Dressed in Diamond Black Metallic paint this all-new Nissan Z coupe strikes a seductive silhouette as it passes by. Add a smooth 6-cylinder engine and the new Z could well be considered the fairest of them all from the current crop of performance coupes in Australia.
From an exterior design point of view, I like how this black colour disguises the rectangle shaped front grille, which I am not a fan of. I do like the headlight design though and the daytime running lights, the fat twin exhausts and the shape of the bonnet.
The addition of two turbos has certainly done the trick from a power point of view with the current 6-cylinder, twin turbocharged petrol engine producing 298kW of power and 475Nm of torque. Nissan does not quote an official 0-100km/h time, but the internet suggests that it should be around 4.5 seconds.
The acceleration from the gruff-sounding V6 does not feel crazy fast, but there is plenty to keep you entertained while driving. A good amount of opposite lock needs to be provided to keep the Z on the straight and narrow when you provoke the back end to wiggle. Chasing the 7,000rpm red line meant I used 12.2L/100km, which is more than the official combined fuel economy of 10.8L/100km.
For me the new Z felt old school, the 6-speed manual transmission and rear wheel drive might have something to do with this? As do the three gauges on top of the dash that display battery vaults, turbo speed and boost. The driver’s dash too has a large digital taco and speedo that looks analogue. The gearbox is the only slightly disappointing bit of the Z powertrain as I felt it could offer sharper gear shifts.
The exterior colour of this Z is complemented by the black interior with red interior accents and stitching. The Z has leather-accented seat trim with suede door trim finisher and a stylish leather steering wheel.
The dual use of materials on the seats looks good and offers a snug feel. The driver’s seat has power adjustment for recline and forward/back with manual seat cushion height adjustment. The passenger seat only gets the power adjustment options and both front seats are heated. There is also one rear tether point behind the passenger seat and an ISOFIX point, although I could not locate this.
The old school nature of the Z is also reflected in the cabin amenities as well with a manual handbrake, single zone climate control with dial controls and an 8-inch touchscreen with no sat nav. You do get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a 8-speaker premium Bose audio system with Active Noise Cancellation and Active Sound Enhancement. There is also voice control that is activated by pressing the button on the steering wheel with the masculine looking silhouette on it and it worked well for me to make a phone call and change the radio station.
The cubby at the front of the centre console is large enough for a smartphone and has grippy plastic on the base to reduce the likelihood of your phone sliding around during exuberant driving. Here there is one USB-A port and one USB-C port with a 12V outlet in the passenger foot well and another under the arm rest. The centre console has two rigid cup holders and the shallow drink bottle storage cubbies in the door are only suitable for small bottles.
The Z has a power assisted boot lid with a release in the cabin and inside the rear Nissan logo, but there is nothing to hold when you close the boot so you have to grab on top of the boot and this may cause scratches over time. The large flat boot area has four plastic tie down points and enough room for the weekly shop or luggage for a weekend away, but most likely not a pram.
Active safety features fitted to the Nissan Z include Predictive Forward Collision Warning, Forward Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Lane Departure Warning. The Z has front, side front and side curtain airbags, but does not have an ANCAP safety rating. For convenience you get a standard rear-view camera with front and rear parking sensors, automatic headlights, high beam assist, but no auto wipers.
All new Nissan vehicles come with a 5-Year Unlimited Kilometre warranty and five years of 24-Hour Roadside Assistance. The service schedule for the Z is 12 months or 10,000 km, which ever occurs first and the first six services have a capped price of between $346 and $699 for the manual Z.
With heritage stretching back more than 50 years this Nissan Z has a lot to live up to and this fair lady certainly does that. The release of new rear-wheel drive performance coupes is diminishing, so it is no wonder that the Z Proto is fully sold out with no more to come. Availability of this Z is also limited and it is best to contact your preferred Nissan dealer for the latest information. The Nissan Z Coupe 6-speed manual transmission is priced from $73,300 plus on-road costs and as tested with optional metallic paint ($700) this pretty Z is $74,000 plus on-roads.
|V6 power and rear wheel drive||The manual transmission shift|
|Snug seats||Single zone climate control|
|Day time running light design||No sat nav|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.