Published on August 23rd, 2021 | by Subhash Nair


Why Are Enthusiasts More Excited About The Nissan Z Than Its Rivals?

Here’s why the new Nissan Z is so well received by fans.

Nissan hasn’t been having the best time. It profit margins have been slipping for years and its ex-boss has embroiled the company in a scandal that still hasn’t fully-resolved itself. Not only that, but in many markets, the brand’s reputation for making quality, reliable cars has been under attack for some time. This is brand that once stood neck and neck with Toyota for decades and decades. It was at its lowest point and then, it released the new ‘Z’ car. Now it appears that everyone’s a Nissan fan once again!

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And what’s even more surprising is that the new Z car doesn’t really introduce anything drastically new over the car it replaces. It still shares the same platform. It’s still a V6 with no electrification. In stark contrast, you have the 2nd generation Honda NSX, which was a completely new car with a cutting-edge hybrid system and even more power than the new Nissan Z when it was launched in 2016. But the NSX never really took off in terms of sales and it certainly didn’t get a very enthusiastic response from fans when it was release.

We also have the more direct comparison – the 5th generation Toyota Supra A90. While many fans are happy for the return of the Supra name, the car is based on the BMW Z4.

Which takes us to the first reason why the new Nissan Z is so well received.

Nissan Made The Z Themselves

Here’s the first thing that stands out about the new Nissan Z – it was made by Nissan. Comparison’s are impossible to avoid and the Toyota Supra stands out. It was done almost completely by BMW, with Toyota doing the styling and tuning only. Needless to say, some Supra fans are not convinced that it’s a worthy successor to the legendary 4th generation Supra.

The Nissan Z, on the other hand is all-Nissan. There were cost-saving measures, such as reusing the platform that was first developed for the 2002 350Z and then adapted for the 370Z.

Nissan (Almost) Never Stopped Making A Z

From the time of the first 240Z, Nissan has almost always produced and sold a Z car. Only when the situation was really bad in the accounts department did they give the ‘Z’ name a short hiatus. But usually this hiatus would last just a few years and before long they’d have a new model ready.

This happened between the 2000 and 2002 model and between the 2020 and the upcoming 2023 model. In both instances, Nissan was in a bad way.

Nissan made it simple and affordable

Performance cars are often associated with the super rich, and that’s true for a lot of midship supercars and hypercars. However, not all performance cars need cater to the 1%. There are still plenty of middle-class enthusiasts out there looking for a fast, fun, simple sports car.

That’s exactly the demographic that Nissan went for. They made their Nissan Z more affordable than the Supra and MUCH more affordable than the Honda NSX. The NSX was made as a technological showcase for Honda and while very impressive, few could afford such a car. Its complex SH-AWD system would also deter some owners looking for a raw, simple sports car.

Nissan avoided hype, focused on heritage

Take one look at the new Nissan Z and it’s immediately less exciting to look at than the new Toyota Supra and new Honda NSX. Its lines are simpler and the proportions are familiar to the 350Z and 370Z that preceeded it.

But when you look at the details, it’s also clear that Nissan focused not on what was trendy today, but the heritage of the Z.

Nissan Z next to a 240z

The front end pays homage to the original 240Z while the rear end is clearly a tribute to the 300ZX.

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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