Nissan Australia is engaging with some of its most enthusiastic fans to generate more buzz around its soon-to-launch new Z.
With the local media launch just weeks away, the company says it surprised members of the Z Car Club of NSW during the group’s annual President’s Run.
The publicity stunt saw an all-new Z waiting for the group as they climbed to the Beaufoy Merlin lookout, just outside the historic mining town of Hill End in NSW.
The diverse owners group of diehards was met by the (sold-out) flagship of the Z family — the Proto — offered exclusively in Ikazuchi Yellow paintwork topped by a Super Black roof, with 19-inch bronze forged alloy wheels and yellow brake calipers.
This all-new Nissan Z led a procession of Z cars that span more than 50 years, including almost every Z model ever released.
Nissan has long been intent on reminding Australia’s car enthusiasts of its long heritage with sports cars. The company has previously hosted Z meets at its regional headquarters.
“It was an amazing experience, and it was so exciting for our members, who are so passionate about their vehicles and the history of the Z, to see where this iconic model is going next,” said Z Car Club of NSW president John Wakeling.
“What’s so special about this car is that it blends elements of every historic Z model, but is still very much unique and modern. So for our members to be able to identify design elements from their own cars was amazing.
“Not only was it a surprise for our members, but I think Nissan might have secured a few extra customers after seeing the new Z in the metal.”
Not that Nissan needs much help with that.
As of May this year, more than 1000 Australians had put their hard-earned money down at a dealer for their new Nissan Z – before first shipments go on sale here, and before pricing went public.
“We know just how passionate the fans of this model are, whether they’re driving the first Datsun 240Z or the Nissan 370Z Nismo, so we were thrilled they could be among the first people in Australia to experience the all-new Z in person,” said Nissan Australia Managing Director Adam Paterson.
The Aussie press launch for the new Nissan Z takes place at the end of this month.
The new Nissan Z’s $73,300 (excluding dealer delivery and State taxes) price point compares to pricing of between $61,990 (manual) and $64,490 (auto) for the MY21 Nissan 370Z Nismo.
The circa 1000 money-down reservations came from a pool of 3000-odd people who lodged “expressions of interest”. The amount deposited varied depending on the dealer, Nissan said.
Nissan has yet to specify its plans around supplying its national dealers with Z stock, and whether it’ll attempt to limit dealer markups, or speculators buying then on-selling at a profit.
Numerous manufacturers have had to contend with providing the market with high-demand niche products lately: examples coming to mind span from the Suzuki Jimny, to the similarly popular (relative to supply) Subaru BRZ, Toyota GR Yaris, and Hyundai Ioniq 5.
The Nissan Z sits on a revised version of the 370Z’s rear-wheel drive bones and uses the Infiniti Q60 Red Sport’s 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 with variable valve timing and quick-spooling small-diameter turbochargers, putting out 298kW of power and 475Nm of torque.
Power-to-weight is improved by 13 per cent over the 370Z and the acceleration time from zero to 100km/h has been reduced by a claimed 15 per cent.
Nissan Z family tree
Whether you pronounce it “Zee” or “Zed”, there are few Japanese car names more evocative than that of the Nissan Z-Car.
In almost continuous production since 1969 – but for a brief gap between the second 300ZX and the 350Z – the Z nameplate predates myriad memorable Japanese sports coupes, from its arch-rival the Toyota Supra (1978) to fallen comrades like the Toyota Celica (1970) and Honda Prelude (1978).
It is, however, as old as another legendary nameplate: the Nissan Skyline GT-R, which also commenced production in 1969.
Japanese readers will know the Z by an additional name: Fairlady. In a land of cars with names like Cedric and Bongo Friendee, Fairlady fits right in. The eccentric name first appeared on a Datsun roadster in 1960, and when production of the first Z-Car began it wore Fairlady Z badging in its home market.
Keen to know more? Our man William Stopford has written an exhaustive history from 1969 to 2022, which you can read here: