When the Nissan Z Proto made its debut, we couldn’t help but notice a considerable amount of similarities between it and the outgoing 370Z. The cut lines, shut lines, and even air vents of these two cars matched up just a little too well, leading us to believe the Z Proto wasn’t truly sitting on redesigned underpinnings. This ruffled more than a few feathers, but it turns out our hunch was right. We’re not here to gloat, but an “I told you so” wouldn’t be completely out of order.
Before the silk was pulled off of the 2023 Z, we asked a Nissan executive if the new twin-turbocharged sports coupe’s chassis carries the Z35 chassis code. We were simply told “no.” You read that right: by Nissan’s own internal standards, the changes made to the latest Z are not significant enough to warrant a new chassis designation. The 2023 Z chassis is not internally known as the Z35, and it instead maintains the Z34 chassis code of the 370Z.
So that pretty much settles that. Yes, there will be significant changes to the new Z to make sure it is substantially different from the 370Z that came before it. The bodywork is obviously new, and so much of the interior has changed (and hopefully been improved) that the carryover chassis might not matter to the majority of consumers.
That said, much of the 2023 Z’s body in white (all the bits you can’t see) mirrors that of the 370Z’s. We only hope Nissan’s chassis gurus and engineers were able to extract all that they could from the Z34 chassis old bones to give the new Z a behind-the-wheel experience befitting of its engine’s grunt.
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