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Watch the New Nissan Z Launch Hard

This thing looks seriously quick.

The 2023 Nissan Z may not be entirely new, but there’s something about it that makes me forget all that. Actually, I can tell you exactly what it is: 400 horsepower, a manual transmission, and rear-wheel drive. If that doesn’t sell you on it, I’m not sure I can help you. But I do have a video in mind that might just do the trick. 

Recently, what appears to be a pre-production Nissan Z was spotted by Jeff Collins from the Burnt Rubber YouTube channel in downtown Sacramento. For reasons that will get a little clearer later on, it looked pretty rough; however, that’s not all that important here. After Collins and his friend Matt White sniffed around the Z a bit and checked out the interior and exterior, the car’s driver turned up. He seemed open to giving them a closer look at the car, and when he departed, he launched the automatic Z for all it was worth.

Let’s cut to the chase here; the car clearly struggles for traction a bit off the line and driver aids were definitely engaged. Once it hooked up, though, it seriously moved. The new Z is, as previously mentioned, powered by the same 3.0-liter, 400-horsepower V6 found in cars like the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport. I’ve driven one of those and let me tell you, the VR30DDTT is almost good enough to redeem Nissan completely. Yes, even the Sentra. In the lighter Z and with a newer automatic transmission, well, I’m envious of the guy ripping that thing.

As for how the Z was even spotted in the first place, Collins says he and White came across it while they were looking for a place to photograph their cars, coincidentally an Infiniti Q60 and an R35 GTR. The Z driver explained he worked for Nissan and drove the car around to collect data for the automaker’s engineers. That’s definitely part of why it looks so rough; the car is a test mule.  “At that moment we saw the car, the driver was on his lunch break,” Collins told The Drive. So yes, the only reason it was even parked in the first place was that the driver was on break. Talk about a crazy coincidence. 

The car sounds like a Q60, obviously, and that means it sounds good. It would’ve been nice to see a launch in a stick-shift car—the urge to yank second gear is uncontrollable, for me. However, this is a good start. And if you’re keeping score like I am, we now know the new Z sounds good, looks good, and the price is right. Remind me again why the Toyota Supra still exists?

If this clip is really getting you excited about this car, you’re not the only one. The new Nissan Z is set to arrive at dealers by 2022. Before that happens, though, we’ll almost definitely have more Z news to share. Until then, I’ll be watching this on a loop. 

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