Greg PajoCar and Driver
The latest Nissan Z sports car jettisons the number prefix for a less-is-more model designation but offers more in the form of horsepower, eye appeal, and driving satisfaction.
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The new Z’s styling captures the spirit of the original via its long domed hood with a sharp leading edge, DRL accents that mimic the round headlights of old, and the same sort of horizontal mesh grille that filled the space above the 240Z’s chrome bumper.
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The 400-horsepower V-6 has abundant low-down torque and exhibits very little turbo lag, and the Performance edition comes with a clutch-type limited-slip differential to better paste that power to the pavement.
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At an even 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, the new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 bests the 370Z’s engine output by 68 hp and 80 lb-ft, and in the process improves the car’s weight-to-power ratio from some 10 pounds per hp to just under 9 pounds per pony.
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There are nine available colors, and six of them include a black roof—seven if you include the all-black one.
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Yes, the grille opening is somewhat large, but that’s because the new 400-horsepower twin-turbo V6 requires copious amounts of cooling.
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Step up to the Performance trim and you’ll get these 19-inch lightweight forged aluminum wheels and four-piston fixed-caliper front brakes instead of the base car’s 18-inch wheels and twin-piston sliding calipers.
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All Sport grade Zs come with graphite-colored cloth upholstery, but the Performance interior features leather and synthetic suede in three color themes: graphite, red, and blue.
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The original 240Z had three dashtop gauges such as these, but they dealt with different engine parameters because that car lacked a turbocharger.
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The action of the Z’s six-speed manual is much less notchy than before, and in the Performance grade, it comes with Launch control in the form of no-lift shift, as well as SynchroRev Match.
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This machine’s turbocharged 3.0-liter engine would make it the third 300ZX (or the first 300Z) if Nissan had followed the usual displacement-based numbering system, but we’re glad they went with Z because that’s how everyone has always referred to this car.
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