New Nissan Z Nismo debuts with more power, honed chassis

Published Aug 1, 2023


The new Nissan Z Nismo was created with the purpose of providing a “track-ready” experience for enthusiast drivers.

Revealed abroad on Tuesday, the new performance model will hit the streets with more power and other significant dynamic upgrades.

Unfortunately, with the regular Nissan Z still eluding the South African market, it’s unlikely that we’re going to see the Nismo version on local shores any time soon.

So what makes it special?

For starters, Z Nismo owners can look forward to a bit more power, with outputs rising to 313kW and 520Nm, which is an increase of 15kW and 45Nm over the regular Nissan Z, which was launched internationally in late 2021.

The increased outputs are thanks to improved cooling, increased turbo boost and an independent ignition spark timing strategy inspired by the GT-R Nismo.

Unfortunately for purists, the Z Nismo is not available with the six-speed manual gearbox that’s offered on the regular Z, with the only transmission option being a nine-speed autobox. However, it has been refined for faster shifting times.

Nismo has also added a new Sport+ drive mode to the mix, which is specifically formulated for circuit driving, and it’s said to be responsive enough to negate the need for manual paddle shifting on the track.

As for the chassis, Nismo revised every element of the Z’s suspension, with retuned shocks, a stiffer spring rate and unique stabiliser bars also conspiring to provide sharper handling on the track.

A track-enhanced brake system is part of the deal too, with larger 15.0-inch rotors upfront and 13.8-inch units doing duty round back, and a more performance-focused brake pad compound.

The vehicle rolls on Nismo-specific gloss black “Rays” 19-inch alloy wheels, which are slightly wider than the rims fitted to the normal Z.

Speaking of external enhancements, the Nismo Z also receives a restyled grille with ultra-thin honeycomb mesh that reduces drag.

At the back you’ll find a taller and wider rear spoiler, with a three-piece design that extends into the rear fenders, while the rear bumper corners have been reshaped to aid with air separation and reduce drag. Finally, redesigned side sills also help reduce aerodynamic drag and lift.

The cabin has been elevated with various red accents, a unique steering wheel and Recaro seats finished in a combination of leather and Alcantara, with a red centre section and Nismo logos on the headrests.

“The 2024 Nissan Z doubles down on thrilling performance with the return of Z Nismo, delivering an exhilarating track-ready experience for enthusiast drivers,” Nissan said.

“The Nismo grade builds on the capabilities of the Z Sport and Performance grades for those who seek more excitement and dynamic performance.”

IOL Motoring