With the official debut of the all-new Nissan Z, the enthusiast community has welcomed a new challenger to the attainable sports car segment. To christen the new car, the folks over at Hagerty wanted to see just how the new Z stacks up to some of its modern competition. Thankfully for all of us, that means we have a bit of drag racing to watch.
In order to test where the new Z falls into the sports car hierarchy, Hagerty’s Jason Cammisa invited a few of the car’s segment competitors down to a runway. These opponents include the new Mustang Mach 1 and the Toyota GR Supra, with all three cars featuring their respective automatic gearboxes. This is likely due to the fact that the Supra is still not available with a manual gearbox for the time being. That said, the decision to go with only slushboxes helped to keep the races as close as possible. The Mustang’s 480 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque make it the most powerful ride of the bunch, though at 3850 lbs it's also the heaviest. The Nissan is about 260 lbs heavier than the Toyota, tipping in at 3610 lbs, but that twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter engine and its 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque are enough to take the edge in that category. That said, we know Toyota’s output ratings of 382 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque are a bit conservative.
With the help of some video editing magic, we get to watch as the three coupes fire down the runway in style. The Toyota appears to get a little jump over the V-8 muscle car, but that doesn’t stay the case for long. In fact, the two rivals managed to both run an identical 3.8 seconds to 60 mph, before completing the 1/4 mile in 12.1 seconds. The Mustang did trap at a slightly higher speed of 120 mph, compared to just 117 for the Supra. The Nissan fell behind both competitors, posting runs of 4.0 seconds to 60 mph and a 1/4 mile pass of 12.3 at 116 mph. The Z was traction limited from the start of the race, which Cammisa notes might be a result of the car’s standard Bridgestone rubber. The other two vehicles come equipped with Michelin rubber.
The automatic Z might fall slightly behind its segment rivals, but that doesn't mean it's a slouch. That said, don't look to the manual variant as some form of outlier. When Cammisa pitted the two Z's against each other, things did not fare well for the three-pedal car. The gear ratios in the automatic alone ensure that there is around 10 percent more torque on offer during the pass. The automatic car sounds better too, as the added gears allow the automaker to more easily pass noise regulation when compared with a traditional gearbox.
It might seem easy then to dismiss the manual-equipped Z's future as a stoplight racer. But the speed on offer from the sports coupe is right on par with something you would likely never question: an Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Well, a 4.7-liter V-8-equipped Vantage from 2010 at the very least. Even more shocking, the two cars are nearly the exact same size and weight, and they produce similar levels of power and torque.
When pitted against one another, the Nissan pulled out a .1-second edge over the Aston through 60 mph mark, crossing in just 4.3 seconds. The budget Bond mobile is able to get that tenth back, however, as it crosses through the 1/4 mile in 12.7 seconds at 112 mph. The Nissan did it in 12.8 seconds at an identical 112 mph. Stick some better tires on the Nissan and that race would almost certainly have been different. That's really true of all of these races, which is a great reason to be excited about the Z's long overdue arrival.
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