The new Nissan Z is just arriving at dealerships, but the Japanese automaker is ready to talk motorsports.
On Tuesday, the Nissan Z GT4 race car debuted with a big wing, revised aerodynamics, and a Nismo-tuned powertrain. Full details will be announced at the 2022 SEMA show in November with deliveries of the GT4 set to begin in the first half of 2023.
The Z GT4 made its unofficial debut in prototype form at the Fuji 24-hour race in April, but at the time Nissan didn’t let on what the car actually was. The prototype featured the GT4’s wing and hood, but lacked the race car’s wheel design and front splitter.
Based on the 2023 Z, the GT4 model is a production vehicle modified for racing. Nissan said its in-house performance division Nismo tuned the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 engine in the race car, though a power rating and modifications haven’t been detailed yet. The dual exhaust system has been replaced with a single exhaust tip poking out the rear of the passenger side, likely developed by Nismo. A sequential transmission is expected.
The chassis and suspension have been reworked for racing duty, and the car gets a new body kit with upgraded aerodynamics. A massive wing, a new front splitter, a vented hood with locking pins, and a new wheel design can all be seen.
Nissan noted the interior has been updated to “work for drivers of all types,” but didn’t elaborate and no images have been released.
Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta said, “Motorsports for Nissan is an expression of our passion and expertise.” The same could be said about the Z itself, as it the iconic sports car was set to die after the 370Z generation.
Reborn for 2023 as an under the table skunkworks project, the Z now exists thanks to chief product specialist for the Nissan GT-R and Nismo, Hiroshi Tamura, and Nissan’s head of design Alfonso Albaisa. The two men effectively campaigned inside the company to resurrect the Z, and they succeeded.
The GT4 will be offered to customers as a turn-key race car. The automaker didn’t outline whether it will campaign the car itself, nor has it said whether it will build the car or outsource the production to a partner. In the past, Nissan’s partnered with other firms to build its customer race cars.
Nissan’s keen on the new Z competing in motorsports as the Z GT500 competed in Japan’s Super GT touring car race series earlier in 2022.
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