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