Recently we got the chance to manhandle the 2023 Nissan Z. Nissan provided a base version, now called Sport, and an enthusiast’s version, called Performance. Most reviews have focused on the Performance trim, and rightly so. While the Performance is definitely the one to get, we couldn’t help noticing that the Sport had one of the best OEM wheel designs we’ve seen in the last decade.
By any measure, the Z Performance (in blue) has the better wheels. They’re lightweight forged 19-inchers made by Rays. But the concave thin-spoke design is pretty standard for high-end sports, luxury, and exotic cars of all stripes these days. They’re also very much of the present era. In 20 years, if you come across one lying in a garage you’ll be able to immediately place it as hailing from 2022.
What the world has been missing is a simple wheel design that will stand the test of time. While these wheels are merely cast and measure 18 inches, the sleek, simple 5-arm split-spoke design is a breath of fresh air compared to the overly complex, multi-finish wheels that are all the rage these days.
Because they’re 18-inch, we can see these wheels looking at home on both the new Z and a 300ZX. Or an R32. Or even non-Nissan cars like a Lexus SC or Mazda RX-8. Cars from several different decades could all look great in these rims. It’ll probably go down in history alongside wheels from the Toyota Supra A60, Mitsubishi Starion, or third-gen Lexus IS.
Don’t get us wrong. The Z Performance trim’s Rays wheels (and standard LSD) are going to be much better for spirited driving. But it’s rare these days for a carmaker to come out with a set of OEM wheels this good. When Z Sport owners looking for a quick aftermarket image boost begin throwing these wheels up for sale, we’ll be browsing Craigslist for them.