsberg put this sports car to the test as he no doubt will in the future.
Most importantly for us enthusiasts, the new Z will come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, as the car gods always intended. Of course, being a modern sports car, a 9-speed automatic is available as an option, but that’s not really the version you want, is it? Jokes aside, the 9-speed will likely accelerate even quicker than the classic 6-speed, so it’s hard to go wrong either way.
Many thanks to Chris Forsberg, Forsberg Racing and Nissan for giving us a chance to get a sneak peek at this sleek and sexy sports car. We can’t wait to see Chris drifting into another Formula D Championship win in one of these beauties. It will undoubtedly look great in racing livery!
Interested in Nissan’s new Z? So are we! Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and keep an eye on this newsletter to stay up to date on the latest projects we have in the works, including for the upcoming Nissan Z. In the meantime, check out our current Nissan 350z and Nissan 370z exhaust systems.