Nissan Z Nismo is a hot Japanese sports coupe

01st August 2023
Ethan Jupp

Nissan has unveiled the Nissan Z Nismo, a hopped-up version of its super-cool coupe that continues to evade the European market. It’s not as dramatic a visual change compared with previous Nismos but that checks out with the latest Z’s cleaner, more minimalist, retro aesthetic.


Revised for improved aero performance, the Nismo Z has a longer nose with a restyled honeycomb grille for improved airflow. A larger splitter is flanked by vortex generators and is highlighted by a signature Nismo red accent. 

Redesigned side sills and bumper corners reduce lift and drag, while the lip spoiler at the rear end is also bigger. That red accent at the bottom runs all around the sills and the diffuser at the back of the car. Our favourite addition? The wider 19-inch RAYS wheels which just scream ‘Daikoku PA’. 

On the inside, it’s fettled Japanese performance car standard fare. That’s to say, some fairly serious-looking Recaro seats, Alcantara everywhere and flashes of red on the digital dash and some switchgear. 


Okay, what about performance? Firstly, the twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 delivers a little more power, thanks to improved cooling, increased boost and revised timing. Up a modest 15PS, the new Z Nismo delivers 420PS (309kW) of tyre-blazing power to the rear wheels, though that’s sadly only via the nine-speed automatic transmission. 

Happily, that ‘box has been fettled, with revised clutch packs and software for 50 per cent quicker shift speeds compared with non-Nismo automatic Zs. The whole package is supposedly so sorted, you can leave the ‘box to shift for itself on track, like in a PDK-equipped Porsche GT car.

That power is complemented by a fully-revised suspension suite, including new sway bars, stiffer springs and sturdier dampers. Extra chassis bracing has stiffened the Nismo Z by 2.5 per cent, with more rigid bushings and mountings in the suspension and steering adding to the hardened feel. The tyres on those lusty new wheels are 10mm wider than the Z Performance, and are GT-R-inspired Dunlop SP Sport MAXX GT600s. Inside the wheels are bigger brake discs too.


In all, the Z Nismo features a lot of small changes that should make a discernible difference, though we don’t see it bothering the Porsche Cayman GT4 RS just yet in terms of raw track focus. For dedicated sportscar buyers, we can see the standard Z Performance appealing more, if only for the six-speed manual option alone. 

Especially considering that in Japan, the Nismo is a full £13,000 more than the top-spec manual and 77kg heavier. The premium for the Nismo could also wipe out the Z’s price advantage against the Toyota Supra in the US, if the Japanese price differences cross the Pacific unchanged.

  • Nissan

  • Z

  • Nismo

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