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Nissan's new Z GT500 is ready for Super GT racing duty in Japan

Super GT's GT500 class race cars use 650-hp turbocharged engines.

This looks awesome.

After nearly 15 years in service Nissan is retiring its R35 GT-R from race car duties in Japan's excellent Super GT series (which used to be called JGTC), but for good reason: The 2022 Super GT season will see the racing debut of the new Nissan Z. Called the Z GT500, denoting the class the car will race in, it was developed by the Nismo racing division.

It's a shame the new racer was unveiled with a matte-black livery, because the Z looks absolutely awesome in Super GT guise. The retro looks are intact, but the GT500 has crazy fender flares and intricate side skirts, a massive swan-neck rear wing, a complex diffuser, a larger front grille with an interesting center post and a bunch of new vents. There are no photos of the interior, but expect a stripped-out cabin with racing seats, a roll cage and a ton of buttons and switches.


Now that's a diffuser.


Nissan didn't release any technical details yet, but the GT500 class is heavily regulated. All the race cars use turbocharged inline-4 engines, and the turbos themselves are identical across the board. Power output is 650 horsepower, and weight is set at a minimum of 2,271 pounds including the driver. The new Z will go up against the Acura NSX and the Toyota Supra in the GT500 class, while the slower and less restrictive GT300 class has entrants that include the Lotus Evora, Toyota Prius, Subaru BRZ and lots of other GT3-class racers.

While this is the first race car we've seen based on the new Z, we're certain it won't be the last. Nissan has a long history of racing past Z cars in everything from global rallying to IMSA series, so we expect to see the new Z in various other motorsport series in the near future. But for now, the Z GT500 will make its on-track debut at Okayama International Circuit for the start of the 2022 season in April.