The new Nissan Z will serve as a safety car for the Super GT racing series. The automaker will deliver the car later this month, and the car has a few upgrades along with all the right branding.
Nissan did not specify the changes to the car needed to prepare it for safety car duties. However, the photos reveal some goodies. On the outside, the Z receives safety car lights inside the grille and a light bar on the roof. Inside, Nissan added an aggressive-looking Recaro racing seat with Nismo-branded red seat belts. The car could also feature the new communications equipment needed to keep in touch with all track officials, but none of them stood out.
Nissan worked on the car with Nissan Motorsports & Customizing Co., finishing it with a special “Safety Car” sticker all around. The vehicle will perform a list of tasks on the track, such as completing pre-race inspections and leading the field in the event of a crash. Nissan will hand over the safety car on May 29 during the third round of the 2022 season at the Suzuka Circuit race track in Japan.
This new Z safety car will join the Z GT500 which will race in the Super GT racing series. The Z GT500, launched late last year, replaced the GT-R in the racing series. The race car carries a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is limited to 650 horsepower (485 kilowatts). The car is ruthless, with a few added aeros preoccupying the retro-inspired car design, but even with the massive wings and aggressive front end, it’s still definitely a Nissan Z underneath.
While the new Z will soon hit the race track, US customers will have to wait a little longer to get behind the wheel. The 2023 Z goes on sale in the US this summer, with an initial cost of $41,015 (price includes a $1,025 destination fee).
Customers will get a 3.0L TT V6 that pumps out 400 hp (294 kW) and 350 pound-feet (474 Newton-meters) of torque. Nissan offers it with a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic, but those who opt for the automatic get a louder exhaust if you want to maximize the chill stare you’ll get at your next neighborhood BBQ.