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2023 Nissan Z Sport, Performance and Proto Spec

Our editors got the opportunity to preview each of the three different flavors of the brand-new Z car.

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Among sports cars, the 2023 Nissan Z is the latest and greatest. When such a legendary brand undergoes such a radical transformation, what else would you expect? The new Z car is getting a lot of attention, but with that comes a lot of criticism, and people have differing opinions on how well it stacks up to the competition. We put it through its paces (twice) and compared it to both direct competitors like the Toyota Supra 3.0 and artificial ones like the Ford Mustang Mach 1. The Nissan may have come up short in both head-to-head matchups, but that doesn’t make it a bad option. Three of our editors were given access to the Z’s online configurator in order to determine the optimal configurations. Despite (or perhaps because of) the lack of forethought (pinky swear), everyone settled on a single trim style. This is what they opted for:

Expenses totaling $43,110 that were incurred by Eric Stafford Spectacular Performance in the Nissan Z Sport

Is the Nissan Z just as good as the more expensive Performance model that includes a limited-slip differential, better brakes, and stickier tires, or does it fall short? Most likely not. However, I would like to propose an alternative viewpoint. We compared it to the BMW M240i, Ford Mustang Mach 1, and Toyota Supra 3.0, and the Performance model fell short in every category. In light of that information, I see no reason to spend the extra $10,000 on anything other than the base Z Sport model. After all, its 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 produces 400 horsepower, just like the more expensive model. Even better, I’d have enough cash left over to upgrade the Performance’s Bridgestone Potenza S007 summer tires. Whether I get the nine-speed automatic or the six-speed manual transmission in my Z doesn’t change the price, but obviously I’d go with the manual. In addition to the free Black Diamond Pearl paint, I would have the dealer install a chin spoiler ($170) and a rear spoiler ($63o) on my Sport model to make it look more aggressive. Since the base model only comes with one interior color and one material, I’m stuck with the dull black cloth. Still, I’d invest an extra $445 in ambient interior lighting and $400 in illuminated sill plates to make the room feel more elegant after dark. My ’23 Z Sport costs a grand total of $43,110. E. Stafford, Eric

Totaling $54,470, Jack Fitzgerald Performing Like a Nissan Z

The Z’s whole premise rests on cheap fun, right? Every new Z has the same horsepower, but for an extra fee, you can get some nice performance features from Nissan. That’s why I went with the Z Performance trim, which includes a limited-slip differential, better brakes, and a more rigid suspension. I went with a two-tone exterior, Passion Red on the lower half and Super Black on the top. It cost me $1700 to repaint the car, but what the hell, it’s a sports car. Instead of choosing a dull color scheme, why not try something new? For an extra $170, I had a transparent hood protector installed. To be honest, there aren’t that many exterior customization options, so why not put that money toward a body kit instead? The cost of my interior customizations amounted to an additional $1600, with the virtual key and dual-camera recording system being the most expensive features I chose. Whenever I get in or out of the car, the illuminated door panels will serve as a constant reminder of my purchase. The final price of my fuel-efficient and powerful Z is $54,470. Picture Gallery: 2023 Honda Civic Type R (Jack Fitzgerald) (motor1.com)

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The 55,310 dollars that Austin Irwin was awarded Do not special editions of the Nissan Z Proto Spec Z cars always garner the admiration of car enthusiasts? Do you still remember the Zap-equipped 280Z? Sunburst Yellow paint, classic 1970s pinstriping, and rear window louvers all came with the sale, but a walnut tree probably destroyed them in later life. The Super Shiro edition of the 300ZX released in 1988 would eventually top it with its brilliant white metallic paint, Recaro bucket seats, and arguably the best coil springs of the many Z31 variants produced over the course of that generation’s five-year lifespan. Next came the NISMO 350Z, and then in 2009 came the 370Z to celebrate not only the 40th Anniversary Edition but also the 50th Anniversary Edition ten years later. And as a proud owner of a Z31, “unique” could be used as a synonym for “middle name” in my case. If I were going to buy a Z right now, it would be the top-tier Proto Spec model.

Only 240 will be made available in the United States; four of them are located within a 50-mile radius of my office, as per the Nissan website. In fact, after reloading the page, that figure mysteriously increased to 47. A deeper look, however, revealed that they were already taken. It seems like I won’t be receiving a letter Z after all. No matter. The Proto Spec’s two-tone Ikazuchi Yellow paint with a Super Black roof will be featured when one eventually appears on Bring a Trailer, which is owned by Hearst Autos like Car and Driver. Additionally, it will feature a set of 19-inch bronze Rays Engineering forged wheels, yellow Akebono brake calipers, and various bits of yellow interior trim. A six-speed manual with electronic rev matching would be my preferred transmission over a nine-speed automatic. Since I’m a purist, I have to go ahead and shell out extra cash for the limited editions that come in colors as offbeat as fishing lures, even though it’s not exactly in my budget. You can get the Ikazuchi Yellow on any of the Z models, but no one appreciates a phony. I promise to get faster with the build-and-price tool later, when (I hope) Nissan gives its newest sports car the NISMO treatment. The special launch model is a future collectible, but at $55,310, I may have to sell a few project cars first. The late, great Austin Irwin

The $45,895 that Dave Beard was awarded The SS 1LE Chevrolet Camaro… A moment please!

Instead of stopping at a Nissan dealership, I’d go straight to the Mustang or Camaro lot. Starting at $45,895, the 1LE Track Performance package on a ’22 Camaro SS costs only $4,880 more than a base model Z Sport manual. To paraphrase David Beard:

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