Ford Performance just made muscle car fans swoon when it announced the Mustang Dark Horse R. Plus, the fact that the track-only pony car will compete in special IMSA-sanctioned events does wonders for publicity. Thankfully, it’s not the only option dropping this 2023 as Nissan promotes the upcoming Z NISMO which is slated to hit dealerships this fall.

The Blue Oval’s offering caters to a specific market of motorsport enthusiasts who prefer machines that ooze raw power even from aesthetics alone. As such, Nissan’s 2024 model year coupe flaunts a more elegant silhouette. However, there are subtle visual elements on the exterior to denote its upgraded configuration.

Prominently just above the grille is Nissan’s legendary high-performance division’s badge. Then there are the red accents adorning the lower edge trims, brake calipers, and side mirrors. Although not immediately noticeable, there are aero enhancements to improve stability at high speeds and reduce drag. Images of the Z NISMO reveal cannards at the front and a reworked rear spoiler at the back.

To supply everything it needs to outpace rivals is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 good for 420 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the Mustang Dark Horse R, which is exclusively available with a six-speed manual gearbox from Tremec, Nissan pairs the engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission instead.

Furthermore, the Z NISMO comes with a stiffer chassis, race-ready brakes, and a tweaked suspension system. It also rides on gloss black 19” RAYS rims. Leather and Alcantara upholstery wrap the Recaro seats, while the steering wheel is covered in Alcantara only.  A 9” infotainment unit is connected to a Bose eight-speaker setup for immersive audio.

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Images courtesy of Nissan