[Staff, 2022-12-23 02:26:53,
► CAR drives the Nissan Z in California
► Two-door sports cars aren’t dead yet
► We road trip from Monterey to LA
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There’s no doubt about it, the new Z is a handsome car; crisply surfaced, neatly proportioned and with a star quality several leagues beyond its $49,990 sticker price (in Performance spec; the lesser Sport starts at just $39,990, or £35,000). The Rays wheels (19 inches front and rear, unique to the Performance) don’t hurt, and nor do the nods to the five-decades-old-and-counting Z dynasty: the 350Z-inspired vertical slashes to the front end; the cute S30-inspired headlights; the gorgeous 300ZX-cribbed slatted tail lights.
My suitcase just squeezes under the rear hatch, I drop into the seat’s just-so embrace and, with a clang as cheap-sounding and inconsequential as that of an old Micra, I pull shut the door. But there the flimsiness ends.
Everything else about the Z is engineered with a reassuring heft, from the clutch (an Exedy unit, paired with a carbon propshaft on Performance models) to the gearbox to the way it moves on the road. The six-speed manual slots positively into first (a nine-speed auto is the other option), the traction control’s off before the first Stop sign and, after…
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