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2024 Nissan Z Nismo First Drive Review: The Actual Fast & Furious

Image Source: Veyron Photo / Shutterstock

The 2024 Nissan Z Nismo is set to launch this fall with a price tag of $64,990. However, there’s one feature that might disappoint many enthusiasts – its standard 9-speed automatic transmission.

Does it signify the end of the automotive world that Nissan’s track-focused Z sports car comes with something more commonly found in an Altima? Does it foreshadow a future where manual transmissions are as rare as a BlackBerry or a cassette tape? Let’s consider electric vehicles, which operate using a single-speed transmission and don’t require any shifting.

Over the years, due to safety concerns and government regulations, more and more control has been taken away from human drivers. In many cases, the automated systems can actually drive better than human beings, considering most drivers’ skill levels. And for the majority of people, that’s perfectly fine.

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However, for those of us who appreciate the art of manual driving, an automatic transmission is unacceptable, even if the car can shift faster than we can.

Of course, an automatic transmission has its advantages when you’re stuck in traffic on the highway during rush hour. But when you’re on your favorite winding road, a manual transmission can make all the difference. In defense of Nissan, the 2024 Nissan Z Nismo will spend most of its life crawling along in traffic, surrounded by heavy SUVs and family wagons. Oh, the disappointment.

As we previously reported, the 2024 Nissan Z Nismo is equipped with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that produces 420 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 20 horsepower compared to other Z models. And for those who crave speed, every bit of horsepower counts. That’s why the Z Nismo comes with enhancements such as revised electronic wastegate control, improved cooling, and independent ignition spark timing. It also features numerous other upgrades, including a tweaked suspension, a stiffer chassis, and larger front brakes. But then there’s the elephant in the room – the 9-speed automatic transmission. In its defense, it does include a new Sport+ drive mode for a racetrack-tuned shift program.

The power of the Z Nismo is delivered to the pavement through Dunlop SP SPORT MAXX GT600 tires, which are mounted on lightweight NISMO-exclusive gloss black RAYS 19-inch wheels.

The car sports a refreshed design, including a redesigned front fascia that Nissan calls a Grand Nose, paying homage to the styling heritage of the Z. It also features a three-piece rear spoiler, a reshaped rear bumper, redesigned side sills, and red pinstriping, including on the side mirrors – a nice touch.

During the test drive, the 2024 Nissan Z Nismo received enthusiastic approval from speed enthusiasts, and rightfully so. Despite the automatic transmission, this car is incredibly fast. Still not convinced? Give it a try.

Nissan’s engineers have done an impressive job of strengthening the mechanical components of the Z, resulting in sharp responsiveness and disciplined handling. The steering is precise, making the Nissan Z Nismo a confident speed machine. It’s also comfortable enough to serve as a fantastic daily driver.

However, there is one major drawback – the infotainment screen has one of the worst user interfaces in existence, despite its adequate size. This is a common issue with Nissan vehicles and is long overdue for improvement.

Overall, this sports car offers thrilling and rapid fun. Due to its limited production, it’s a rare sight on the road. However, the nearly $13,000 price premium over the previous top-of-the-line Performance trim might make the 2024 Nissan Z Nismo a less common choice.

Ultimately, your decision to get behind the wheel will depend on your view of automatic transmissions.

Image Source: Veyron Photo / Shutterstock

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