The current-generation Nissan GT-R isn’t ready to retire quite yet, but it will hang up its racing helmet in Japan’s Super GT series at the end of the 2021 season. It will be replaced by a track-only evolution of the new Z that will compete against the Acura NSX and the Toyota Supra.
Built to GT500 specifications, the race-bound Z looks low, wide, and mean. Styling cues like the lights on both ends and the shape of the roofline create a visual link between the race car and the coupe that’s headed to showrooms, but Nismo added an aggressive-looking body kit that includes canards on the front bumper, a wide air diffuser, and a massive wing out back. It looks like many of the add-ons are built with carbon fiber in order to keep weight in check, and the Z GT500 rides on center-locking wheels wrapped by Michelin Pilot Sport tires.
Nissan hasn’t released technical specifications, but nothing suggests that the GT500 shares anything significant with the regular-production Z under its vented hood. Race regulations dictate that teams must use a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine fitted with a single turbocharger and bolted to a paddle-shifted six-speed transmission. Most of the cars that compete in this category produce approximately 650 horsepower.
In comparison, the Z that will land in showrooms as a 2023 model is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbocharged to 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The six spins the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, though an automatic unit will be available as well.
Nissan’s Z GT500 will begin racing during the 2022 season of Super GT. It will compete against the Acura NSX-GT, which is sold as a Honda in most markets outside of the United States (including Japan) and against one of its most direct rivals: the Toyota Supra.