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Nissan Z 2022: manual transmission and Z Proto Spec locked in for Australia


Carrying a long legacy as a giant slayer for the masses, the Nissan Z coupe is set to arrive in Australia mid next year and this is what it will include.

Nissan Australia has revealed the local specification for the Z coupe that is set to land on our shores halfway through 2022.

The Z coupe will be offered in a single, highly-specified grade and will be launched alongside a flagship Z Proto Spec that will be a ‘strictly limited’ model, according to Nissan.

Nissan Z 2023 rear 3/4 night 2
The Nissan Z will land in Australia halfway through 2022 in a single grade

Much to the delight of Z-car fans, the Australian Nissan Z will be available with both a six-speed manual transmission and nine-speed torque-converter automatic option.

Nissan has yet to release pricing details on the Nissan Z but we’ve detailed how much it will likely cost in a separate article.

The decision to offer only a premium trim level will raise the Z’s price of entry in Australia, with cheaper coupe alternatives such as the second-generation Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 waiting in the wings to snap up any budget-conscious two-door buyers.

Nissan Z 2023 front 3/4 driving 2
Australian Z fans will be delighted to know a six-speed manual will be offered.

What does the Nissan Z include?

The highlight of the 2022 Nissan Z is its 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine that delivers an impressive power output of 298kW that kicks in at 6400rpm.

The extra support of forced induction in the new model also sees the Z develop a considerable 475Nm of torque from a low base of 1600rpm all the way to 5600rpm. 

Outputs like those are enough to put it in contention with the likely more expensive Toyota Supra which produces 285kW/500Nm from its 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six, though these figures are said to be understated.

Nissan Z 2023 engine
The twin-turbo V6 engine is a highlight feature of the new Z

Nissan has not shied away from the seventh-generation Z’s usage of the 370Z’s underpinnings but the chassis has undergone an extensive amount of changes which you can read about in our separate article.

Manual-equipped Z coupes feature an Exedy high-performance clutch and a carbon-fibre composite driveshaft that lowers the drivetrain’s rotating mass.

For those concerned about shifting their own gears, Nissan has fitted a rev-matching function (as per 370Z) to make life easier, though the more traffic-friendly nine-speed automatic does include aluminium paddle shifters for its own level of driver engagement.

Nissan Z 2023 front 3/4
Manul-equipped Z coupes are equipped with Exedy high-performance clutch and a carbon fibre composite driveshaft.

Both transmission options are mated to a mechanical limited-slip differential. Nissan is yet to quote a 0-100km/h time but with launch control included as standard, the new Z is unlikely to be slow off the line. Expect a time in the low four-second bracket.

Since the original 240Z, the Z car lineage has paired its performance credentials with real-world practicality and usability, as required from a GT car, and the 2022 model is no different.

Nissan has brought the Z up to date by fitting an 8.0-inch centre touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with a 12.3-inch driver display in the instrument cluster.

Nissan Z 2023 interior
An 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay is among the modern amenities.

In a nod to the past, Nissan has fitted a trio of analogue gauges on the dash that show important information such as oil temperature and turbo boost without needing to physically look down.

The Australian-specified Z is fitted with leather-accented bucket seats and Nissan’s active noise cancellation that should dial out wind and road noise on long drives. Sound will also be pumped (likely using the speakers) to emphasise engine noise under hard acceleration. 

While not the headline-grabbing selling point, buyers can also take comfort in the dramatic increase in safety equipment on this Z generation.

This includes front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, adaptive cruise control, front AEB with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, to name a few.

Nissan Z 2023 pair
The Z Proto Spec will arrive in Australia in limited numbers

What does the Z Proto Spec include?

Nissan hasn’t put a number on how many of the Z Proto Spec will be made available to Australians but it would pay to get in early if you want to snap one up.

Likely to be priced a bit higher than the regular Z, the limited edition includes 19-inch bronze forged alloy wheels complemented by yellow brake calipers.

Nissan has opted for a two-tone exterior look, with the Ikazuchi Yellow base colour contrasted with a Super Black roof. The yellow theme is carried over to the interior, where buyers will find the black leather trim finished with bright stitching in a matching colour.

Full specification and pricing details will be released closer to the mid-2022 launch date, however if this first taste is anything to go by, the new Z is poised to make quite an entrance in the sports car world.