2024 Nissan Z NISMO is Stronger and Stiffer But Comes With Autobox Only
Nissan is attempting to please more serious performance enthusiasts with the new 2024 Z NISMO, but the car will probably leave many of them with a bittersweet taste.
Sure, the twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 gains 20 horsepower for a total of 420 horsepower. Peak torque is also increased by 34 lb-ft., now reaching 384 lb-ft., although accessible across a slightly tighter rev range (from 2,000-5,200 rpm instead of 1,600-5,600 rpm). An upgraded engine oil cooler is added for extended track performance.
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The problem is that, unlike other Z models, the close-ratio, six-speed manual transmission with Exedy high-performance clutch is nowhere to be found. NISMO customers will have to settle for the nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. That’s a shame, even though engineers say they’ve made enhancements for faster and more dynamic shifting, particularly in the new Sport+ drive mode. Will Nissan change its mind at some point like Toyota did with the GR Supra 3.0? Let’s hope so.
Extra Stiffness and Grip
The 2024 Nissan Z NISMO benefits from chassis upgrades that include additional front, rear and underfloor bracing, helping increase torsional rigidity by 2.5 percent compared to the standard models. Stiffer front and rear suspension bushings and a stiffer mounting bushing for the steering rack further increase lateral rigidity.
According to Nissan, every element of the car's suspension has been revised. The NISMO gets new stabilizer bars, a stiffer spring rate and larger, retuned dampers. In the braking department, the front brakes use larger, 15-inch rotors and a more performance-focused brake pad compound intended to improve brake pedal feel and endurance in track use scenarios.
Let’s not forget the Dunlop SP SPORT MAXX GT600 tires, a version of which you’ll find on the almighty GT-R. They are 10 mm wider than the tires on the Z Performance and mounted on NISMO-specific, 19-inch Rays light-alloy wheels in a gloss-black finish.
Nissan designers have made revisions to the Z NISMO specifically to improve aerodynamic performance and downforce. For instance, the "G-Nose" extends farther forward than on other Z models and recalls a similar design treatment on the classic Nissan Fairlady 240ZG. The new front fascia also features a restyled grille opening with the thinnest honeycomb mesh of any Nissan production car, while canards at the front corners create vortexes over the front wheels, further benefitting aerodynamic performance.
In the rear, the taller, wider spoiler (compared to the Z Performance) extends onto the fenders. The bumper corners are reshaped to aid with air separation, following the example set by the GT-R NISMO. By the way, five body colours will be available including Black Diamond Pearl, Brilliant Silver, Passion Red TriCoat, Everest White Pearl TriCoat and NISMO-exclusive Stealth Grey—all combined with a black-painted roof.
As for the interior, the black and red Recaro seats in a combination of leather and Alcantara are the main highlight, but there’s also a new sport steering wheel featuring a red accent mark at the 12 o'clock position. The engine start/stop and drive mode selection buttons are anodized red. Finally, the graphics in the fully digital TFT instrument cluster add a red outline around the tachometer, a NISMO logo and a special red "flash" during the start-up animation.
The 2024 Nissan Z NISMO goes on sale this fall. Considering an autobox-equipped Z Performance costs just over $60,000, we expect it to start at around $70,000.