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2023 Nissan Z Brings Some Old-School Flavor

Vintage aesthetics and modern tech make the new Z so much more enjoyable than the outgoing generation.

andrewkrok.jpg
andrewkrok.jpg

Andrew Krok

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2023 Nissan Z
1 of 27 Andrew Krok/CNET

The Nissan 370Z was on the verge of collecting Social Security checks from a golf cart in Del Boca Vista when its successor, simply named Z, made its debut. 

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And after a week behind the wheel of this retro-futuristic two-seater, it's clear that the 2023 Nissan Z is doing everything it can to make up for lost time.

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Cribbing iconic design elements can backfire on a modern car, but the Nissan Z pulls it off. 

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The front end's eye-like headlights and squared-off grille carry just the right amount of Datsun vibe, while the 300ZX-style taillights look excellent tucked under the hatchback lid.

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My tester's $1,295 two-tone black-and-blue paint job is sharp, too.

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A 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 borrowed from Infiniti puts 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque at my disposal. 

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Boost will build and the car will pull at nearly every point on the tachometer, making highway passes a breeze without worrying about downshifts. 

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While I wish cars fitted with the six-speed manual transmission had the sport muffler that's only legal on automatic-transmission variants, the engine note is only really hushed at lower speeds; as the tach approaches its 6,800-rpm redline, the V6 has no issue bouncing its song off the trees that line my favorite curvy backroads.

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With its big power bump, its newfound appreciation for modernity and an on-road character that's simply tons of fun, we should all be happy that the sports-car arena is welcoming a new challenger in the 2023 Nissan Z.

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Keep scrolling or clicking to check out even more pictures of the 2023 Nissan Z.

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