Nissan’s Z Nismo Could Be a Game-Changer… But There’s a Catch

Nissan's Z Nismo Could Be a Game-Changer... But There's a Catch

Has Nissan made a huge mistake with the new Z Nismo? This new high-performance sports car will only come with an automatic transmission.

The supply chain hasn’t quite worked itself out yet, and the new Nissan Z isn’t selling nearly as fast as Nissan anticipated. The upcoming Nismo version of this incredible sports car should offer more power and fun, but it won’t come with the manual transmission that we see in the standard version of this car. Could this be a huge mistake by the brand, or does it make perfect sense? That depends on how you feel about three-pedal driving.

Leaked information is yet to be confirmed

A dealer order guide for the new Nismo version has been leaked on the fan forum. This ordering guide lists the lower trims with the option of either the automatic or manual transmissions, but it doesn’t list the manual shifter for the Nismo version. This leak hasn’t been confirmed to be real, but it might make sense in the current world of sports cars. Those shoppers looking forward to a three-pedal version of this higher model might not have this feature available to them, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Many sports cars are going all-in on automatics

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the new Nissan Z Nismo would be only offered with an automatic transmission and not a manual. This is the case for many of the BMW M models and other high-performance sports cars. In all fairness, most modern automatic transmissions shift faster and perform better than any manual. This makes perfect sense for high-performance sports cars that will spend most of their time at the track, but that’s not the case with the Z Nismo. This car is more likely to be found on the road than on any track.

Driving purists will be up at arms

Drivers looking for the Nissan Z to offer a high-performance model and still bring the engaging feeling of a stick shift will be out of luck. This new Nismo model isn’t expected to have a manual transmission, and that’s a bit of a bummer. This car is easily one of the best driving machines on the road, which makes a manual transmission the right choice for shifting gears and moving around between the lines. Instead of being fully engaged with the car and the road through a stick shifter, you’ll be stuck with a car that changes gears for you.

What should you do if you want a manual Z?

If you absolutely must have a Nissan Z with a manual transmission, the Nismo is out. At least, that’s the case until Nissan comes to its proverbial senses. This new Z-car comes in two distinct versions called Sport and Performance. This car brings a twin-turbocharged V6 engine that makes 400 horsepower and sends power to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission. If you must have the automatic, these lower trims have a 9-speed automatic for you.

Sport Trim

The Sport trim of the Nissan Z has old-fashioned character and modern performance and technology. You’ll enjoy the double-wishbone front suspension, independent multi-link rear suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-exit exhaust with chrome tips, LED taillights, automatic LED headlights, automatic high beams, black cloth seats, automatic climate controls, and a digital gauge cluster.

This trim also gives you an 8-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The base Nissan Z also gives you intelligent cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

Performance Trim

Moving up to the Performance trim gives the Nissan Z more of a sports car feeling than the Sport trim. You’ll have the same power from the engine, but a sport muffler, sport-tuned suspension, bigger brakes with red calipers, and a limited-slip differential.

This trim level also gives you 19-inch Rays wheels, a rear spoiler, and a front chin spoiler. The cabin features aluminum pedals, leather seats, and heated power-adjustable seats. The infotainment system is upgraded to a 9-inch screen, and the audio system improves to a Bose 8-speaker premium audio system. You’ll also enjoy active noise cancellation and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Add the Proto Spec package to the Performance trim, and you’ll enjoy a car that looks like the concept model from 2020.

If early indicators are to be believed, the new Nissan Z Nismo will not be offered with a manual transmission. This comes as a bit of a disappointment for driving purists but might be ideal for this high-performance sports car.

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