The coupe makes its public debut later this month.
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The new Nissan Z will serve as a safety car for the Super GT race series. The automaker will hand over the car later this month, and it sports several upgrades along with all the proper branding.
Nissan doesn’t detail the changes to the car needed to prepare it for safety car duty. However, the photos reveal some of the goodies. On the outside, the Z receives in-grille safety car lights and a light bar across the roof. Inside, Nissan adds aggressive-looking Recaro race seats with red, Nismo-branded safety belts. The car could also feature new communications equipment needed to stay in contact with all the track officials, but nothing stands out.
Gallery: Nissan Z Safety Car
Nissan worked on the car with Nissan Motorsports & Customizing Co., finishing it off with special “Safety Car” stickers all around. The vehicle will perform a list of duties on the track, like completing the pre-race inspection and leading the field when accidents occur. Nissan will hand over the safety car on May 29 during the third round of the 2022 season at the Suzuka Circuit race track in Japan.
The new Z safety car will join the Z GT500 that will race in the Super GT race series. The Z GT500, launched late last year, replaced the GT-R in the racing series. The race car sports a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that is restricted to 650 horsepower (485 kilowatts). The car is mean, with extra aero bits busying the car’s retro-inspired design, but even with the big wing and aggressive front end, it’s still clearly a Nissan Z underneath.
While the new Z will soon be racing its way around the race track, US customers will have to wait a tad longer to get behind the wheel. The 2023 Z goes on sale in the US this summer, costing $41,015 to start (price includes the $1,025 destination charge).
Customers will get a 3.0L TT V6 that pumps out 400 hp (294 kW) and 350 pound-feet (474 Newton-meters) of torque. Nissan offers it with either a six-speed manual or a nine-speed automatic, but those who opt for the auto get a louder exhaust if you’re looking to maximize the cold stares you will get at the next neighborhood BBQ.