With the official debut of the all-new Nissan Z, the enthusiast community welcomed a new challenger in the accessible sports car segment. To baptize the new car, the people from Hagerty wanted to see how well the new Z compares to some of its modern competitors. Luckily for all of us, that means we have a bit of drag racing to watch.
In order to test where the new Z sits in the sports car hierarchy, at Hagerty Jason Cammisa invited some of the car segment’s competitors to a track. These opponents include the new Mustang Mach 1 and the Toyota GR Supra, all three cars being fitted with their respective automatic gearboxes. This is probably due to the fact that the Supra is still not available with a manual gearbox. for the moment. That said, the decision to only use slushboxes helped keep races as close as possible. The Mustang’s 480 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque make it the most powerful car of the bunch, though at 3,850 lb it’s also the heaviest. The Nissan weighs about 260 pounds more than the Toyota, tipping in at 3610 pounds, but that 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged engine and its 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque are enough to take the lead in this class. That said, we know Toyota’s power ratings of 382 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque are a bit conservative.
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With the help of a little video editing magic, we get to watch all three coupes roll down the track in style. The Toyota seems to take a small leap from the V-8 muscle car, but that doesn’t stay that way for long. In fact, the two rivals both managed to run an identical 3.8 seconds at 60 mph, before completing the 1/4 mile in 12.1 seconds. The Mustang trapped at a slightly higher 120 mph, compared to just 117 for the Supra. The Nissan trailed both competitors, posting runs of 4.0 seconds at 60 mph and a 1/4 mile run of 12.3 at 116 mph. The Z was limited in traction from the start of the race, which Cammisa says could be the result of the car’s standard Bridgestone rubber. The other two vehicles are equipped with Michelin rubber.
The Z automatic may be slightly behind its segment rivals, but that doesn’t mean it’s outdone. That said, don’t think of the manual variant as some form of outlier. When Cammisa pitted the two Zs against each other, things didn’t go well for the three-pedal car. The gear ratios of the automatic gearbox alone guarantee around 10% more torque during shifting. The automatic car sounds better, too, because the added gears allow the automaker to switch noise control more easily than a traditional gearbox.
It might seem easy then to dismiss the future of the manual-equipped Z as a brakelight racer. But the speed offered by the sports coupe is up to something you’ll probably never question: a Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Well, a 2010 4.7-liter V8-equipped Vantage at least. Even more shockingly, the two cars are almost exactly the same size and weight, and they produce similar levels of horsepower and torque.
When pitted against each other, the Nissans took a 0.1 second advantage over the Aston at 60 mph, crossing in just 4.3 seconds. The budget mobile Bond is able to recoup that tenth, however, as it completes the 1/4 mile in 12.7 seconds at 112 mph. The Nissan did it in 12.8 seconds at an identical speed of 112 mph. Stick better tires on the Nissan and this race would certainly have been different. That’s definitely true for all of these races, which is a great reason to be excited about the Z’s long-awaited arrival.
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