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Nissan’s latest crack at the Zed formula has the world talking, but mainly because it flys in the face of the electrification push.
Perhaps a last non-electrified and manual hurrah for the brand’s sporting catalog, the Zed once again goes into battle against a long list of rivals, including obvious ones like the Toyota Supra, and less obvious ones like Alpine’s A110.
Let’s take a closer look at what we know and how the Zed will compare, without going to the full niche high-end coupes like Lotus and beyond, or sedan-based vehicles like the BMW 4 Series, which while similar, aren’t really in the same vein.
We know the Zed will be motivated by a twin-turbo version of its VR series 3.0-litre V6 engine, with outputs set at 298kW/475Nm. It will be able to be chosen, even in Australia, with either an eight-speed torque-converter automatic with a limited-slip mode, or as a six-speed manual with a carbon composite driveshaft.
Size-wise, it shares its platform with the outgoing car, so there are few changes on that front, while Nissan has taken the opportunity to give the sports coupe a significant digital overhaul in its cabin.
We don’t know pricing for the Zed yet, but indications out of international markets suggest it will wear a price tag not too far removed from the outgoing 370Z (which can be had from between $50,490 and $64,490 before-on roads), and therefore significantly more affordable than the Supra.
The Supra is its key rival, motivated by a BMW-sourced 3.0-litre inline six producing 285kW/500Nm, driving the rear wheels exclusively via an eight-speed automatic, but it’s worth remembering that the revived Japanese nameplate isn’t the only car on the market in a similar vein, with others out of Europe worth mentioning, too.
The first is the car with which the Supra owes its existence, the BMW Z4. Starting from $129,471 (MSRP) for the most equivalent 3.0-litre inline six M40i variant, the Z4 is a truly premium offering at nearly double the price of what the Nissan Zed should cost. Its power outputs match the Supra at 285kW/500Nm, granting it a power-to-weight ratio of 189.6kW/t.
The Alpine A110 is a sports coupe alternative by Renault’s Alpine performance division. Starting from $101,000 (MSRP), the A110 is smaller and lighter than its competitors here, and sports a correspondingly smaller engine, a 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit derived from the Megane RS hot hatch. Still producing a punchy 185kW/320Nm, the Alpine has a power-to-weight ratio of 174.5kW/t, not far off its competition.
In the opposite direction is Ford’s seemingly ever-present Mustang. The big front-engine rear-drive pony car starts from a much closer to the mark at $64,390 for the V8 manual GT variant. Producing 339kW/556Nm but weighing a sight more than its coupe rivals, the Mustang has a power-to-weight ratio of 194.2kW/t.
For something a little different again, Audi offers its TT. A coupe by shape, but front-drive by nature, the TT costs from $80,272 for the base 2.0-litre turbo, or a whopping $137,900 for the full-fat five-cylinder RS. Reportedly not long for this world, the TT range is dual-clutch automatic only.
Obviously, we could continue all day to cover other premium rivals like the Jaguar F-Type, BMW 4 Series, Mercedes C-Class coupe, and Porsche Boxster, but we’ll leave it there for now. Check out our table below to see all the specs of the cars mentioned compared.
|Model||Price (MSRP)||Engine||Transmission||Layout||Output||Power-to-weight||Fuel consumption||Warranty|
|Nissan Z||TBA ($60-70k est.)||3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo||6-speed manual/8-speed auto||RWD||298kW/475Nm||TBA||TBA||5-year/unlimited km|
|Toyota Supra||$87,003 - $97,003||3.0-litre inline six turbo||8-speed auto||RWD||285kW/500Nm||193.5kW/t||7.7L/100km||5-year/unlimited km|
|BMW Z4 M40i||$129,471||3.0-litre inline six turbo||8-speed auto||RWD||285kW/500Nm||189.6kW/t||7.5L/100km||3-year/unlimited km|
|Alpine A110 Pure||$98,388||1.8-litre four-cylinder turbo||7-speed dual-clutch||RWD||185kW/320Nm||174.5kW/t||6.2L/100km||3-year/100,000km|
|Ford Mustang GT||$64,390 - $67,390||5.0-litre V8||6-speed manual/10-speed auto||RWD||339kW/556Nm||194.2kW/t||13.0L/100km||5-year/unlimited|
|Audi TT 45 TFSI||$82,400||2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo||7-speed dual-clutch||FWD||180kW/370Nm||129.5kW/t||9.6L/100km||3-year/unlimited|