Here’s why Nissan chose to give us a manual transmission with the new seventh-gen Zby Khris Bharath, on LISTEN 03:11
The wait is over. Nissan has finally taken the wraps off of its all-new Z for the 2023 model year in New York. It is one of the most highly anticipated cars of 2021 since Nissan showed us the Z Proto about a year ago. Test mules of the car were also spotted countless times. The design stays true to the concept of the Proto and is reminiscent of some classic Z cars like the 240 Z and the 300 Z from the 70s and the 80s respectively.
The 2023 Z packs 400 horsepower from its 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine. However, the biggest talking point about the new Z is its manual gearbox. Yes, you heard that right. Nissan will offer a six-speed stick shift with its new Z. But, why exactly is Nissan giving us a manual you ask?
Industry trends indicate that the stick shift is about to go extinct with fewer and fewer cars offering the option for a manual transmission. Despite this, manual transmissions are still sold in many markets around the world. However, according to a survey done by CNBC in 2019, less than two-percent of cars that sold in the U.S. that year had a manual transmission. At the other end of the spectrum, diehard enthusiasts have been yearning for cars with a manual gearbox.
So, in an age where the manual is about to go extinct, Nissan is taking a bold step. Why? Well, the answer to that question is simple. It is to keep the loyalists and fans of the Z brand, happy. You see, the Z brand has a strong following the world over and Nissan wants to offer a car that not only lends an air of fresh air in a market that’s going EV crazy, but also stay true to what the Z brand is all about. Well, it’s all about the drive, isn’t it?
According to Nissan’s CEO, Ashwani Gupta, the Z has always represented a car that is accessible to the masses since the first Z was introduced back in the 70s. In essence, what this new Z really is, is a fantastic successor to the 370 Z that was on the market for nearly a decade. The old car, despite its age, already did the basics right, which included a really good and compelling experience from behind the wheel. But, where it really fell short of its competitors was in terms of technology and this new Z has now addressed that issue.
The Z is a no-nonsense and honest sportscar. It has always been a true driver’s car and is now offering enthusiasts and loyalists, a chance to experience the thrill of a manual yet again, but this time in a modern package. Remember that you ride in an automatic, whereas with a manual, you DRIVE. Many enthusiasts still consider stick shift as an art form, that puts you - the driver - in ultimate control of the vehicle. The disappearance of the manual transmission will most likely alienate a small but devoted portion of shoppers who remain a vital ingredient of American car culture. It is this small but loyal audience that Nissan is targeting with the new Z.
|Engine||3.0-liter, Twin-Turbo V-6|
|Horsepower||400 horses @ 6,400 rpm|
|Torque||350 pound-feet @ 1,600 - 5,600 rpm|
|Tranmission||Six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic|