The USA is very much the target market for the new Nissan Z. With so many pre-production models dropping by car meets and events, not to mention the countless sighting on the streets, it may have seemed like the model was already on sale stateside.
Here in Japan, we got to see the orange customised example at the Tokyo Auto Salon earlier in the year – a subtle hint at what a possible Nismo version might look like – and a Z doing drift demos outside the venue. But that was it. Eight months of silence followed.
So, you can probably imagine how excited I was to hear last week that Trust had not only secured one of the very first production 2023 Zs from Nissan, but had also already begun their parts development program for this highly-anticipated new model.
A first batch of GReddy products – which will undoubtably just scratch the surface of the potential this new Z brings to the table – will be unveiled at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon in January. And this is the demo car that’ll be showcasing them all.
Like most Japanese demo machines, this Z rolled off the production line in base trim spec. That means things like manually-adjustable seats and bland wheels. As you can see, Trust have already addressed the latter with a set of RAYS Volk Racing TE37 Ultra Track Edition 2 wheels in a 19-inch fitment, wrapped up in Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tires.
Trust’s suspension upgrade for the new Z is a collaborative effort with Aragosta. Real world tests with the coilovers have already begun, but obviously the kit was not fitted to this car at the time of our shoot. Speaking to the Trust representative, apparently the front suspension layout in the Z is identical to that in the Z34 370Z, while the rear has borrowed heavily from the Skyline 400R – the JDM version of the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 and the only other model in Nissan’s local lineup that’s equipped with the same VR30DDTT engine.
The coilover kit will allow for height adjustment and refinement of the basic geometry for a more aggressive setup, thanks in part to camber and caster adjustments via the top mounts.
So how does it drive?
Preliminary opinions emphasise the potential of the twin-turbo V6, and a decent power increase will likely found through just intake and exhaust upgrades and an ECU re-map.
While the 6-speed manual gearbox is a great option to have in this day and age, it is plagued by a rather long final drive ratio, making the gears feel overly long. So a shorter final will be a must if you want to have a snappier feel from the driveline and a more involved driving experience.
The stock brakes will likely be able to handle a modest power hike, but in the Trust demo car there’s a good chance we will see the factory-spec 4-pot front and 2-pot rear calipers swapped out for something more performance focused. For most owners of the new Z, slotted discs combined with higher friction pads and stainless steel brake lines will likely do for an upgrade, unless you’re someone who plans to spend a lot of time on track.
The interior of Trust’s demo car will soon receive Bride sports seats along with harness belts. We can also expect to see GReddy’s signature boost controller with its refractive projection-like display fitted in front of the stock digital gauges.
I was happy to see that the ‘kill it all’ button was nice and visible on the dash, meaning there’s no need to fumble around through on-screen menus to initiate instant fun. Nice move Nissan, but does the button really need to be this big?
It will also be interesting to see how different companies bring unique sound character to the exhaust systems they develop. I think it might be a tad difficult to step away from the love it or hate it V6 burble though.
Trust told me that the Z’s stock catalytic convertors are very restrictive, so replacing these with high-flowing yet still environmentally-conscious equivalents will free up more power, response and all the other good things that come from this straightforward modification.
Styling-wise, it’s hard to fault what Nissan has done here. The new Z has more of a traditional Z look than both the Z33 and Z34, which wouldn’t have been something easy to achieve given that it’s built on the same underlying chassis. Together, those design cues from the S30 and Z32 give the new Z some real presence.
The rear lights are by far my favorite aspect.
Oh, and as the title states, the chassis code is indeed still Z34, but it now has an R in front of it to differentiate it from the 370Z.
I’ll be bringing you a full feature on Trust’s finished GReddy Z demo car in Japan’s winter, but until then I wanted to get the conversation started. What do you think about the RZ34? What approaches would you like to see taken, and what parts would you love to see developed?
Tuning companies in Japan really want as much feedback as possible, so let’s take this to the comments section!
