Nissan has been awfully quiet following the world premiere of the new Z back in August, but more content is hitting the interweb as we get close to the sports car's market launch. Case in point, Byron Glover Jr. aka Drive 615 on YouTube, was invited to ride shotgun in a prototype of the 370Z's successor. Driven by Paul Hawson, Nissan product planner for sports cars, the hotly anticipated coupe was part of a fleet heading to a Tennessee car show.
Two 2023 Zs make an appearance on camera, a Boulder Gray with the manual gearbox and a gorgeous Passion Red equipped with the automatic. The YouTuber hopped on the latter's passenger seat, a test vehicle carrying manufacturer plates since production-ready cars have yet to land in the United States. Being based on the Performance trim level, it had the aluminum paddle shifters derived from the mighty GT-R.
2023 Nissan Z
The twin-turbo V6 engine sounds positively glorious and works here with the optional nine-speed automatic. Much like the six-speed manual, which would be our preferred choice, it has launch control and rev-matching tech. You know as well as I do why the speedometer happens to be blurred out every now and then. The Nissan rep was eager to launch the Z a few times, even though it was only a prototype.
As expected, the Z is a lot more civilized than the GT-R and remains composed when you're not pushing it. Going for the eight-speed automatic makes it more of a grand tourer, but if recent history has taught us anything, it's that people will want a stick shift. We still don't have pricing details, but the latest intel suggests the car will go on sale in the US this June.
The hype around this car is still there, even though the Toyota GR Corolla has captured some of the attention lately. With rumors of a manual Supra finally happening, corroborated with the new 86 and BRZ being out and about, the Z comes at a time when enthusiasts are spoiled for choice. Lest we forget the next BMW M2 will be revealed later this year, so depending on your budget, there are quite a few good choices for a fun car.