2024 Nissan Nismo Z
by Ric Green

One of the big celebrities at the Miami International Auto Show was the 2024 Nissan Nismo Z drawing the attention of the record numbers of those from South Florida who made their way to the Miami Beach Convention Center for the annual event.

Named Star of the Show by the Southern Auto Media Association, this special ride had auto enthusiasts drooling for a chance to get behind the wheel.

Nissan Z chief product specialist Hiroshi Tamura told Road and Track magazine how his aim was not to deliver an ultimate numbers car, but rather a “willing dance partner” with which to enjoy a favorite challenging road.

Nissan excited its loyal fanbase when it introduced the seventh-generation Z sports car for the 2024 model year. With its retro-modern exterior styling echoing the past versions of the brand’s iconic coupe, it also added sports car refinement and tech that had been missing in the 370Z.

Combine all the Nissan 370Z looks with a revised stability-and-launch-control programming, the ride has dazzled the automotive media who explored this car’s limits under racetrack conditions. Racy as it is, a civilized demeanor is a street experience compliant ride, with more relaxed Standard and Sport modes, while embracing support from the model-specific Recaro seats, gave the drivers an appreciation or the car’s dual-natured temperament. In addition to being track ready right out of the showroom it was also comfortable as a Daily Driver.

The 2024 Nissan Z NISMO is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door hatchback. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads with direct fuel injection.

A twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 powers the Nismo Z but Nissan engineers followed the tried-and-true method of adding more boost, tweaking the cooling system, and adding a tune to find an extra 20 horsepower and 34 pound-feet of torque over the standard Z. More specifically, output rises to 420 hp and 384 lb-ft, and peak torque is available from 2,000 rpm to 5,200.

Making use of that power is a nine-speed automatic transmission with Nismo-specific tuning. It’s the only gearbox offered, meaning no manual. All that power goes to the rear wheels, turning lightweight Nismo-specific 19-inch wheels wearing Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT600s. These tires are akin to the rubber used on the GT-R, only these measure 285/35 on the back. A great setup for carving turns.

More power is nothing if you can’t use it. The tires help, but Nissan highlights several design changes that appear subtle but serve to improve both cooling and downforce. The most notable change comes with the front fascia, utilizing a design Nissan calls Grand-Nose or G-Nose for short. More than just a redesign to eliminate the Z’s rectangular grille, it extends farther forward in a manner like the old Fairlady 240Z. As a result, the 2024 Nissan Z Nismo is approximately an inch longer compared to the standard model.

A prominent lip spoiler sits at the base of the front fascia, with what Nissan says is the thinnest mesh it’s ever used covering the grille opening. The corners of the fascia feature canards (wings) that are both stylistic and functional, adding downforce while blending into Nismo side sills. At the back, the Z Nismo gains a larger three-piece rear spoiler that’s both wider and taller. As a result, the modification’s downforce is increased while reducing lift and drag.

As with all new cars, price separates the pretenders from the real thing. The Z NISMO’s starting price is $66,085, which is higher than other performance models. The BMW M2, a Ford Mustang Dark Horse and a Toyota Supra are less, and not far below the ask of a Chevy Corvette Stingray or a Porsche 718 Cayman. Local dealers may be the demise of this new gen Z as they have been marked up $10k over the window sticker before hitting the showroom.