Dino Dalle Carbonare
I have been waiting for this moment especially when the new Z finally hit the market and this doesn't disappoint at all
This shows how the tuner culture is still alive and how there are cars like the new Z that are still easy to work on
Can't wait to see more of the new Z content and hopefully an in-depth comparison with the GR Supra as well now that it has a manual
The front looks too plain, simple, not like the rear of the car, love the tail lights. The front has this 'oh no it's Mr Bill ! ' show simplicity. Too plain, just doesn't go with the rest of the styling that Nissan did throughout the rest of the car. Bet nobody knows who Mr Bill was and what show he was on. Beautiful car though.
"Ohhhh noooooo" good ol Mr.bean from SNL. Think I watched him when I was around 10 and thought it was hilarious.
Ha ha ha, never thought anyone would get that. I was about six.
We have to be happy for every car like this now!
And I think that the Tokyo Auto Salon 2023 will definitely show us many approaches to the "new" chassis
For $80,000AUD+ this car is a bit of a joke to me. Seems like a 370z underneath just with different door panels. The interior is horrendously cheap and old school/rental car out of date vibe, which is not acceptable for this price point. I mean look at the plastic rotary dials on the drivers seat, how is that $80,000 worthy?!
The seats adjust electrically forward/ back and seat back angle. Rotary knobs are for seat height and swab tilt. If you actually sat in one, you would appreciate that your comment is off the mark - the materials are actually pretty good compared to many.
Welcome to the reality of a relatively small scale & limited budget production? As a car enthusiast I am so glad Nissan had the balls to build this car for a shrinking sector of the market.
Every exterior panel is new, same chassis with strength improvements and the obvious drivetrain upgrade. As Dino mentioned this car is the base spec, which wont be coming to Australia. We will only get the hi end spec but with the smaller screen from all the reports I have read. Almost all the reviews also say the interior is a nice place to be.
Personally I would prefer the manual seat, save weight and complication...
@dino its double wishbone front and multilink rear so no camber plates for this chassis. Cheers!
I definitely think the front could do with a styling upgrade.
There is so complicated opinion in my head right now - i try to explain it:
it's radiate retro-wave AF imo, all tail part is so 80+neon themed, but charming in the same time.
But the face is so "empty" - like nothing can catch my eye (sadly).
Side view are combination of retro-wave and actual, present time design.
But the interior - omg, i feel really sorry for writing this one - it's so cheap, that black plastic screams in holy budget-cutting method! even with a good display - suddenly un 2022 even in the damned land there's the same quality displays literraly can be inserted in any old-tusted cans with the same effect
Hand adjustment seats is always fine for me - for the sake of shaving weight, i'll go much further with hand adjustment windows.
Big and nice turbo V6 - is a bit fat for Z34 imo, but who am I to judge?
Shortened final - for sure;
New interior panels - it's painful to see that black plastic inside the new Z;
Wheels - mb even stock one, why not?
KWs - if stock will be not good enough;
Sticky rubber please;
maybe a touch of LSD with CF Prop shaft - für Ästhetik;
for face modification - from the very first time i saw it - i cannot simply erase a stunning part of video game car (blame me if you want) - JGTC Z with front end of car is splitted in diagonal directioin with "inserted" part from Devil's Z
(if it possible and you want to find it out - just google this: "UNKNOWN RBC1GP")
I want to see them turn this into a modern version of the 90s JDM tuners delights we saw in the late 90s early 2000's. By using the price gap between the Z and the Supra.
Change that front bumper (sounds like it's on it's way) and we're on to a winner. Shame they won't officially be sold in the UK.
Ohhhh, it’s suggestions they want? Wish granted.
-STOP making the Z demo cars in refrigerator white. PERIOD. It’s a vacuous, predictable color choice that is remarkably unflattering on this car.
-Fix the damn awkward OEM grill. Pick a slat pattern and stick with it from top to bottom. The factory idiotically released it that way, but why not make a buck off their ineptitude?
