[Staff, 2022-12-11 12:05:18,
The new 2023 Nissan Z is good, but is it as good as the 2022 Ford Mustang California Special?
Read on, as Nissan’s newest star athlete takes aim at Australia’s sports car king.
An old adage says that if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best; and the Ford Mustang has held the crown as Australia’s best-selling sports car ever since this sixth-generation vehicle lobbed onto the local scene in late 2015.
Since then, Ford Australia has sold more than 33,000 examples of its perennial pony car. So if Nissan’s new Z is targeting sub-$100k two-door sports car buyers, statistically speaking, this is the car it has to beat.
Making this two-door showdown even better? This is a driver’s test, with both cars featuring their own rev-match compatible three-pedal six-speed manuals, backdropped by the Victorian High Country to see which of these similar, but distinct, sporting coupes has more to offer the discerning enthusiast.
Both are retro renditions of 60s icons that made their international debuts in New York – the Mustang at the 1964 World’s Fair, the ‘Fairlady Z’ in the Pierre Hotel’s Grand Ballroom five years later.
In those days, the United States was the prime target of both of these cars. These days, however, in a more globalised auto industry, a sports coupe’s survival requires success in multiple markets.
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