Is this our first look at the Nismo Z?

    A more aggressive-looking version of the new Nissan Z was spied on a Japanese racetrack, pointing to a possible Nismo variant.

    A short video was uploaded to YouTube by user R Gelan and, though the Z quickly overtook the camera operator, in the few seconds of footage we can make out a large rear wing and what could be a restyled rear bumper.

    The front fenders appear to be finished in carbon fibre, with Gelan making note of a carbon-fibre bonnet, too.

    Under said bonnet, at least if the Nismo Z reaches production, will likely be a more powerful version of the standard Z’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine.

    In the Z, this produces 298kW of power and 475Nm of torque.

    The outgoing 370Z’s Nismo variant packed an extra 8kW and 8Nm over the standard 370Z, and included a raft of mechanical enhancements.

    These included increased spring, dampening and stabiliser rates, a strut tower bar brace, performance dampers and bigger brakes.

    370Z Nismo models also featured a unique body kit with revised front and rear ends, a unique rear spoiler and side sills, and 19-inch forged alloy wheels, while the cabin featured Recaro front seats and plenty of Alcantara trim.

    We can expect to see similar enhancements over the standard Z with a Nismo model, whenever it appears.

    The Nissan Z will arrive in Australia around mid-year, with a choice of both six-speed manual and nine-speed automatic transmissions.

    There’ll be a single permanent trim level, though there’ll initially be a Z Proto Spec limited edition.

    Standard features on the Z include leather-accented seats, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster with three distinct display modes.

    Driver assist features will include adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot monitoring.

    It’ll also come standard with Active Noise Cancellation to filter out tyre drone and wind noise, and Active Sound Enhancement to amplify the engine soundtrack inside the cabin.

    The Z Proto Spec adds bespoke 19-inch bronze forged alloy wheels, yellow brake callipers and interior accents, and the availability of an ‘Ikazuchi Yellow’ body colour with ‘Super Black’ roof.

    As we know, the Nissan Z sits on a revised version of the 370Z’s rear-wheel drive bones and uses a version of the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport’s engine.

    Nissan says its twin-turbo V6 engine is tuned for immediate response, and that, along with the increase in key outputs, will see the new Z’s zero-to-100km/h time reduced by around 15 per cent – pointing to a time in the high 4s.

    The enthusiast’s gearbox is a six-speed close-ratio manual with an Exedy high-performance clutch and carbon-fibre composite drive shaft. It has an automated rev-matching function.

    The nine-speed auto features paddle shifters and replaces the 370Z’s old seven-speed box.

    All Nissan Zs have a mechanical limited-slip differential and launch control as standard equipment.

    The Z will give Nissan a much fresher rival to the Toyota Supra than the aged 370Z.

    Toyota has confirmed its Supra will finally offer a six-speed manual transmission, and it’s locked in for a local launch.

    Previous reports from Japan have also indicated Toyota will introduce a limited-run GRMN Supra with a 385kW/657Nm version of the Supra’s boosted inline-six, potentially packing a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

    MORE: Nissan Z and Toyota Supra specs compared

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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