Nissan Z Nismo Prototype Spying on Arizona Streets

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Nissan has done well keeping the upgraded Z secret. We’ve only glimpsed a few test vehicles, but thanks to the enthusiast at NissanZClubwe’re taking another look at what the new Nismo model could be.

In particular, we thank Sean in Arizona for this glimpse. He caught two of the prototypes on camera, getting pretty good views of the side and back. Luckily, the side view also captures a bit of the front, as we believe that’s where the significant departure from the standard Z will take place. We’re talking about the split grille, which Nissan unveiled on its Fairlady Z Proto Custom just over a year ago. More importantly, the automaker announced in early January that the split grille would enter production as a dealer-installed option for Japanese-spec cars, later this year.

Our previous Z spy photo session showed prototypes with and without heavy camouflage, but in both cases we could see some sort of strip or panel across the top of the grille. We see the same feature in these new images, and while it could be a fake panel, Nissan’s recent announcement of a separate grille in Japan makes it all the more likely to be a signature Nismo feature for the US.

Speaking of the Nismo, there’s more to it than just a new, retro-inspired nose. A modest body kit should come with the upgraded Z, and we can see what appear to be large side sills mounted between the wheels in these new images. Look behind the wheel and you will see noticeably larger brake rotors up front. While not seen here, we’ve seen other test vehicles with NACA-style vents in bonnet camouflage.

At this point, we don’t hear anything in the rumors about changes to the engine. It’s safe to assume some extra power will be coaxed from the 400-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. On the standard Z, this power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission.

Similarly, it’s hard to say when this car will be revealed. There’s been little chatter from our normal spy sources, but with the Japanese-spec Z getting a split grille option later this year, seeing something revealed for the US market in the second half of 2023 is a real possibility.

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