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With the reason influx of media on the 2023 Nissan Z sports car, it’s hard not to get extremely excited about it. With a traditional front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, a 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 engine, and a six-speed manual transmission offering, it’s everything a car enthusiast wants. To top it all off, it has a starting price of just $40,000. Across the board, that puts the Z miles ahead of the Supra on paper. How does it do in real life, though?

The Z, a Supra, and a Mustang Mach 1 for good measure

In a recent Hagerty video, host Jason Cammisa puts the 2023 Nissan Z in a heads-up drag race against the 2022 Toyota Supra and a 2022 Ford Mustang Mach 1. The premise is that all of these cars come in around the $50,0000 mark. Interestingly enough, the Hagerty overlay displays the price of the Z at $51,000 as tested with the nine-speed automatic. Still, it’s $4,000 cheaper than the Mustang and $5,000 cheaper than the supra.

The Z trails behind the Mustang and the Supra right off the bat. Unfortunately, that’s where it stays for the duration of the race. However, the reasoning behind this is a bit surprising. It’s certainly no shortage of horsepower. Instead, it’s a matter of traction.

Cammisa explains that the 2023 Nissan Z, despite having launch control, still roasts the tires off the line. Not only that, it continues spinning the tires until it reaches third gear. Once the power is actually making it to the ground appropriately, the Z stays on space with the Mustang and the Supra. Unfortunately, that pace remains a couple of car lengths behind its competition.

Heads up drag race between yellow 2023 Nissan Z automatic against red 2022 Ford Mustang Mach 1 and red 2022 Toyota GR Supra 3.0
Mustang, Supra, and Z drag racing | Hagerty, Youtube

In contrast, Hagerty pits the automatic 2023 Nissan Z against its manual counterpart. While the automatic uses launch control, the manual cars come with a no-lift shift program to allow for rapid gear changes.

Unfortunately, this drag race does not bode well for manual enthusiasts. At least, not if they intend to entirely disrespect the Z’s complete heritage and use it for driving in a straight line. As one would expect, the nine-speed automatic is quicker. About three-tenths of a second quicker to 60 mph, where it remains for the duration of a quarter-mile.

Still, the 2023 Nissan Z is an unbelievable value

All-new red manual 2023 Nissan Z races against 2010 Aston Martin V8 Vtange in Hagerty video
2023 Nissan Z vs Aston Martin V8 Vantage | Hagerty, Youtube

In one final test, Hagerty pits the 2023 Nissan Z against a 2010 Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Incidentally, this is another car one can get for around $50,000.

The Z and the Aston Martin cross the line at virtually the exact same time, with the Aston pulling ahead by one-tenth of a second. Both clocked in at 112 miles per hour.

Ultimately, the conclusion of these tests is that the Z needs grippier tires. With a set of properly sticky tires, the 2023 Nissan Z would likely happily keep up with them all.

Only time will tell if there’s any chance the 2023 Nissan Z is going to sell for reasonable prices. Unfortunately, the automotive market is likely looking at massive dealer markups. Maybe someone will get a set of gripped-up tires on one and do some more testing like this. Overall, though, it looks like a blast to be behind the wheel of the new Nissan Z!


2023 Nissan Z Preview: All the Specs and Features You Need to Know