The latest shop car at R/T is a 6 speed 2023 Nissan Z
We were sad to say goodbye to our Supra Project, but that frown quickly turned into a smile as soon as we drove this home from the dealership.
The new Nissan Z is powered by the same 400hp VR30DDTT engine that we have come to know over the past several years. This is the same engine found in the Q50 and Q60, and you'll also find it in the Nissan Frontier that we built for SEMA. These cars have been pretty tough to find since their launch but thanks to our friends at Exton Nissan we were able to take one home in the exact spec we would have ordered. We wanted white, and most importantly we wanted a 6 speed manual.
While the new 9 speed auto is tempting (and fast), it just doesn't capture the true essence of a proper Z car.
That sentence might bother some people.
Too bad. Read it again.
Driving a manual transmission Nissan Z is an experience like no other! With a rev-happy engine, nimble handling, and a slick-shifting gearbox, this sports car is an absolute joy to drive.
As you slip behind the wheel, you feel the leather and alcantara seats hug your body, putting you in the perfect driving position. Your hands grip the small, sporty steering wheel, and your feet find the pedals with ease. You press the start button and the engine roars to life, a symphony of mechanical harmony that stirs your soul.
You reach for the gear lever, and the leather wrapped knob feels cool to the touch. As you shift into first gear, you feel the satisfaction transmission engaging, and you release the clutch pedal smoothly. The car lurches forward, eager to hit the road.
You roll the windows down, the terrible wind buffeting noise that plagues the supra at parking lot speeds is nowhere to be heard. You push the car harder, revving the engine as you shift into higher gears. The acceleration is visceral, pushing you back into the seat as the car surges forward. The handling is sharp, with every turn and curve of the road met with precision and control.
The sound of the engine grows louder as you push it harder, the exhaust note a symphony of mechanical music. You feel alive, in tune with the car and the road, as you push it to its limits.
And when the drive is over, you reluctantly turn off the engine, feeling a sense of exhilaration and accomplishment. Driving a manual transmission Nissan Z is not just a mode of transportation, but a thrill-seeking experience that will leave you craving more.
But the 9 speed auto is faster. Don't you care about being faster?
Short answer....No....Why? Because its not as fun. It's just not. We are living in the last days of the internal combustion engine and the doomsday clock for the manual transmission is nearly at midnight. It won't be long before you can't buy a new car that resembles anything close to this package. Complete strangers will stop you at the gas station and vibe check you as they peak in your window and see that proper shift knob. It elicits smiles, positive reactions, real world conversions about the history of the Z , the Datsun their Dad used to have, or how fast their Uncles 300zx was back in the day. Kids on the school bus will give you a thumbs up, pedestrians will ask you to rev it as you pass. It makes people happy. It makes us happy.
Driving an automatic Z on the other hand will get you better 1/4 times, and a screen shot from a DRAGY to share. A few dudes in a facebook group might even be impressed enough to comment with a thumbs up emoji.
We'll take the real life thumbs up anyday.
We have lots planned for this car already. We even have a set of our turbos done and ready to install. So check back for updates.
all photos by Mike Maravilla @mike_futureclassic