After endless speculation and deliberation, the Nissan Z finally has a price tag in Japan – but only for the limited edition, top-end Proto Spec grade
Nissan has priced the limited-edition Z Proto Spec at 6,966,300 Japanese yen (AUD $84,494) in its home market of Japan.
With pricing for the 2022 Nissan Z yet to be announced for Australian buyers, the news provides our best indication yet of what the highly-anticipated coupe will cost when it goes on sale in mid-2022.
As a limited edition, the Z Proto Spec is likely to be the most expensive grade until a hypothetical Z Nismo trim is added to the lineup. The Z Proto isn’t just a Japan special: Australian buyers will note the Proto spec also sits at the top of the local range, which Chasing Cars detailed in October 2021.
Both the six-speed manual and nine-speed automatic versions of the Z Proto have been given the same circa-$85K price in Japan.
Previous reports out of the US put the Z’s starting price at around USD$40,000 (AUD$54,255) however Nissan Australia has already confirmed that apart from the limited-run Proto grade, Aussie buyers will receive a single feature-packed Z grade rather than a base model that swaps premium features for a lower price.
Nissan has released a list of features available for the Australian-specified Z including a limited-slip differential, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, leather-wrapped bucket seats and an Excedy high-performance clutch in the manual models.
Australia will receive the limited edition Proto Spec, though allocation of the desirable launch trim will be “strictly limited”.
Direct comparisons between the Japanese and Australian markets are difficult to make due to exchange rate and specification differences, but we can make some rough judgements on the Z’s price thanks to the X-Trail midsize SUV and the electric Leaf hatchback.
In Japan, an entry-level X-Trail will set back buyers around $40,770, whereas in Australia the starting point is slightly cheaper and kicks off at $32,665 before on-road costs.
The Leaf is sold in Australia in single, well-equipped grade with either a standard or large battery option (known as the Leaf e+). In this model, we also see a slight discount, with a highly-equipped Leaf e+ commanding a $60,676 price in Japan and $60,490 in Australia.
As a result, we can reasonably expect the Z Proto Spec sold in Australia to command less than its AUD $84,494 figure in Japan – likely closer to the $78,000 mark.
But what about the regular Z that most people are likely to buy?
Well, previous estimations by Chasing Cars have put the Z’s price tag as low as $63,000 (before on-roads) based on a 25 percent increase seen from the 2020 370Z to the 2022 Z in the United States but the new figures do provide some important context.
The recent pricing out of Japan means we are likely to see the high-equipped Z sold at a price closer to $70,000 to $75,000 – particularly if Nissan does not choose to offer the manual option at a discount as it did for the 370Z.
This would put the Z between an entry-level RWD coupe like the new Subaru BRZ (priced from $38,990) and the Toyota Supra (priced from $87,303), which is regarded as the Z’s closest competitor in terms of performance.
Pricing is a wildly complicated exercise and it’s important to remember that Nissan is a business; if they can price the Z higher and get the same sales, they will.
But as Nissan shifts gears into an electric future and focuses on recouping the buyers who have been lost to other brands in previous years, an accessible love letter to the enthusiast could be just what it needs to inspire a new generation of buyers.
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