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The new Nissan Z NISMO is the ultimate evolution of an iconic sportscar

The evolution of the species.
  • From the 1969 Datsun 240Z to the modern-day Nissan Z
  • The new Z NISMO is faster than some supercars
  • Lightweight, agile and fun

Published on Jan 16, 2024 at 6:35PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Jan 17, 2024 at 5:44PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

This is the Nissan Z NISMO, the latest addition to a family of sportscars that inspired generations of car lovers for over 50 years.

From the original 1969 Datsun to the new 2024 Z NISMO, we’ve lined up the cars in Toronto to take a closer look at the legendary heritage of this car.

Supercar Blondie’s Gabby Downing talks us through the evolution of Z-Cars in the video down below, check it out!

READ MORE: These are the 4 best Nissan sports cars ever made

Datsun 240Z – The first Z Car

It’s been a long journey, and it started in 1969 with the Nissan Fairlady Z, also known as Datsun 240Z in certain markets.

The original Nissan Z was light and agile, and cheaper than its rivals.

It was available with three different engines, including a 2.4-liter, and it was a proper sportscar.

In 1973, the Datsun 240Z won the East African Safari Rally with Ugandan-Kenyan driver Shekhar Mehta at the wheel.

Nissan 300ZX – Combining performance with luxury

In 1983, Nissan revolutionized the Z-Car with the new 300ZX, where the X stands for luxury.

When compared to the original Datsun, the 300ZX was designed as a road-going coupe that was fast but also comfortable.

It came with a removable T-Top Option, so you could enjoy open-top driving without it being, strictly speaking, a convertible.

The headlamps are no longer recessed, keeping in tune with the style of the 1980s.

At the back, you’ve got a four-tip exhaust system and a rear spoiler, giving it a more sporty look.

Nissan 370Z – The ‘Fast and Furious era’

In 2008, the Nissan 370Z was introduced.

The 370Z was an upgraded, modernized version of the 350Z that had been introduced half a decade earlier.

The name is a reference to the engine size, 3.7-liter, and the car is 30 percent more rigid and lighter than the 350Z.

In other words, it shared the same philosophy as the 350Z, but it was improved on every level.

The 370Z was immortalized in Fast Five, driven by none other than Paul Walker.

The car you see here is the 50th Anniversary model.

The livery is a tribute to the Datsun racing team back in the early 70s.

Nissan Z – The new baby

Moving on, we’ve got the new baby, the Nissan Z, which was introduced in 2023.

Even though it’s made in an era of overcomplicated and over-electrified motoring, the new Nissan Z is actually a simple car.

It’s fast, it’s light, it’s great to drive.

Under the hood, you’ve got a 3.0-liter V6 with two turbos, putting out 400 horsepower.

It only weighs 1.5 ton, which explains the outstanding 0-60 mph time of just 4 seconds.

That’s the stuff of supercars

The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.

The style is a summary of all the elements that made its predecessors great.

From the long, curved hood to the sweeping rear end.

Speaking of which, the rear section is like a modern-day version of the 300ZX with integrated taillights with an LED 3D effect.

Nissan Z NISMO – The track-friendly Z Car

Last but certainly not least, there’s the new Nissan Z NISMO.

This Z was built to go fast on the track, hence why it was designed with Nissan’s track specialists NISMO.

The rear bumper and front section were redesigned to make the car more aerodynamic.

The spoiler is taller and wider.

Mind you, even though it’s a small sports car, it has plenty of space in the trunk.

Inside, there are so many Easter Eggs and tributes to the original Datsun and the other Z-Cars.

The door handle and the air vent is a replica from the 370Z.

The triple instrument cluster on the dashboard is also inspired by the original Datsun 240Z.

The Recaro bucket seats are wrapped in Alcantara and leather, same as the steering wheel.

The instrument cluster is entirely digital, which is to be expected these days.

The twin-turbo V6 puts out 420 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, and you’ve got three drive modes: Standard, Sport and Sport+.

We can hazard a guess about the one that drivers will use the most.

The Nissan Z NISMO is available now, with a starting price of $77,998 in Canada.

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