Nissan’s rumored NISMO Z caught in new spy photos

Nissan was caught testing what appears to be a camouflaged prototype of an upcoming performance variant for its overhauled Z sports coupe. Is this the rumored, 500-horsepower NISMO model? Judging by the over-the-top bodywork and fresh wheels and rubber, we’re inclined to say yes. Nissan’s new performance entry was rumored to debut by year’s end, but with just a little over a week and a half to go, we expect that deadline (if it was even real to begin with) will be missed. But at least we’ve got spy shots!

Let’s start with the obvious: no current Z model has hood nostrils like those clearly visible on this test vehicle, and it would stand to reason that cosmetic bodywork would be disguised from outsiders; that the hood is actually vented on this particular car suggests some sort of functional cooling and/or intake system. The last-gen NISMO Z was a bit old-fashioned by modern standards, with just a 350-horsepower, naturally aspirated V6 nestled between its front shock towers. Here, we’re expecting to see a 500-horsepower tune for the Z’s turbo V6 (itself lifted from Infiniti’s Red Sport) line of sport sedans and coupes. 

2024 Nissan Z Nismo2024 Nissan Z Nismo

This prototype is also wearing new front and rear bumpers. Both appear to be more intricately sculpted than the squared off, subtly contoured parts used on the standard car. The wheels used here are similar (but not identical) to those on the current Z Performance, but we’re not certain whether they’re final. The brakes, however, appear to be the same from the Z Performance, which are already larger than the standard Z’s stoppers. 

Though Nissan remains committed to growing the profile and footprint of its Nismo performance sub-brand outside Japan, this will probably be the last hoorah for internal-combustion performance models named “Z.” Let’s hope it’s a solid send-off. 

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