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Nissan pulled the cover off of its Nismo Edition Nissan Z, which left us wondering: is it a better sports car than the BMW M240i? Both have their benefits and drawbacks on the spec sheet, and we’re diving in to see which one pulls ahead.

Quick Performance Breakdown

Nissan Z NismoBMW M240i
Starting Price$60,000 (est)
Engine3.0-liter V6 turbo3.0-liter Twinpower Turbo inline-six
Transmission9-Speed Automatic8-Speed Automatic
0-60 mph3.9 seconds (est.)3.9 seconds
Fuel Economy (EPA)18 city/ 24 highway/ 20 combined22 city/32 highway/26 combined

Explaining the numbers

2023 BMW M240i from the rear
2023 BMW M240i | Marc Wiley, MotorBiscuit

Let’s break down those numbers a bit, shall we?

First, the Nissan Z Nismo is a powerful two-door sports car, punching out more horsepower and torque than the BMW M240i. But based on the modest power bump over the base Z and its 4.1-second run to 60 mph, it will likely be on par with the BMW M240i on the sprint to 60 mph. This, despite the BMW’s beefy 3,800-pound curb weight, is nearly 100 pounds more than the Nissan.

All told the Nissan Z Nismo isn’t likely to outperform the BMW in a short drag, though a longer race may see the Japanese contender win out. However, it’s important to note that the Nissan Z Nismo boasts several suspension upgrades to put it ahead of the BMW on track.

If taking to the track, the Nissan Z Nismo wins out

Nissan Z Nismo on track
Nissan Z Nismo Edition | Nissan

If the changes are any indication, the Nissan Z Nismo is more about track work than a simple drag race. Multiple improvements over the base car all point toward handling, while power gets just a modest increase.

For instance, Nissan has re-tuned the dampers and added stiffer springs to the Nismo Z. This will reduce both squat and body roll, pushing more grip through the tires and enhancing both predictability and performance. However, it’s also important to note the tires of its Nismo contender when compared to the base car.

That base model carried Bridgestone Potenza S007s, while the Nismo Edition gets Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT600s. In addition, there is an extra half-inch of tire width at the rear, enhancing the rear grip even further.

In addition, the Nismo Z gets 15-inch front brakes versus just 14 inches for the standard Z. And it comes from the factory with track compound brake pads as a response to criticisms over the base car’s stopping power?

How does this compare to the BMW M240i? That car carries 13.7-inch brake rotors on a heavier car, so we have little doubt that stopping power tips in favor of the Nismo. In addition, the BMW M240i is an excellent road car, but as such, lacks the rigidity of the upgraded Z.

On the track, the Nissan is the one you’ll want. But for every day? That’s another question.

Spirited daily drives favor the BMW M240i over the Nissan Z Nismo

2023 BMW M240i in purple by a road sign
2023 BMW M240i | Marc Wiley, MotorBiscuit
Related What Does the Letter Z Stand for in the Nissan Z?

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Because of all that stiffness and track-focused packaging, the Nissan Z Nismo isn’t likely to be fun on your daily commute. The sharp suspension settings and track brakes make for a one-note driving experience that isn’t going to take kindly to potholes and bridge joints.

The BMW M240i, meanwhile, is perfectly suited to romping around craggy backroads for hours on end. And when it’s time to hit the highway, it offers a choice between serenity and speed that you can select at a moment’s notice.

The verdict: two very different cars for very different lifestyles

For a fun, functional, and versatile daily sports car, the BMW M240i has the goods. For a focused track-day weapon, the Nissan Z Nismo packs the heat. At the end of the day, it all depends on how you plan to use the car, more than any individual features or statistics.