-Completely redesign the front bumper to make it longer and the grill taper to a slightly wider width at the bottom rather than the unimaginative, rectangular cassette deck opening it is now.
-Figure out what Nissan seemingly can’t…and produce three-piece emblems to match their current, updated logo.
-Make said emblems smaller to be better proportioned to the vehicle. Whatever they were thinking in the design studio is just outright WRONG.
-Produce body-colored “sword blade” roof panels. The contrasting factory ones highlight the peakiness of the side window and are a cheap, gimmicky knockoff of the Lexus LC500’s. At the end of the day, they’re unjustifiably tacky.
-Redesign the side lower valence panels so it doesn’t have the stance of a scared cat.
-Redesign the rear bumper to fix the abrupt rise which makes the rear end look too forced. IE: Chop the lowest edge 1.5 inches (3.81 cm) and lower the beginning of the black toned faux diffuser. While there, also eliminate the plank that’s protruding through the tailpipe openings. It’s ridiculous, nonfunctional and cheap.
-Replace the tailpipe ends with something that doesn’t look like discounted Chinese eBay items.
-Ditch the hatch-width spoiler entirely or replace it with a full-width variant to make the car look more sophisticated and less narrow from behind.
-Replace the needlessly fussy and over-stylized side mirrors with versions similar to the 350Z’s.
-Six-spoke wheels look like complete GARBAGE on this car. Re-wheel accordingly.
-Get out of the nineties and make the decal placement aesthetically reasonable (if not pleasing). I’m not sure who mistakenly thought it was brilliant to put a giant, misaligned Greddy decal with the opposite curvature of the hood cutline where it is…but they should either be terminated or resign with dignity. Twin Rays decals on both bumpers, why???
-Just LET GO of the Fairlady moniker. It wasn’t tremendously great to begin with, but now effectively neuters a modern twin turbo sports car. The nostalgia simply isn’t worth it.
-The interior is workable unlike the incongruent, melting, cartoon vampire harpsichord designs of the Infiniti Q50/Q60 sister cars. That said, I guess the marketing and focus group “powers that be” have decided a giant, gaping hole cup holder has its place in a sports car…so maybe the aftermarket could provide a replacement center console section that rebuffs that buffoonery.
-Too bad it’d be such a hassle to replace the manhole cover they equipped as a fuel door.
-LOWER THE CAR. I REPEAT: LOWER THE CAR. LOWER IT.
Hair thoroughly pulled.
Chassis number 69? Nice.
Nissan has been abysmally disappointing for years but this model shone a ray of hope... Issue still is what made the z34 suck: weight and price. What is this supposed to compete with? A used C7? Lol.
Now tuners will make or break this maybe last "OG" Nissan... If they can bring the weight under 2800 lbs without cutting anything out or costing over $20k more then this Z will shine, if the used market can turn these over from chump first owners into a real bargain price point then at least hoonable fun will make this Z shine.
Go, tuners, GO!!! The last Z needs your brains to make this pig enjoy being what the Supra has already been (and pre-BEV, when drag racing still mattered) over 25 years ago.
The front end just doesn't do it for me. Hoping that changes when I see one in the metal. I do agree that the tail lights are one of its best features. Nothing brings out the comments like an article from Dino!
It's hard to believe that these are 19" wheels. The scale seems off, or this is a LARGE car. Do we have any overall dimensions on this new body, and an estimated final weight? It's depressing how huge and heavy modern cars have become.
Same as the 370Z, the arches/fenders swallow wheels and even more so when not lowered. As for dimensions/weight... dimensions are most likely around the same as the 370Z give/take an inch and the last weight I heard was around 34-3500
I adore this care and would literally just hand my wallet over if Nissan brought it to the UK and Europe. I know that wont happen thanks to emissions regs but Im sorely tempted to as a UK importer to buy one for me direct from a Jap dealer and import it.
Such an absolutely beautiful, and well designed car. Which will have to be privately imported to Europe